Detroit Today: Reacting to the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference

Michigan House Speaker Tate and journalists joined “Detroit Today” on the final day of MPC 2023.

Reporters discuss the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Bridge Magazine political reporter Jonathan Oosting (left), WWMT-TV’s Rachel Louise Just, WDET reporter and anchor Russ McNamara, and Stephen Henderson share their reactions to the Mackinac Policy Conference in Mackinac Island, Mich. on June 2, 2023.

The 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference officially wrapped up Friday after policy makers, community leaders and influential business figures gathered on the island to discuss the future of Michigan.

For the last four days, media members have been listening to a smattering of speakers who’ve been discussing bipartisanship, collaboration and how to solve Michigan’s problem of population loss.

WDET reporter and All Things Considered Detroit host Russ McNamara, Bridge Magazine political reporter Jonathan Oosting and WWMT-TV’s Rachel Louise Just joined Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson for a roundtable discussion to share their takeaways from this year’s conference.

Michigan House Speaker Rep. Joe Tate also appeared on the show, sharing his thoughts on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s tax reform proposal, how topics discussed at Mackinac Policy Conference helps Detroit and more.

Listen: Michigan journalists react to the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference


Rep. Joe Tate is the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. He says a potential tax cut for homeowners in Michigan would help residents tremendously.

“It would be transformational for the communities in Detroit as well as other areas that would see the benefit,” says Tate.

Rachel Louise Just is the statewide political reporter for WWMT-TV in West Michigan. She says politicians and business leaders haven’t offered a solid explanation as to why the state has been losing population.

“No one has been able to give a great reason why it’s happening,” says Just.

Jonathan Oosting is an award-winning Michigan political reporter covering the Capitol for Bridge Michigan. He says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is trying to figure what to prioritize in her second term after passing several pieces of legislation.

“I think what [Whitmer’s] looking for is a road map for her second term legislating,” says Oosting.

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered heard weekdays from 4-6 p.m. on WDET. He says he needed to adjust to the political atmosphere in Mackinac.

“It’s kind of weird to see all of these business leaders, politicians together and looking very cozy,” says McNamara, noting that it’s also “not quite as shady as it might seem.”

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.