Anna Gustafson is the assistant editor at Michigan Advance, where her beats include economic justice, health care and immigration. Previously the founder of the Muskegon Times and the editor at Rapid Growth Media in Grand Rapids, Anna has worked as an editor and reporter for news outlets across the country. She began her journalism career reporting on state politics in Wisconsin and has gone on to cover government, racial justice and immigration reform in New York City, education in Connecticut, the environment in Wyoming, and more. Previously, Anna lived in Argentina and Morocco, and, when she’s not working, she’s often trying to perfect the empanada and couscous recipes she fell in love with in these countries. You’ll likely also find her working on her century-old home in downtown Lansing, writing that ever-elusive novel and hiking throughout Michigan.
Parents call for statewide mask mandate, blast pols who oppose it
By: Anna Gustafson - September 15, 2021
Updated, 6:01 p.m. 9/15/21 with a response from DHHS As COVID-19 cases rise among students and staff throughout Michigan, parents from across the state issued a message for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Wednesday: It’s time for a statewide mask mandate in schools. The Michigan Parents Alliance for Safe Schools launched a […]
Immigrant driver license hearing gets canceled at last minute
By: Anna Gustafson - September 14, 2021
Updated, 4:31 p.m. 9/14/21 with a list of groups that planned to testify Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) asked to nix a long-awaited hearing Tuesday on legislation expanding access to driver licenses and state IDs for a wide range of Michiganders, including both documented and undocumented immigrants. The Michigan House Rules and Competitiveness Committee, […]
109 Michigan schools report COVID-19 outbreaks
By: Anna Gustafson - September 13, 2021
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 976,505 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,535 have died from the virus — an additional 6,093 cases and 29 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday, Sunday and Monday recorded cases and deaths, with an average of […]
Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.
By: Anna Gustafson - September 9, 2021
Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]
Dems have pushed to end the ‘tampon tax’ for years. Now Republicans are warming to the idea.
By: Anna Gustafson - September 1, 2021
For the past six years, Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan have introduced legislation that would end the sales and use tax on menstrual products. But, each time the bills were introduced, they never garnered enough support from Republicans that the legislation would make it to the governor’s desk. This year, state Reps. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper […]
Why wasn’t the pandemic worse? Federal funds and public programs, experts say.
By: Anna Gustafson - August 31, 2021
When Effie Alofoje-Carr saw the stimulus payment from the American Rescue Plan Act hit her bank account this year, she cried. “It was huge; it has saved our lives,” Alofoje-Carr, who lives in East Lansing with her husband and eight-year-old son, said of the stimulus checks that the federal government sent to residents across the […]
‘Kids know we are putting them at risk for political reasons’
By: Anna Gustafson - August 22, 2021
When Marta Johnson talks about masks, what she’s really talking about is her daughter’s heart. What she’s talking about is her child, Claire, who has congenital heart disease and is now about to enter first grade, undergoing open heart surgery when she was seven days old. About Claire getting pneumonia when she was one month […]
DHHS: 98% of Michigan COVID-19 cases are from unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people
By: Anna Gustafson - August 13, 2021
The COVID-19 patients filling Michigan’s hospitals are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They hail from throughout the state, from the tip of the Upper Peninsula to the Ohio and Indiana borders; they live in city apartments and old farm houses on land dotted by cornstalks. They are younger than many of the COVID-19 patients in […]
Breaking: Complaint alleges Michigan GOP lawmakers got illegal campaign money from ALEC
By: Anna Gustafson - July 28, 2021
At least two Michigan Republican lawmakers allegedly received illegal campaign contributions from a national nonprofit that has ties to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and works with corporate lobbyists to push conservative legislation in state legislatures across the country, according to a complaint set to be filed Wednesday by the Center for Media and Democracy […]
Nursing homes were hit hard by COVID. But only half of Michigan staff has been vaccinated.
By: Anna Gustafson - July 25, 2021
Every day Tamara Blue was out of work and battling her own case of COVID-19, she would get a call: Another person she loved had died. Someone else was being rushed to the hospital. While Blue, a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home in Detroit, was spending her days at home struggling to breathe […]
Under 70% of Michigan kids have all their recommended vaccinations, as rates dipped during pandemic
By: Anna Gustafson - July 19, 2021
Following a decline in Michigan’s childhood vaccination rates during the pandemic and with less than half of eligible students vaccinated against COVID-19, physicians and educators are urging parents to protect their children before the school year begins against highly contagious diseases from COVID-19 to measles and whooping cough. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan saw an […]
Michigan lagged nationally in education before the pandemic hit. So what can be done now?
By: Anna Gustafson - June 25, 2021
Even before the pandemic brought a tsunami of challenges to Michigan classrooms, the state’s schools — especially those in high-poverty districts — were struggling under the weight of years of inequitable public school funding, barriers to accessing early learning and unaffordable childcare. That’s according to findings in a new report released this week from the […]