Commentary

Column: Libraries serve communities, not aggrieved parents

BY: - December 21, 2022

Libraries hold a conflicted place our collective imagination. To many of us — to me personally — they’re magical. We were first exposed to worlds of imagination and ideas on the shelves of our local libraries. To others, these buildings serve as indispensable community gathering spots, places to learn and meet and share. But to a […]

David Hecker: We need to work together to protect the health of kids and workers this winter

BY: - December 20, 2022

Cold and flu season is here — and this year, respiratory viruses are running rampant among children in Michigan and across the country. With COVID still a factor and RSV and influenza on the rise, we’re seeing alarming rates of these illnesses in our kids, resulting in overcrowded hospitals and difficulty getting treatment. Naturally, schools […]

Rick Haglund: Illinois auto plant idling doesn’t signal demise of Midwest manufacturing 

BY: - December 19, 2022

We’ve seen this happen many times: A Detroit automaker indefinitely “idles” an aging assembly plant that builds a slow-selling model and has been shedding workers for decades. Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, announced Dec. 9 it will indefinitely halt operations at its Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant on Feb. 28. The shutdown is called an idling because […]

Column: Here’s what we can do to ensure more Michigan families have health coverage

BY: - December 16, 2022

This week, I joined with health advocates to talk about open enrollment and encourage residents to get covered. But that’s just one piece of the policy puzzle to help provide kids and parents with quality health insurance.  The Michigan League for Public Policy’s latest report, “Policy Strategies to Insure More Parents and Kids,” connects each […]

Susan J. Demas: Mike Shirkey’s long, crazy goodbye 

BY: - December 13, 2022

“That was some weird shit.” That was former President George W. Bush’s reported take on former President Donald Trump’s angry inaugural address back in 2017. And that seems to be the consensus on the farewell speech last week from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), who, notably, dismissed his frequent foe, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, […]

Column: The link between politicians and anti-LGBTQ+ violence

BY: - December 9, 2022

It’s an age-old, chicken-and-egg discussion: Is it extant societal forces of exclusion, hatred, and reaction that give rise to authoritarian politicians who in turn foment division, prejudice, and violence? Or does it work the other way around? A global survey reveals compelling examples of both scenarios in action. It’s hard to imagine the repressive religious […]

Column: Republicans’ next move? Re-write the United States Constitution.

BY: - December 7, 2022

Don’t be surprised if the GOP’s next move will be to call for a U.S. Constitutional Convention. Prior to the 2010 election, Republicans controlled both legislatures in 14 states. The GOP’s Tea Party election sweep in 2010 was – what many experts claim — the start of America turning into a permanent conservative nation. Prior […]

Rick Haglund: Newly empowered Democrats must prioritize talent development over business attraction

BY: - December 5, 2022

The last time Democrats controlled Michigan state government, personal computers were just beginning to enter American homes. Electric cars were a laboratory experiment. Bay City native Madonna, who will become Medicare eligible next year, had just released her first album. And the iPhone, which transformed how we communicate with each other, wouldn’t be introduced for […]

Column: From Stonewall to Club Q, we continue to fight for our lives

BY: - December 1, 2022

Today I woke up numb. I should have been saddened. I should have been angry, but as I saw “Five killed and 18 injured” flash across the screen at the gym early Sunday morning, I proceeded to my next exercise, desensitized as I thought to myself, “Welp, another mass shooting in America.” For a moment, I experienced […]

Column: There is hope in the fight against homelessness

BY: - November 21, 2022

November is Homeless Awareness Month and this year’s theme, “Homeless, not hopeless”, reminds us that we have the collective power to ensure that all Michiganders, regardless of age, disability or race, have a safe place to live.  We’ve proven that during the COVID-19 pandemic as policymakers have made temporary policy changes and historic investments in […]

Column: Democracy haters aren’t going away. They’re digging in.

BY: - November 20, 2022

The midterm elections this month brought widespread failure to election deniers on the ballot. The most toxic of these dishonest Republicans all went down in stinging losses. Losers included: Governor candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem in Arizona. Secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant in Nevada. Governor candidate Tudor Dixon and secretary of state candidate Kristina Karamo in Michigan. Governor candidate Doug Mastriano in […]

David Hecker: After the election, let’s celebrate, analyze and build a better Michigan

BY: - November 17, 2022

Last week’s election results were astounding.  For the first time in my 39 years in Michigan, stalwart allies of public education and working people are the majority in both the Michigan Senate and House and Gretchen Whitmer will be our governor for four more years.  Moreover, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana […]