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Snyder urges cooperation and civility at Detroit Economic Club exit interview

Office of the Governor
After serving as Michigan's governor for nearly eight years, Rick Snyder is preparing to leave the office. Gretchen Whitmer will take over for him beginning in January.

Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the Detroit Economic Club on Friday afternoon following Tuesday’s election of Michigan’s next governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Snyder began the event by reflecting on his time as governor, which began in 2011. He said he was proud of his accomplishments as governor, but urged the audience to keep working towards improving Michigan – and cautioned that people needed to cooperate in order to see positive change in the state.

“We are in this process of reinventing our state, and we need to keep it up,” Snyder said. “I tell people that one of the key things that distinguishes what we’ve done from some of the other things that you see around the country is we’re too much in a divided world in our country today… This isn’t rocket science. Let’s look at what the real problem is and even if we have different perspectives, let’s gather together to solve it!”

Following his speech, Snyder sat for a question-and-answer session with DTE Energy Co. Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson. Snyder told Anderson that one of his biggest accomplishments as governor has been the economic progress the state has made since he took office.

He also said he's impressed with the progress the city of Detroit has made during his time as governor. He said the integration of the city into the rest of the state, as well as the revitalization of the city, have been priorities of his over the last eight years.

“I mean this is absolutely incredible to see the stuff going on, the projects going on,” he said. “Everything from the Gordie Howe bridge to the new buildings going up, to some of the good things in the neighborhoods, because again, I'd always emphasize, this is about helping all of Detroit coming back.”

Whitmer will be sworn in as Michigan’s 49th governor on January 1st. Snyder offered some advice to the incoming leader, again emphasizing the need to work together across political parties and to be cautious about how politics has divided the federal government.

“Start by finding two or three of these common-ground issues that you can show success on,” he said. “Try to avoid the polarization at the start. There will obviously be disagreement points on particular issues. But try to get some wins underneath your belt.”

Maya Goldman is a newsroom intern for Michigan Radio. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan, where she studies anthropology and writing. During the school year, Maya also works as a senior news editor and podcast producer for The Michigan Daily.
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