MLPP Blog: Factually Speaking

Great news for working parents and children!

Added March 28th, 2018 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

Facing another possible government shutdown, last Friday Congress passed and the president signed a federal spending bill for the remainder of 2018. Included in the federal budget is more than $3 billion in increased funding for child care and early learning programs—a major step forward for thousands of working families and their children in Michigan.

The final budget provides nearly $2.4 billion for child care programs through the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), as well as increases of $610 million for Head Start, $20 million for afterschool programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, and $11.4 million for early intervention programs.

The most significant boost is in funding for child care for families with low wages. This money is intended to fully fund the 2014 federal child care reauthorization that expanded health and safety protections for child care, as well as set the stage for improvements in child care quality and access. While the child care reauthorization was widely praised, it was not accompanied by the new federal funds needed to make its vision a reality.

So what does this mean for Michigan families and children? The Center for Law and Social Policy estimates that the newly-passed budget will bring an additional $69.7 million in federal funding to Michigan in 2018, with the potential to provide care to nearly 3,500 additional children while their parents work to support them.    

The Michigan League for Public Policy has documented problems in Michigan’s child care subsidy program including some of the lowest income eligibility levels in the country, provider rates that have made access to high-quality care difficult, and child care payment practices that have made it difficult for small child care businesses to thrive. The result of these shortcomings has been a dramatic drop in the number of children able to receive a child care subsidy in Michigan.

The League is working with its state and local partners to advocate for important changes in Michigan’s child care subsidy program, and welcomes this unprecedented opportunity to use new federal funds to move the state forward. Please join us in letting your representatives in Congress and in the Michigan Legislature know how much access to high-quality child care means to you, your neighbors or your employees.

Pat Sorenson

Food is a fundamental human right

Added March 23rd, 2018 by Julie Cassidy | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Julie Cassidy

At the end of February, with President Donald Trump’s recent proposal to decimate federal nutrition programs hanging over us, more than 1,200 advocates from all over the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual Anti-Hunger Policy Conference.

Before the conference began, I visited the National Museum of American History to see an exhibit about food in America. I was struck by how many food issues raised decades ago remain relevant today, a reminder both of how far we’ve come and how much is left to do to ensure that everyone in our nation has the fuel they need to grow, learn, work and reach their full potential.

Last year’s conference was marked by a vague but palpable anxiety about what the new administration would bring. While we knew the outlook wasn’t good for struggling families, the president hadn’t yet released his first budget proposal or many specifics in terms of policy.

Since then, we’ve seen multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, passage of a tax overhaul that will primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans, and plans to pay for it by devastating the services that provide a basic standard of living for those who already have the least. We’ve seen cruel anti-immigrant measures rip families apart and proposals that are scaring families away from food benefits for which they are legally eligible.

While this year’s conference included the usual sessions on food insecurity trends, federal nutrition programs and state initiatives to increase healthy food access, there was a stronger emphasis on advocacy, including effective messaging in a difficult political environment and amplifying the voices of people who have lived experience with hunger.

The highlight of the conference for me was hearing New York Times columnist Charles Blow speak about race and poverty in America. Connecting the dots between historical policies that explicitly denied land, food and other basic resources to people of color while guaranteeing Whites a certain level of success, and the implicit racism of contemporary policy decisions, Blow explained, “There are no mistakes in America. There are no coincidences.”

Julie Cassidy and the League’s Michigan anti-hunger partners met with Senator Gary Peters in Washington.

Julie Cassidy and the League’s Michigan anti-hunger partners met with Senator Gary Peters in Washington.

The things I learned at the conference came in handy when I headed to Capitol Hill with about 20 of the League’s Michigan anti-hunger partners to tell members of our state’s congressional delegation just how important federal nutrition programs are in their districts, and urge them to protect our funding and policy priorities in the upcoming negotiations over the Farm Bill (the legislation that authorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other vital food programs).

