Susan J. Demas: Women keep having to fight the same battles in Lansing
More than eight years ago, a backbencher state senator called the female head of the most powerful public relations firm in Lansing a “hooker.” Kelly Rossman-McKinney, then CEO of Truscott Rossman, had been asked by MIRS to play pundit and name the biggest political losers of the year. One of her choices was then-state Sen. […]
On this day in 1917: Michigan helps lead way toward women’s suffrage
A ceremony was held on May 8, 1917, when Michigan Gov. Albert E. Sleeper signed the Damon-Flowers bill. The measure authorized by the Republican from Bad Axe placed on the ballot a referendum to allow women to vote in presidential elections. Voters approved a state constitutional amendment the following year making the historic measure law […]
DeVos finalizes sexual assault rules that critics say ‘roll back the clock’
WASHINGTON — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos finalized rules Wednesday that the administration says will improve due process in campus sexual assault cases, but that critics warn could discourage victims from coming forward. The new regulations expand rights for people accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses and make other changes to federal regulations governing schools’ obligations to […]
What happens behind closed doors? Social isolation during COVID-19 endangers domestic abuse survivors.
People in Michigan and across the country are following health officials’ warnings and staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, behind closed doors, domestic and sexual violence survivors might be in greater danger, shut in with their abusers. If you or someone you know needs help, here are some resources: Safe House Center 24/7 […]
Nobody can gather petition signatures right now. What does that mean for 2020 candidates, ballot questions?
As more people stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve, face-to-face petition gathering for 2020 elections has ground to a halt. This is a big problem for ballot question committees, which have to gather at least 425,059 valid signatures for constitutional amendments, 340,047 for state statutes and 212,529 for […]
Cynthia Neeley’s win helps House Dems achieve gender parity
Flint Democrat Cynthia Neeley became Michigan’s newest state representative Tuesday and will fill the 34th House District seat. That seat was previously held by her husband, former state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint), who resigned after being elected to serve as Flint’s mayor last fall. Cynthia Neeley’s victory in the special general election helped the Michigan […]
Susan J. Demas: It’s never our time: Why we won’t have a female president next year
The 2020 Democratic presidential race, which, at one point, was brimming with promise with a high water mark of six women contenders, looks to soon be dwindled to one. All signs point to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) exiting the race as early as Thursday, leaving just U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). (I’ll leave myself […]
Liberal Supreme Court justices challenge abortion restrictions in high-stakes case
WASHINGTON — The liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared highly skeptical of a Louisiana law that restricts abortion access as the justices heard oral arguments Wednesday in a high-stakes case that could open the door for additional abortion limitations around the country. But the court’s conservative majority — which is likely to determine […]
Nessel fights Trump proposals for women, LGBTQs
Women and members of the LGBTQ community have become the targets of two federal proposals aiming to roll back anti-discriminatory protections, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. She has joined 22 other attorneys general in comment letters opposing the proposals. The proposals were a result of President Trump’s executive order that went into effect […]
Amash is only Michigan vote against Smithsonian women’s museum
Updated, 3:40 p.m., 2/12/20 with comments from Rep. Amash’s office: U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.) was the only member of Michigan’s 14-member U.S. House delegation not to bless a new Smithsonian women’s history museum. The U.S. House overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to OK HR 1980, 374-37. The bill establishes a museum on the National Mall […]
Native American women have gone missing. Many have been murdered. Will Washington act?
WASHINGTON — Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was 22, eight months pregnant, and looking forward to her baby shower the following day when she went missing on a sunny August afternoon in 2017. She had gone to a neighbor’s apartment in Fargo, N.D., where she had been asked to help with a sewing project. She never went home. […]
Congress is talking about paid family leave. Will lawmakers do anything?
WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to agree on expanding access to paid family leave. But they disagree on how to do it. U.S. House lawmakers debated three bills on Capitol Hill last week that would take dramatically different approaches to expanding access to paid leave, with Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on […]