Advocacy at MAP

advocacyn. The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support.

The Michigan Association of Planning elevated its advocacy efforts in recent years, and now is recognized in Lansing as a key stakeholder in the land use debate. MAP works closely not only with legislators advancing land use and planning bills, but also partners with state agencies through participation on workgroups, where best land use and planning practices can be incorporated into state policies and plans.

MAP Strategic Plan

Adopted in 2004, MAP's strategic plan focused on establishing MAP as THE go to source for land use and planning information and resources. The overall goal of the MAP strategic plan is: Increase visibility and strengthen the image of the Michigan Association of Planning as an "elite" player.

Specific objectives include:

1) Establishing and strengthening legislative relationships, and

2) Specifically addressing external visibility with two key audiences: legislators and the media.

Legislative Activities

To that end, MAP has made great inroads over the last 3 plus years. MAP meets regularly with legislators throughout the year, providing technical advice on pending bills and informing legislators and their staff about the importance of best planning practices. In recent years MAP provided professional expertise on myriad issues, including commerce centers, wind energy, joint municipal planning, school siting, Inclusionary zoning, amortization of non-conforming uses, and zoning courts among others. Representatives from MAP testify regularly at Senate and House Committee meetings.

MAP is now recognized as an "honest broker", and we are called upon regularly to provide unbiased technical expertise to legislators and their staffs.

MAP nurtures relationships with other governmental organizations like the Michigan Municipal League (MML), the Michigan Townships Association (MTA), the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC), the Michigan Association of Regions (MAR), and others to collectively advance key policies and legislation that is consistent with good governance.

Major Legislative Accomplishments

MAP was instrumental in the passage of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act in 2006, serving as a technical expert to a stakeholder workgroup that worked tirelessly with Representative Elsenheimer to combine the state's three zoning enabling acts (the Township Zoning Act, the City/Village Zoning Act, and the County Zoning Act.) Today, Michigan has a single zoning act, Public Act 110, which authorizes and directs zoning in Michigan.

A similar approach was taken with the state's three Planning Enabling Acts (the Township Planning Act, the Municipal Planning Act, and the County Zoning Act). Passage through the Senate was achieved in February 2007, and the bill is expected to pass in 2008.

Partnerships with State Agencies and Other Land Use Stakeholder Organizations

In addition to legislative endeavors in the state capitol, MAP champions best planning practice at every turn, strengthening relationships with state agencies, other non-profit organizations, and with planning leaders in Michigan. MAP's presence has been requested by state agencies such as the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to serve as a planning expert on myriad initiatives. MAP has worked collaboratively with other non-profits such as Michigan Suburbs Alliance (MSA), Community and Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), and the Land Information Access Association (LIAA), among others. MAP frequently calls upon planning leaders across the state to provide their expertise, advice and council, building our knowledge base and further enhancing our reputation and credibility by bringing in the experts.

Advocacy is integral to everything we do.

This page last updated on 1/19/2017.

Copyright © 2005 Michigan Association of Planning, A Chapter of the American Planning Association
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