The experience came to a fitting close on the flight home when I got so bored that I actually flipped through the airline’s magazine, which happened to feature actor Viola Davis and her new gig as an advocate for an anti-hunger nonprofit organization. She explained how her own experience with childhood food insecurity motivated her to get involved: “When you’re hungry, you can’t think, you can’t plan, you can’t really function because your only concern is getting food…When you are deprived of things, that is on the forefront of your mind.”


Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.


That deprivation needs to be at the forefront of all our minds as Congress debates the Farm Bill and other budget and policy decisions regarding the rest of the safety net. Funding cuts and eligibility restrictions temporarily move people out of the government’s expense column, but not to good health, financial self-sufficiency or economic productivity. Now is the time to raise your voice for individual well-being, strong families and national prosperity. Sign on to this letter to Congress in defense of federal nutrition programs and keep up with SNAP and other federal budget happenings at


–Julie Cassidy



Time to double-check your paycheck! (You could be paying later.)

Added March 15th, 2018 by Rachel Richards | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Rachel Richards

As the federal tax changes (that we opposed) took effect, I had friends and family start talking about how their paychecks changed. Some even received e-mails from their human resources department explaining that their paychecks may look larger due to the tax cuts. Before you go on a shopping spree, though, make sure you check that you’re having enough taxes withheld.

When the Internal Revenue Service released the new tax withholding tables in January, payroll companies, bookkeepers and human resources departments made those changes in their payroll systems. The withholding Tax Formtables incorporated some of the changes made in the federal tax bill, including the new standard deduction, elimination of the personal exemptions and the new tax brackets. And because of this, many workers saw large changes in their paychecks, but this was based on wages only.

The new withholding tables could result in you seeing a big surprise next April—either a much larger refund than expected or, worse, that you owe money. So to avoid those surprises, you might want to fill out a new W-4 form to adjust your withholding.

The problem is that this form can be complicated to fill out, especially if you don’t know all of the tax rules. The general rule is that the fewer allowances you enter, the more taxes are withheld throughout the year. The bigger the number of allowances means fewer taxes are withheld and will result in a smaller refund or perhaps a tax bill or penalty. But how do you know what to put down?

Thankfully, the IRS has a new withholding calculator that can help you determine whether you are over- or under-withholding.

Taxpayers who may want to double-check their paycheck include:

  • Two income families, people with two or more jobs throughout the year, or people who only work for part of the year;
  • Taxpayers with children who may qualify for the Child Tax Credit;
  • People who itemized in 2017 (who may no longer be able to itemize); and
  • High-income earners, people who have businesses, or other taxpayers who will have more complicated returns.

Some people like getting a large tax refund every year. Others like seeing bigger paychecks, even if they may mean a higher tax bill come April. Personally, my goal is to result in a refund (or payment) as close to $0 as possible. I admit that I’m not always that successful, but using the calculator helps get me closer.

Also, if you haven’t done your taxes for 2017 yet, be sure to check out our Money Back in Michigan tax credit guide.













(A COMMENT ON TAX FAIRNESS: While your paychecks may be going up now and you may be thinking that the federal tax plan is not so bad, remember that you could be seeing a tax hike by 2027 in order to pay for significant permanent corporate tax cuts. Also know that the tax plan changes that are giving some of you a few hundred dollars back this year are saving millionaires around $60,000 annually. The tax plan’s benefits are not all bad…yet—they’re just not at all fair.)

–Rachel Richards

Waiter, there’s a rotten policy in my soup

Added March 12th, 2018 by Julie Cassidy | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Julie Cassidy

Food metaphors abound in the realm of public policy—the economic pie, the Medicare doughnut hole, and of course, making sausage. So when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a letter to states concerning Medicaid work requirements, I couldn’t help but think of another, lesser known political food analogy: the policy primeval soup, in which political actors store their desired policy solutions in search of problems while they wait for the political stars to align in their favor.

