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Old 03-09-2010, 11:19 AM
 
60,454 posts, read 85,539,771 times
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Out of the regular public HS's in the GRPS, which one would be the "best"? Union, Central, Ottawa Hills or Creston? It seems like Union might be and it is very diverse too.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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If you are willing to drive 3 hours, then Traverse City may be your town. It is north of Grand Rapids. Michael Moore (ugh) LOVES Traverse City.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:58 PM
 
34 posts, read 118,728 times
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Oh...and I just remembered....Saugatuck is a very artsy town. It is right on Lake Michigan and very charming...small but charming. Very cool little shops ...restaurants on the water....Oval beach right on Lake Michigan is wonderful. When you look at a map and the Grand Rapids area...just look to the lake..a little south from Grand Rapids.
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Old 03-10-2010, 01:14 PM
 
60,454 posts, read 85,539,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Pam View Post
Oh...and I just remembered....Saugatuck is a very artsy town. It is right on Lake Michigan and very charming...small but charming. Very cool little shops ...restaurants on the water....Oval beach right on Lake Michigan is wonderful. When you look at a map and the Grand Rapids area...just look to the lake..a little south from Grand Rapids.
Saugatuck doesn't have the "diversity" that the OP is looking for though. If you want a community that is very close and more diverse, then South Haven might work. Another place that is rural, but has a long history of diversity is Covert. Schools might be an issue though. Both are in Van Buren County.

Test Scores for South Haven Public Schools | GreatSchools

Test Scores for Covert Public Schools | GreatSchools

Holland would probably work, but it is known for being very "conservative": Test Scores for Holland City School District | GreatSchools

Same with the west Ottawa SD: Test Scores for West Ottawa Public School District | GreatSchools
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:54 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom plus three View Post
It's a tall order and college towns typically fit the bill, but Grand Rapids I don't think would be right for us.
I think it all depends on what you expect to find.

According to City-Data.com Ann Arbor is a much whiter community than Grand Rapids.

Check out the numbers below. Ann Arbor clearly has more citizens of Asian descent, but other than that, Grand Rapids has far more African Americans and Hispanics.

Races in Ann Arbor:

* White Non-Hispanic (72.8%)
* Black (8.8%)
* Chinese (4.4%)
* Hispanic (3.3%)
* Two or more races (3.1%)
* Asian Indian (2.9%)
* Korean (2.1%)
* Other race (1.2%)
* Japanese (1.1%)
* American Indian (0.9%)
* Other Asian (0.8%)


Races in Grand Rapids:

* White Non-Hispanic (62.5%)
* Black (20.4%)
* Hispanic (13.1%)
* Other race (6.6%)
* Two or more races (3.2%)
* American Indian (1.5%)
* Vietnamese (0.8%)


Please visit.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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Thank you for all the responses. The conversation has morphed into a discussion of diversity of race, which wasn't my intention and certainly only one criteria that I was interested in. From my visit this winter and web research, Grand Rapids seems to be a very politically and socially conservative city, especially for a college town, where as Ann Arbor seems to be more liberal both politically and socially. A liberal city is more to my liking. Also, and this may be just the areas I visited, there seemed to be more racial division economically in Grand Rapids than I was hoping for. So what I was asking, I suppose, was suggestions of towns around Grand Rapids that are more liberal leaning and racially diverse without, and forgive me for sounding pompous but it's honest, sacrificing socio-economic homogeneousness (not even a word).

I did go ahead and sign a lease in Ann Arbor. I only need to commute to Grand Rapids 2-3 times a month, so it works out fine. It is too hard to pick a community without visiting, and since I'm familiar with Ann Arbor, I went that route.

Thank you all!
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:36 PM
 
60,454 posts, read 85,539,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom plus three View Post
Thank you for all the responses. The conversation has morphed into a discussion of diversity of race, which wasn't my intention and certainly only one criteria that I was interested in. From my visit this winter and web research, Grand Rapids seems to be a very politically and socially conservative city, especially for a college town, where as Ann Arbor seems to be more liberal both politically and socially. A liberal city is more to my liking. Also, and this may be just the areas I visited, there seemed to be more racial division economically in Grand Rapids than I was hoping for. So what I was asking, I suppose, was suggestions of towns around Grand Rapids that are more liberal leaning and racially diverse without, and forgive me for sounding pompous but it's honest, sacrificing socio-economic homogeneousness (not even a word).

