Gilda Z. Jacobs

Gilda Z. Jacobs

Gilda Z. Jacobs has dedicated her life to helping others, working as an educator, helping provide housing for people with disabilities, serving in state and local government for 30 years, including 12 in the Michigan Legislature. She is the Michigan League for Public Policy's former President and CEO.


Gilda Z. Jacobs: My advice to the next generation of policy advocates

By: - December 16, 2021

It’s pretty hard to sum up a 50-year career in any amount of time, let alone in 600 to 700 words. That’s less than 200 words a decade! But that is my charge and I appreciate this opportunity to reflect on my retirement, so I will do my best. Looking back, my career in public […]


Column: Biden visit, data and voices underscore need for action on ‘Build Back Better’

By: - October 8, 2021

Every Michigander deserves a fair shot at opportunity and prosperity. But for too long, many families — particularly people of color and those families with low incomes — have struggled to make ends meet despite their best efforts to provide for their families.  President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan would make a historic investment […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: It’s up to Congress to continue Biden’s commitment to Michigan families

By: - May 10, 2021

President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress last month was momentous in a multitude of ways. As a woman who held elected office for more almost three decades, hearing the words, “madam vice president” and “madam speaker,” was particularly powerful, as was seeing two women — including a woman of color — seated in literal […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: Want Michigan to become a stronger state? It’s time to ‘Think Babies.’

By: - February 26, 2021

As an advocate, a former lawmaker, a mom and a grandma, I don’t need research to tell me that what happens in a child’s first three years is critical to the rest of their life. But if I did require research, there’s plenty of it.   Brain growth for infants and toddlers is faster in […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: We can’t let 2020 be Michigan’s best year in bipartisanship 

By: - February 1, 2021

Bipartisanship might not feel very plausible right now, and in fact, seems to be getting more far-fetched by the day.  I had planned to use this column to look ahead and echo the chord of accord Gov. Gretchen Whitmer struck in her 2021 State of the State address last week. But it’s hard to sound […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: Reframing Lame Duck and seizing the moment

By: - December 4, 2020

Updated, 8:36 a.m. 12/4/20 As we continue to tick through the calendar of a most unusual year, this week marked the start of the Lame Duck legislative session. While Lame Duck is most known for hyper-partisanship and contentious and controversial legislation, it also is a very important time for good policies, because anything not passed […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: It’s time to fix Michigan’s safety net

By: - October 24, 2020

The more precarious a person’s position, the more important a strong, secure safety net is. That has been crystallized by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has jeopardized millions of Michiganders’ jobs, housing, health, food security and more.  Michigan kids, workers and parents continue to face unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, especially Black and Brown residents, families […]


Column: Senate GOP COVID-19 relief plan is light on ‘relief,’ low on heroics

By: - July 31, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent a portion of her COVID-19 briefing this week criticizing the long-awaited U.S. Senate Republicans’ COVID relief package that proved to be pretty light on actual relief for our residents, our state budget and our state as whole.  State Budget Director Chris Kolb echoed her sentiments, noting that “there is not a […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: Protests can be a catalyst for racial justice and equity

By: - June 6, 2020

The Michigan League for Public Policy has fought against injustice since we were founded in 1912, and right now is one of the most pivotal moments in that time span.  At the League, we want to acknowledge the real pain and suffering that is occurring across the country right now, particularly for Black people. While […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: COVID-19 has turned life upside-down, exposed how low-income workers are treated

By: - April 11, 2020

They say that the emotions we’re experiencing as a result of COVID-19 are akin to grief. Some are experiencing real grief over lost loved ones. Many are experiencing grief over losing the “normal life” we were living a few weeks ago.  I’m experiencing grief over what Michigan could have been doing since the Great Recession […]


Column: After economic and criminal justice wins, here’s what Michigan leaders should focus on in 2020

By: - February 6, 2020

What a difference a year makes. This time last winter, Michigan was enduring a historic cold snap. And we were coming off of a major election, starting a new legislative session and a new governor’s term. And the Michigan League for Public Policy was launching our Owner’s Manual for Michigan to help guide them.  We’ve certainly seen […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: Legislature’s budget has some bright spots, but still leaves marginalized residents in the shadows 

By: - September 27, 2019

We love budgets at the Michigan League for Public Policy, both as an organization and as individuals. It is a big focus of our work each year, as it is one of the best ways to have the most significant impact on improving the lives of people in our state. But as an organization that […]