The CMS letter correctly acknowledges that health status is about more than access to healthcare, pointing specifically to education, employment and income as important social determinants of health. Unfortunately, CMS uses this fact as a convenient front to scoop up the work requirement, a misguided and overly simplistic policy idea that’s been floating around in the soup for decades, and spill it all over state Medicaid programs.

Poor Health Alphabet Soup 350x272It’s obvious that this move isn’t really about improving anyone’s health, as a report released by the League this week points out, especially when viewed in the broader context of Republican proposals to decimate the federal services that have a positive impact on virtually all social determinants of health for people with low incomes.

Since we’re already on the subject of food, let’s talk about hunger, which triggers a domino effect of poor health outcomes with high social and economic costs. This year, President Donald Trump is calling for a number of devastating cuts and changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that would leave children, seniors and people with disabilities without enough to eat.

Despite the critical connection between housing and health, the president wants to cut safe, affordable housing programs and increase the burden on participating families. To make matters worse, by slashing the corporate tax rate, the recently enacted tax bill reduces the value of the low-income housing tax credit—a move that’s expected to discourage the construction of 250,000 affordable units, which are already in alarmingly short supply, over the next 10 years.

Regarding education, the president wants to slash billions of dollars from K-12 and funnel millions into unhealthy abstinence-only sex education programs. Furthermore, he seeks to expand the use of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, which have been shown to largely benefit families that can already afford to send their children to private schools and enable discrimination that drives educational and health disparities.

If this were really about health, the president wouldn’t prioritize law enforcement based on the toxic ingredients of xenophobia and racism or let healthcare providers discriminate against their fellow humans in need of medical care.

Don’t be fooled: the Medicaid work requirement is merely a pretense for kicking people off Medicaid, something conservative policymakers have wanted to do for a long time. Combined with the proposed cuts to all of the other services that help struggling families maintain a basic standard of living, it will only reinforce the very economic conditions that create health disparities in the first place.

Poverty and its associated health impacts are complex problems that can’t be solved by simply requiring people to work. We need policies and budgets that actually promote living wages, job training, educational opportunity, healthy food access, healthy housing, transportation, quality child care, freedom from violence and trauma, and racial equity. If this were my favorite cooking competition show, I’d say the chef who created this disingenuous policy soup should be chopped in the appetizer round.

— Julie Cassidy

Let’s not make “hate” Michigan’s official language

Added March 7th, 2018 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

From the First Tuesday newsletter
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Nearly a century ago, my great-grandparents came to the United States along with my grandparents—who were grown adults—and my father, who was an infant.

They arrived on the heels of the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted immigration of—among other religious and ethnic groups—Eastern European Jews. The act was fueled by xenophobia and anti-Semitism: those who passed the law felt that immigration upset the “ethnic composition” of the U.S. population and that it was important to “keep American stock up to the highest standards” by excluding Eastern Europeans and Jews. They believed that people like my grandparents would spread “feeblemindedness” throughout the nation.

ImmigrationSo when my family arrived from their little village in Poland, which they fled due to hatred and persecution, they arrived in a nation where many people viewed them as incapable of being American because of their background. Despite this hate-fueled anti-immigrant law, my father and his parents were able to thrive here. To build a life for themselves and to make new roots. To start anew. My great-grandparents, though, were never able to settle. They were older and found the language and surroundings difficult to bear. The forced assimilation and anti-Semitism they faced overwhelmed them, so they returned to that little village in Poland.

They were later killed in the Holocaust.

They weren’t alone. More people left the United States than arrived here in the mid-1920s because of harsh restrictions for immigrants.

I share this story with you not because I think you need a history lesson. I share it because we’re up against similar hateful policies today. The people backing them may not be as overt about their intentions, but there’s no denying that the sentiment is the same. We must not allow anti-immigrant laws and racial intolerance to continue eroding our nation’s core values.

It’s 2018. And the moves I’m seeing from our leaders confound me, because they’re not unlike the moves we saw in 1924.