I did go ahead and sign a lease in Ann Arbor. I only need to commute to Grand Rapids 2-3 times a month, so it works out fine. It is too hard to pick a community without visiting, and since I'm familiar with Ann Arbor, I went that route.

Thank you all!
Kentwood would have been the best choice in the immediate area. It probably would have been your best option, anyway in terms of legit "diversity" and being a bit more middle class.
Test Scores for Kentwood Public Schools | GreatSchools

You would have possibly liked East Lansing, where Michigan State is located, as well. Nearby Okemos would have been another option, as would the Waverly SD just west of Lansing. All are much closer to GR too.

Test Scores for East Lansing School District | GreatSchools
Test Scores for Okemos Public Schools | GreatSchools
Test Scores for Waverly Community Schools | GreatSchools
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 AM
 
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The question here is misguided. You will not find a more liberal community (either politically or in terms of cultural acceptance) by looking outside of Grand Rapids, unless you go all the way to another university town (and maybe not even there). The farther you get from the city center, the more conservative – and frankly racist – it gets.

Although the city of GR has some mono-racial areas (e.g. SE=black, SW=brown, NW/NE=white), there are blended areas between them (e.g. the corridor between downtown and the city of East GR), and there's been enough black flight to inner suburbs like Kentwood and Wyoming that they're becoming multiracial too.

But once you leave GR and a couple of its inner 'burbs, it's a sea of white libertarians, fundies, Amway cultists, and northern rednecks. That doesn't change until you get to a city such as Muskegon or Benton Harbor, that once had factories to attract minority workers, but now don't (i.e. like Detroit, but smaller). So you'll find PoC in those, but not so many good schools.

GR is no paradise, but by the criteria presented here, it's as good as it gets in west Michigan. The city proper voted for Clinton in '16, its schools range from OK to excellent, and PoC are commonplace. And that's not even getting into the other things it has going for it (e.g. craft brewing, the arts, walkable neighborhoods).
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:11 PM
 
125 posts, read 133,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAQwest View Post
The question here is misguided. You will not find a more liberal community (either politically or in terms of cultural acceptance) by looking outside of Grand Rapids, unless you go all the way to another university town (and maybe not even there). The farther you get from the city center, the more conservative – and frankly racist – it gets.

Although the city of GR has some mono-racial areas (e.g. SE=black, SW=brown, NW/NE=white), there are blended areas between them (e.g. the corridor between downtown and the city of East GR), and there's been enough black flight to inner suburbs like Kentwood and Wyoming that they're becoming multiracial too.

But once you leave GR and a couple of its inner 'burbs, it's a sea of white libertarians, fundies, Amway cultists, and northern rednecks. That doesn't change until you get to a city such as Muskegon or Benton Harbor, that once had factories to attract minority workers, but now don't (i.e. like Detroit, but smaller). So you'll find PoC in those, but not so many good schools.

GR is no paradise, but by the criteria presented here, it's as good as it gets in west Michigan. The city proper voted for Clinton in '16, its schools range from OK to excellent, and PoC are commonplace. And that's not even getting into the other things it has going for it (e.g. craft brewing, the arts, walkable neighborhoods).
Seeing how this thread started 03-2010 and has been dormant since then except for your post just now, I don't think the OP is still doing grad work in GR or is looking for a progressive place to live nearby. I think she's long gone and her kids are likely out of or just about out of school.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:57 AM
 
27 posts, read 20,116 times
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I've relocated to Grand Rapids from ultra liberal Seattle. I've been here since May, and I've found the people here to be uniformly friendly, positive, supportive, upbeat, and unpretentious. I have met liberals and conservatives both, and all the people I've met, no matter what their political persuasion, are perfectly cordial, helpful, and on the whole, quite intelligent. If you are seeking to live only amongst people who think exactly as you do, you probably will not find it in Michigan. It seems to be a very politically mixed and inclusive state.
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