Author

Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson

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.

Michigan surpasses ‘sobering’ milestone of 1 million COVID-19 cases

By: - September 22, 2021

On March 10, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan. Eight days later, Michigan’s first death of the pandemic was reported. And now, a year and a half later, Michigan surpassed one million COVID cases. On Wednesday afternoon, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported there have been […]

Despite PPO, Rep. Marino is still allowed in Capitol, House Office Building

By: - September 21, 2021

After state Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Twp.) allegedly told Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) that he was making it his “life mission to destroy you” and he hoped her car exploded on her way to work, the Democratic lawmaker said she is deeply concerned for her well-being and is terrified to be in the same building […]

‘What was left behind was a broken family’

By: - September 21, 2021

Nelly Fuentes remembers the moment her entire life changed. She remembers how cold it was that morning in February 2008. How her husband’s voice shook when he told her he had been pulled over while driving home from work. “That’s when my nightmare began,” said Fuentes, who lives in Southwest Michigan. “Anyone who’s undocumented knows […]

Poll: Nearly 2/3 of Mich. voters want more state funding for kids and families during pandemic

By: - September 21, 2021

State lawmakers should increase public funding for children and families to address the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two-thirds of Michiganders said in a recent statewide poll from the Skillman Foundation and Michigan’s Children. Across the state’s geographical regions and demographic groups, there was an overwhelming consensus among the 800 likely voters surveyed that […]

Kent Co. health director tells commissioners after almost being run off the road: ‘I need help’

By: - September 20, 2021

Updated 6:06 p.m., 9/21/21, with comments from Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office After a woman attempted to run Kent County Health Department director Adam London off the road just hours after he issued a mask mandate for some schools last month, the health officer issued a […]

Parents call for statewide mask mandate, blast pols who oppose it

By: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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 […]