DETROIT – Traditional themes will be the story at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference later this month with entrepreneurship, education and yes, addressing the state’s roads being among the key topics expected to be discussed during a busy agenda that officials released this week.

A central theme being pushed this year, Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah told reporters Thursday, is being labeled One Michigan. Baruah said there was an expectation by the Detroit Chamber in 2018 that entering this year the state would be operating with divided government and the focus now is on how both sides of the political aisle can work side-by-side to keep the state moving in the right direction.

“We work better together,” Baruah said.

The conference runs from May 28-31 at the Grand Hotel. Each of the final three days of the conference there is at least one panel discussion focusing on both political parties working together and the need for bipartisanship.

On Wednesday U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Saint Joseph) will join  Baruah in a discussion on national civility in politics.

A similar panel, one focused on working across the aisle, is set for Thursday featuring U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet), U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden Township), U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township).

Thursday evening features a state-level panel on working together across party lines, featuring the majority and minority leaders of the state House and Senate: Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills).

Keynote addresses will be delivered former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on May 29, with former Republican Ohio Governor and 2016 presidential primary candidate John Kasich, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer all speaking May 30.

This story was published by Gongwer News Service.