Column: Here’s what lawmakers have done — and must keep doing — to help people amid the pandemic

BY: - March 12, 2021

On March 13, 2020, almost one year ago today, I wrote a column for the Michigan Advance outlining some public policy solutions to reduce COVID-19’s impact on workers and families with lower incomes. A year later, I thought I’d take a look at how well policymakers have responded to the pandemic-related needs of Michigan families. […]


Column: I’m a teacher. Why am I considered expendable?

BY: - March 1, 2021

In the timeless movie “Almost Famous,” main character William Miller loses his temper. “Who am I to you?” he shouts. “WHO AM I TO YOU?”  He is yelling at a groupie – er, Band-Aid – with whom he had just spent the night, who was now tossing him her laundry on his way out the […]


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 […]

Senator says she knows taking 12 weeks of maternity leave could hurt her politically

BY: - February 19, 2021

First-term state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) took to Twitter Friday to talk about her first few weeks of parenthood, stresses on families during the pandemic and her decision to take a full 12 weeks of maternity leave. Happy Friday and happy 3 weeks with this little burrito. It's been exhausting, eye-opening, wonderful, and the […]


Column: Teach your children well

BY: - December 25, 2020

This column is inspired by a 1970 song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for parents to “teach your children well.” I’ve been thinking about that song often as I’ve wondered how my relatives who were stuck at home during World War II dealt with restrictions similar to what we’re encountering with COVID-19. They tried […]

A new baby and a 9-month furlough with no end in sight: How COVID is straining Mich. families

BY: - December 17, 2020

When Rachael Guzzardo was furloughed from her job as a physical therapist for a large health system in metro Detroit in May, the mother of two, including a son born on Feb. 29, applied for unemployment. When she was told she could receive the benefits for up to 26 weeks, Guzzardo told her husband, “There’s […]

Former DHS official: Plot against Whitmer was ‘reminiscent’ of ISIS

BY: - October 26, 2020

Miles Taylor is one of several former President Trump administration senior officials who has now endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Taylor served as chief of staff to former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Secretary Chad Wolf from 2017 to 2019. Taylor joins Olivia Troye, a former coronavirus adviser to Vice […]

‘An assistant teacher, lunch lady, janitor and IT person’: Parents juggle, struggle amid COVID-19 crisis

BY: - September 28, 2020

Being a parent of young children can be a challenge under normal circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has naturally made that much tougher for many families. Theresa Mitchell is a mother of two young Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) students who are being educated online. Mitchell preferred for them to learn in-person, but there were […]


Rick Haglund: Blacks have lost ground in Michigan — and it’s dragging down the economy

BY: - September 12, 2020

In his long career as a University of Michigan labor economist, Don Grimes never focused his research on race-based income inequality. “I’ve always believed in the power of markets,” Grimes told me.  “I figured the markets would sort this out.”  But a new study he, and U of M colleagues Gabriel Ehrlich and Michael McWilliams […]


Susan J. Demas: We failed on COVID-19. An entire generation of kids will pay the price.

BY: - September 3, 2020

Over the last week, my two teenagers went back to school online during fairly momentous times in their educational development. My youngest is a high school junior who has a year of college boards and, in normal times, college visits ahead of him. My oldest is a freshman at Michigan State University, where she was […]

USDA extends free student meal programs through end of 2020 

BY: - September 1, 2020

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday granted requests from federal lawmakers for extensions on free meal programs for schoolchildren. After his department received numerous requests for flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, no-cost summer meal programs have been extended through the fall, per Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who called the situation “unprecedented.”  “This extension […]

Michigan says $600M will be used to settle some Flint water crisis lawsuits 

BY: - August 20, 2020

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Thursday that the state is making a preliminary $600 million settlement with Flint residents who were adversely affected when the city’s water source was switched in 2014. Six years ago, while under state emergency management during the former Gov. Rick Snyder administration, the city […]