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.

West Michigan Republican faces resignation calls over social media posts, allies say he’s ‘no racist’

By: - March 31, 2021

Updated, 2:47 p.m., 4/6/21 For at least the third time this year, Republican Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring is facing calls for his resignation — and this time it’s from groups and residents who say he has a history of social media posts that are racist, transphobic and ableist.  Lahring, who also is the chair […]

The spring surge: Michigan’s COVID case rates, hospitalizations soar

By: - March 26, 2021

Updated, 3:05 p.m., 3/26/21 with comments from DHHS While the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel may be getting closer as more vaccines are doled out across Michigan, the pandemic is still far from over. And the public cannot pretend otherwise unless it wants to prolong the disease’s grip on the state, health […]

Here’s why low-income Michiganders were ‘completely unprepared’ to weather the COVID-19 pandemic

By: - March 23, 2021

A proliferation of low-wage and hourly jobs with few or no benefits, depleted savings and rising household costs in Michigan paved the way for a state where nearly four in 10 workers were struggling to make ends meet going into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Association of United Ways reported today. The association on Tuesday […]

‘It’s going to be a lifesaver’: Here’s how the new child tax credit expansion works 

By: - March 19, 2021

When U.S. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law last week, setting up millions of families across the country to receive regular monthly payments as part of the child tax credit expansion, Anthony Queen breathed a sigh of relief.  Help, the father of an 8-year-old son thought, is on the […]

Reforms needed for pregnant people in prison, advocates say

By: - March 3, 2021

When Siwatu-Salama Ra thinks of the future, she thinks of hope.  She thinks of sweeping, systemic change. Ra, a racial justice and environmental activist from Detroit, thinks of no one having to go through what she did: being sentenced to two years in prison when she was six months pregnant and delivering a baby in […]

How the anti-COVID vaccine movement mobilized in Michigan before anyone ever got their first shot 

By: - March 2, 2021

Not long after the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Michigan almost exactly one year ago, so did those opposed to any future vaccine.  Buoyed by decades of an anti-vaccination movement, in Michigan and across the country, anti-vaccination activists were determined to cast doubt on a COVID-19 vaccine not yet created. They combined sharing longtime […]

New: White Michiganders are about 2x as likely to have gotten the COVID vaccine than African Americans

By: - February 23, 2021

Updated, 5:23 p.m. 2/23/21 State health officials reported Tuesday that white people are about twice as likely as Black individuals to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in Michigan and emphasized they are continuing efforts to address the racial inequities plaguing the vaccine rollout. According to newly released data by the Michigan Department of Health and Human […]

‘It was literally Christmas’

By: - February 20, 2021

When COVID-19 vaccines began arriving in Michigan two months ago, it was a lot like Christmas, Detroit Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry said. There was excitement that the doses had arrived, of course, but it was more that the exact contents were something of a surprise. “It was literally Christmas; you’d open up a box […]

Poverty task force wants Michigan to cut red tape for safety net programs, increase opportunities for inmates

By: - February 18, 2021

To better support the millions of Michiganders struggling to make ends meet, the state should expand apprenticeship opportunities for inmates while they are incarcerated, end asset tests for food assistance, and increase affordable housing for low-income families and people without housing, among a series of other initiatives, according to a newly released report from the […]

After threats and armed protests, BIPOC lawmakers still struggle to get GOP leaders to address racial justice

By: and - February 4, 2021

State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) grew up during the 1980s and 1990s and remembers watching in astonishment the awarding-winning PBS documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement.” The African American lawmaker was raised in a Capital City community where whites and people of color interacted, for the most part, without incident. “What […]

1.2M Michigan workers would see a raise under minimum wage bill

By: - February 2, 2021

More than 25% of Michigan workers, including about one-third of women working in the state, would earn thousands of more dollars each year should Congress pass the recently introduced “Raise the Wage Act of 2021,” according to a new report from a Washington, D.C., think tank. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, introduced by […]

U of M study: Michigan’s pre-holiday restrictions prevented 100K COVID cases, 2,800 deaths

By: - January 28, 2021

The state’s decision in November to temporarily ban indoor dining, prohibit in-person classes at high schools and colleges, and implement a variety of other social distancing measures may have saved about 2,800 lives and prevented more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases, University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers announced Thursday. “Our modeling suggests that the […]