Just two weeks ago, the Michigan House of Representatives passed polarizing and politicized legislation to make English the official language of Michigan. Making English the official language of our state is not only unnecessary, it is divisive, exclusionary and serves no one. Yet the Michigan Legislature seems to think it’s an important use of their time and energy, despite roads crumbling around them.

Young immigrants in Michigan and around the country have been in limbo for months as President Donald Trump and Congress continue to delay action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Ending DACA could send young people back to homelands they barely know to meet a fate that could be disastrous. Yet Congress and our president seem unable to make things right for people who are American in every sense of the word.

Placing farm workers, most of whom were born outside of the US, in unsanitary working conditions is reprehensible. Yet some in the Legislature seem comfortable telling certain employees that they don’t require the same level of safety and care as others.

And these are just a handful of the policies attacking our immigrants instead of welcoming them.

We at the League take these issues facing immigrants seriously. Our policy fellow, Victoria Crouse, has enhanced our work in this area, and in order to bring more attention to the issue, we have created a dedicated section of our website that focuses on immigrants in Michigan. We also have made supporting Michigan immigrants a priority in our 2019 state budget work.

Creating a state that is strong and welcoming is important to me as the President and CEO of the League. But it’s important to me on a personal level, as well. As a descendant of Yitzchak Wispe, I have a commitment to making sure no one leaves this country or this state because they feel unwanted or inhuman.

— Gilda Z. Jacobs

Thanks to tax cuts, large budget shortfalls loom in North Carolina

Added March 2nd, 2018 by MLPP | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Eric Figueroa

Eric Figueroa

Lawmakers often look at what is happening in other states to determine what Michigan should do. Over the last year, lawmakers repeatedly talked about—and even tried—rolling back our state income tax because of what other states do. Unfortunately, policymakers often don’t learn the lessons from other states, and continue to nick away at our state taxes, putting at risk funding for our schools, our roads and our communities. Just recently, the Michigan Legislature passed what amounts to a token tax cut to families but will have dramatic impacts on our state budget, economy and the vitality of our communities for years to come. Policymakers need to instead look at what happened to states like Kansas and North Carolina when they made drastic tax cuts, learn from their mistake, and say enough. This guest blog from Eric Figueroa, a senior policy analyst with the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, explains why.

By Eric Figueroa, Senior Policy Analyst, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Tax cut proponents claim that North Carolina’s tax cutting is a model for other states looking to boost their economies, but the state has not performed particularly well economically compared to its neighbors since the tax cuts took effect and those cuts have put North Carolina on a path to serious fiscal instability.

North Carolina since 2013 has enacted tax cuts that will cost $3.5 billion a year, or 15% of the state’s General Fund budget, once they take full effect in 2019. This massive revenue loss has yet to cause budget shortfalls, mainly because the tax cuts aren’t yet fully in effect, the governor and Legislature have left funding for schools and other services well below their levels before the Great Recession hit a decade ago, and the economy is relatively healthy. But large shortfalls loom in North Carolina’s future.

The Legislature’s budget experts project that the state will avoid shortfalls through the upcoming 2019 fiscal year, but will face major fiscal challenges after that, when more of the tax cuts are scheduled to kick in even as funding needs for schools and other services continue to rise. They project that North Carolina will face a structural shortfall of $1.2 billion in 2020, rising to $1.4 billion two years later. (See chart.)


CBPP NC Budget Graphic 400x353

Faced with such large shortfalls, the state will have a choice: cut funding for state services such as schools, healthcare, and transportation projects, or reverse course and repeal the tax cuts. (The state also could draw on “rainy day” funds, but those funds—which require a supermajority in the Legislature to access—are a one-time source of revenue that the state will need when the next recession hits and state revenues fall as a result.) Funding cuts would be particularly painful because the state already has deeply cut funding for core services. For example, state per-student funding for K-12 and higher education is down 7.9 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, in inflation-adjusted terms since the Great Recession. The funding cuts have made it very hard for North Carolina to improve its low teacher pay and low per-pupil spending, and reverse sharp increases in college tuition.

