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August 15, 1986 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-08-15

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Bob McKeo wn

"It's still too early
to tell whether as a
state we have
learned our lesson
from the last

Doug Ross: Thinking of ways to keep business booming.

sibilities I have. Being in politics
and in government has given me a
chance to work with the whole corn-
munity beyond the Jewish commu-
nity and I've tried to use those con-
tacts and that insight and that ac-
cess as a re s ource to bring to the
Jewish community where we've got
problems that need to be solved.
One of the goals of the Jewish
community here has always been to
make sure that all of its members
have full access to everything in
American society while at the same
time wanting to maintain our
Jewish identity and have our own
Jewish institutions which are part of
the whole American context. And
there's always been some inherent
conflict in those goals — the fear
that access to everything the society
offers will basically lead to assimila-
tion and the breakdown of the
Jewish community."
Regardless, after all these years,
Ross is still a believer in the system.
"It's clear that if you are concerned
you can have an impact on events
from either the private or the public
sector. My own preference has been,
as a result of my upbringing, having
come of age just as John Kennedy

was being elected president, and
with the values of my parents, that I
have tended to find most satisfying
my involvement in public life as a
public servant.
"I think that being involved is
helpful to the community in the
sense that one of the advantages of
the community having a variety of
people in office, whether it's Carl
Levin in the U.S. Senate, or Bob
Naftaly who's Michigan's Director of
Office of Management and Budget, is
that it does assure that as decisions
are made for the whole community
that our values and our interests are
included in those decisions. The fact
that we're Jewish is not the central
part of the job. But the more connec-
tions the Jewish community has
with the broad community, (it can
only help us)."
Ross' priority right now, of
course, is a healthy economic future
for all of Michigan. He is almost
evangelical when talking about the
need for Michigan to diversify and
outfit itself technologically. And he's
also interested in seeing that as
many cultures and communities as
possible reap the benefits of the
state's recovery and organize them-

selves to prosper in the long haul.
"What we've been trying to do
in Michigan is create some institu-
tions, both private, and in some
cases, public institutions, that can
offer people the kind of information
(they need) about starting businesses
and taking risks . . . for the groupss,
that don't have that in their experi-
ence, it's rather an exciting experi-
ment to see whether the community
can substitute for those cultural role
models that many sub-cultures
Ross' formula appears to be
working, at least as far as his boss is
concerned. "Doug was able to pull
our program together and aggres-
sively market what we're doing," ac-
cording to the governor, who admits
that the combination of commerce
director and governor working to-
gether is probably stronger in
Michigan than in any other state.
"He's a tireless worker and salesman
in trying to change the image and
perception of doing business in
Michigan. He's done a very good job
of communicating the positive
change and devising ways to expand
that change."

Continued on Page 17

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