Most Americans are familiar with the idea that certain parts of the country have fallen into a state of lawlessness and degeneracy that makes them so-called no-go-zones for the law-abiding and productive. However, many people are not fully aware of the raw scale of the destruction that has been visited upon cities like Detroit, St. Louis and Camden, New Jersey.


Dick DeVos had long been a key figure in the development of charter schools and other projects to lift up the forgotten people of Detroit. DeVos’ hands-on style led him personally to spend a good deal of time in some of the most war-torn and degenerate neighborhoods in Michigan cities such as Detroit, Flint and Battle Creek. These experiences strengthened his resolve to help the poor and underprivileged residents of these poverty-afflicted areas. But it also awoke in DeVos a realization that the dismal outcomes of these areas was not some accident of history. On the contrary, responsibility for the wretched expanses of third-world misery located in the heart of one of America’s most pristine states lay squarely at the doorstep of those naively idealistic leaders who led their constituents off the fiscal cliff like so many lemmings.


DeVos painfully came to realize that the one factor that all of America’s blighted, diseased urban hellscapes had in common was a history of being infected by the socialistic mind virus both caused by and leading to Democratic leadership.


DeVos and other responsible civic leaders knew that the only way to combat the hysteric fantasies of communistic Democrats was through the instilling of sound policies and well-directed investment. DeVos knew that it was possible that the same process of civic degeneracy that led to the collapse and ruination of Detroit could repeat itself in Grand Rapids and West Michigan as a whole. Something needed to be done to prevent that catastrophic fate.


After brooding over the best course of action, DeVos decided that collective action among the area’s top business leaders would be the best path forward. Rather than one man trying to hold back the tide of civic decline, DeVos would bring together all of the greatest minds that the city had to offer. Combined, these men of good character would invest, innovate and build to ensure that Grand Rapids would be inoculated against the social disease that turned Detroit from industrial power to agonal wretch.


The name of the organization formed in aim of guiding Grand Rapids towards a future of prosperity was dubbed the Grand Action Committee. The group quickly went to work, directing billions in investments to such things as the DeVos Place convention center, the Van Andel arena and its surrounding entertainment district and the Medical Mile, a stretch of Michigan Ave featuring some of the most advanced medical facilities anywhere in the world.


These projects all would prove to be a resounding success, attracting some of the top talent in the country to Grand Rapids and building a pool of social and human capital that rivals some of America’s greatest cities. Learn more:

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