Kansas, which like North Carolina faced large budget shortfalls after enacting deep income tax cuts, reversed course last year, repealing major parts of the earlier tax cuts in hopes of restoring fiscal stability.

Click on the following links for other recent posts explaining how North Carolina’s tax cuts:

— Eric Figueroa

Why we are making the change to “Latinx”

Added February 28th, 2018 by Victoria Crouse | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Victoria Crouse

The first time I heard the term “Latinx” (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) I was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina sitting among a group of fellow Latino students at the School of Social Work trying to put a schedule together for our student group. My friend and fellow group leader offered that we begin our annual planning with a consideration of a name change to our group. My friend pointed out that our current name “Latino Student Caucus” excluded those who identified outside of gender binaries—individuals who are transgender, gender nonconforming or gender fluid.

She was right. As student leaders, our goal was to offer an inclusive space where all students could feel validated and supported. In order to live up to our stated purposed, we needed to make that linguistic change.

Perhaps you’re wondering why one word could be so exclusive. The thing is, in the Spanish language words have a gender. Words that end with “o” are usually masculine, while those that end with “a” are usually feminine. Masculinized versions of words are traditionally considered gender-neutral. But to many, this designation has never really been gender-neutral because it excludes other identities and can reinforce gender stereotypes.

“Latinx,” therefore offers a truly gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina. Writers for the Huffington Post define Latinx as “…the gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina, that aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of Latin American descendants. The term has been in use for several years by academics, activists and journalists, among others. Today, more organizations and individuals are adopting the term in an effort to be inclusive in their spaces and in language. The League has become one of them.

Last fall, I began this conversation with my colleagues at the League. A few of us were familiar with the term and we wanted to be purposeful in our work, so we decided to come together and discuss. As staff members at the League, we continually strive to live up to our organization’s values of equity, diversity and inclusion. In order to do so, we have to continually listen, reflect and learn.

Our conversations were fruitful, and we decided that it was time for the League to make this change. Beginning this year, the League will replace the term “Latino” and “Latina” with “Latinx” when referring to individuals of Latin American descent, except for when we are referring to data sources in our charts and graphs.

Our work depends on our commitment to create spaces where all Michiganders’ voices can be heard and valued. This change takes us one more step closer, and we look forward to continuing to break down barriers in all other aspects of our work.

–Victoria Crouse

What to watch for in 2019 state budget

Added February 23rd, 2018 by Alex Rossman | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Alex Rossman

The state budget is a big focus of the League’s work each year, and often our most viable opportunity for victories for the people and kids of Michigan. And while we were disappointed that lawmakers passed a personal exemption increase, it should not affect this year’s budget as much as earlier proposals (the bigger cuts will be left to future legislators instead).

budgetandmagnifier175-by-116Here are the main things good and bad in—or absent from—Governor Rick Snyder’s 2019 budget that the League is keeping an eye on as the legislative process gets underway. You can learn more about these issues in our “First Look” at the governor’s budget and we will continue to provide updates on our budget page.

