Safety Net

There are a lot of plans to improve childcare in Michigan. Here’s what they do.

BY: - October 18, 2021

Carrie Anderson, owner and director of Morning Star Child Care in Dexter, has worked in the childcare industry for over 25 years. While she loves her job, she has grappled with some of the perils that come along with the industry: low wages, insufficient amounts of staffing and making it affordable for parents.   Now there […]

‘There’s no safe level of lead exposure’

BY: - October 14, 2021

When TaNiccia Henry’s grandson, Lloyd, was 4 years old, his “feet turned dark and his hair stopped growing.” Henry, who lives in Detroit and is Lloyd’s primary caregiver, brought her grandson to be tested for lead. When the test came back, the numbers were staggering: Lloyd had a blood level of 28 micrograms per deciliter […]

With a new health equity project, Michigan doctors aren’t just writing prescriptions

BY: - October 14, 2021

By the time a patient is referred to the Greater Flint Health Coalition, a doctor or another health care professional has identified there’s something more than just their physical health that’s endangering the person’s health. It may be they don’t regularly have access to transportation to get to their medical appointments, or there’s not enough […]


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 […]


Susan J. Demas: How do you solve poverty? Throw money at the problem.

BY: - October 7, 2021

If there’s one enduring myth in America, it’s that there’s nothing we can really do to end poverty. Most policy prescriptions during the last few decades — from setting up Byzantine barriers to programs like food stamps and Medicaid to doing nothing at all — are rooted in condescending lore that poor people deserve to […]

Democrats’ vision for free community college would boost undocumented students

BY: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON—The massive economic policy package Democrats are trying to muscle through Congress could open the door to free community college for undocumented immigrants. But that lifeline for many people now denied access to higher education could also reignite controversies in Republican-leaning states over immigration and federal overreach. The provision on immigrants was included in a plan drafted […]

Biden boosts infrastructure, climate change plans in Mich. GOP stronghold

BY: - October 5, 2021

Speaking at a Howell union training facility on Tuesday, President Joe Biden marked his Michigan visit by touting two investment bills that he said would act as a “blue-collar blueprint” for revitalizing America’s infrastructure. The Democratic president is still negotiating with members of Congress on the two bills — a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill […]

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

BY: - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten—investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds—or whether they even decide to accept the cash, […]

Biden to promote plans for infrastructure, childcare, college and more in Howell

BY: - October 3, 2021

President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Howell on Tuesday to make the case for his “Build Back Better” agenda to address infrastructure, childcare, college, health care, environmental needs and more, the White House said Sunday afternoon. No other details of the trip were released. The Biden administration has been intensely negotiating in the […]

Why there’s such an impasse in Congress: Some questions and answers

BY: and - October 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress may have kept the federal government operating with an 11th-hour flurry of votes on Thursday, but several key pieces of the Democratic agenda remain in limbo. Here are some questions and answers on where negotiations stand with two massive Democratic-drafted bills — and the status of other looming challenges for federal lawmakers: President Joe […]

U.S. House progressives ‘hold the line’ as infrastructure deadline lapses

BY: - October 1, 2021

U.S. House Democrats failed to vote on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday which was the deadline agreed upon by House leadership and a block of centrist members. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to call a vote Thursday because a growing number of House progressives, including U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), are […]


David Hecker: Rural and urban kids face many of the same challenges

BY: - October 1, 2021

If you’re just passing through them, it may not look like rural and urban, including many surrounding suburbs, communities have much in common — and elected officials often pit urban and rural communities against each other in public policy fights.  However, they actually have more in common than some would like us to believe, including […]