Chamber seeks community involvement at event

ALPENA – The Center for Michigan and the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting “A Community Conversation” on Jan. 31 at the Alpena County Library. The event allows area residents an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns about state issues that impact Northeast Michigan.

The free event begins at 8 a.m. and is limited to 50 people. Each person will receive a game-show type controller that will allow them to answer questions, and Center for Michigan will tally the replies and forward them to the state legislature. The event is scheduled to conclude at about 9:30 a.m. Chamber Executive Director Jackie Krawczak said Center of Michigan is a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank and Alpena is one of dozens of communities taking part. She said it is important for people to share their thoughts regarding the state’s direction because of the election in November.

“In 2014 we are electing a governor, senators and representatives, so we could have a lot of new faces,” Krawczak said. “We want to make sure our voices are included in this report so the new people, or the people who are re-elected will know what we want to see from them.”

The event is not limited to people from Alpena. Krawczak said she hopes there will be people of all ages and even people from outside of Alpena that take part.

“We really want to see a diverse group,” Krawczak said. “We don’t want all business people, or all educators. We want to see many different types of people. Anyone can participate. We will all answer the same questions and they will combine them with the others to put together one big report that then goes to our legislators. That way they will have a better idea of what the people are thinking.”

People who wish to take part can register for it at the chamber.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at