Bankole: #MeToo must continue Lilly Ledbetter’s fight

Activists Hold Women's Strike And Rally In NYC For International Women's Day

Yes, #MeToo has become one of the most powerful political movements in the modern era. It’s about fighting to give women who have been sexually harassed or abused a voice in their day in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. It’s also about ensuring a sense of recourse for the wrongs that have endured.

The time has come for this movement. But it must not drop the ball in the fight for pay parity. We must be reminded of this crucial task this month as we honor women who have defied the odds and broken down barriers to excel.  Read More

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Senate Democrats unveil their own infrastructure plan

Senate Democrats unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Wednesday that would rollback the recently passed Republican tax cuts to pay for the improvements they argue are needed for the country.

The Senate Democrats’ Jobs & Infrastructure Plan for America’s Workers would invest a little more than $1 trillion into improving infrastructure in the United States, including setting aside $140 billion to repair roads and bridges, $115 billion to modernize water and sewer infrastructure and $50 billion to rebuild schools and $40 billion to improve airports and airspace.
The plan is not likely to go anywhere — especially with Democrats in the minority — as its funding relies on proposing reinstating the top income tax rate of 39.6%, reinstating the individual alternative minimum tax for the wealthiest Americans, reversing GOP cuts to the estate tax and raising the corporate tax income to 25%.  Read More

El-Sayed first Dem to file signatures in governor race

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Michigan gubernatorial hopeful Abdul El-Sayed said Tuesday he is turning in roughly 24,000 voter signatures to the state, making him the first Democratic candidate to officially file for the August primary ballot.

The signatures were “scrubbed and verified” to ensure validity and “collected by love,” according to El-Sayed, who told The Detroit News his campaign has 2,500 active volunteers and 300 interns across every major college campus in the state.  Read More

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Visited Parkland. It Didn’t Go Over Well With Students

As Betsy DeVos made her way around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a gunman killed 17 students and teachers last month, a small group of student journalists grew increasingly frustrated at each question they say the controversial U.S. Secretary of Education seemed to dodge.

For about an hour on Wednesday morning, at least three student journalists from the school’s newspaper, TV production and yearbook staff followed DeVos around campus, where they say she pet comfort dogs, shook hands with the school’s faculty and offered “generic” answers to their specific questions about how concrete changes can be made.   Read More

Where they stand: Michigan governor candidates’ infrastructure policies

For years, Michigan has underinvested in infrastructure.

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In 2016, a task force appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder attempted to put a dollar figure on it: $4 billion. As in, Michigan would need to spend $4 billion more every year for decades just to keep up repairs on the infrastructure systems it has now.

Michigan’s failure to anticipate and address long-term infrastructure needs, from destructive roads to clean drinking water to high-speed Internet, has tangible economic effects: missed work shifts and hundreds of dollars spent to fix blown tires; on the state’s ability to attract businesses that need reliable internet and electricity, and in the cost borne by companies to move goods by road or rail.  Read More

Gubernatorial candidates differ on economic development strategy

The crowded field of candidates seeking to become Michigan’s next governor offer distinctly different views for how they would shape the state’s economic development policy.

With the need for infrastructure investment, talent attraction and retention and tax reform dominating the policy discussion at every level, economic developers have good reason to pay attention to the various candidates’ policy proposals, even if they’d prefer to stay apolitical. 

“I tell people that economic development is a non-political activity,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). “Unfortunately, we operate in a political environment.”  Read More

Great Lakes funding must survive process

The White House’s disregard for funding for Great Lakes restoration and preservation projects is becoming a recurring nightmare.

About a year after the Trump administration announced a first attempt to gut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative — a move that failed to gain support from lawmakers who must approve budget proposals — the Office of Management and Budget came back for another bite.

This time the proposed budget would slash GLRI funding by 90 percent — from $300 million to $30 million per year — effectively demolishing a program that funds both local and regional efforts to restore or preserve our lakes. The cut would be part of a proposed $2.8 billion cut from the Environmental Protection Agency for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.  Read More