thumbs up The Good
  • Continues funding for the “heat and eat” policy that provides increased food assistance to families with low incomes, people with disabilities and seniors.
  • Supports the Healthy Michigan Plan that has provided health insurance for over 675,000 Michigan residents.
  • Provides $5 million for Michigan’s Early On program that identifies and serves infants and toddlers with developmental delays—the first investment of state funds in Michigan’s grossly underfunded early intervention program.
  • Provides a small increase in monthly Family Independence Program income support provided to children in deep poverty after decades of flat funding that pushed families to less than 30% of the federal poverty line.
  • Provides increases of between $120 and $240 per-pupil for the state’s public schools—with additional funding for students in high school or career and technical education.
  • Expands funding for partnerships with school districts that are needing academic supports from $6 million to $8 million.
thumbs down The Bad
  • Continues funding for Michigan’s successful preschool program for at-risk four-year-olds, but does not expand services to three-year-olds from families with low incomes.
  • Fails to expand funding for At-Risk School Aid and the school-based literacy programs needed to prevent the retention of children in third grade, including a disproportionate number of children of color.
  • Does not increase funding for adult education after deep cuts over the last two decades.
  • Leaves in place Michigan’s child care assistance eligibility cutoff, which is one of the lowest in the nation.
  • Diverts School Aid money intended for K-12 public schools to fund the state’s community colleges—rather than securing adequate General Fund revenues for post-secondary education.
  • Does not restore financial aid for an increasing number of college students who are older and supporting families.
  • Reduces cities, villages and townships (CVT) and county revenue sharing payments, neither of which have received full statutory funding in nearly two decades, so that many communities would either receive decreased CVT and county revenue sharing payments or no payment at all.
question mark The Absent

The League will keep pushing for these and other budget priorities in the coming months, and advocate for racial, ethnic and social justice in all state budget decisions this year and every year. We also encourage you to use our advocacy tips and budget timeline to get involved and speak up for the priorities you believe in.

— Alex Rossman

Teen years are for growth and education, not incarceration

Added February 20th, 2018 by MLPP | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Hakim C.

Hakim C.

The views in this story reveal the storyteller’s experience and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the Michigan League for Public Policy. If you have a story, please share it here.

Michigan remains one of only FIVE states that automatically prosecute all 17-year-olds as adults. This policy is at odds with state laws and national and international policies that declare adulthood to begin at age 18, and is detrimental to the development and rehabilitation of our kids.

As part of the campaign to Raise the Age of juvenile jurisdiction, we’re sitting down with people whose lives have been impacted by the system. Hakim C., now an adult, shared his story with us.

Why do you connect with the Raise the Age campaign?

When I was 17, I was convicted as an adult. At that stage in my life, I was already living on the streets on my own. I had grown up in the mid-80s, the crack era of Detroit. Prison was a part of my community’s culture. It wasn’t like a great tragedy. It was just another neighborhood, another ghetto. I pretty much thought I was an adult because I was living out an adult life. I was a different kid at the time. In my mind, I did not care if I lived or died. I was not emotionally connected.


PrisonPhoto 550x309


After spending four months in the Ingham County Jail, I moved to Milwaukee to get away from it all while I was on probation. In Milwaukee, I was wrongfully convicted for another crime, and because of my past adult offense in Michigan, I received an enhanced sentence.

There is no waiver process for 17-year-olds charged as adults in Michigan, so my adult charge in Michigan made me a repeat offender. I was charged much more harshly in Wisconsin, all for a crime I did not commit.

I spent 15 years in prison, and in that time I woke up. I had to rethink my decisions, and I realized I was completely lost emotionally and mentally. I was about to go to prison for the rest of my life, and I had not even begun my life. The first thing I started to do was change who I was.

How do you think 17-year-olds are affected by adult convictions?

I was locked up with multiple 17-year-olds in Ingham. They were not like me. Mentally, they were not able to process being away from their families. I have seen a lot of psychological break downs. These teens start to get into it with the officers because they cannot relate and communicate. They ultimately find themselves in conflict and being assaulted because they cannot channel their emotional energy.

Most kids going to prison with adults have their lives put in physical danger. But I had already lived a violent life. I was not scared. There were older men in the jail who quickly flocked to me to show me the ropes. There were plenty of people who were looking to take advantage of me. I got in multiple fights. I fought several grown adults in jail after they attempted to take advantage of my youth.

How are you working with teens now?

I work for a nonprofit organization that operates in schools. I am actually the only felon who has been approved to work in a school. In November, I will be teaching an elective class four times a week on the school-to-prison pipeline.

I work with kids who live in tough environments. I work with kids who get shot at school. In order to provide a platform to escape that, we have to change that environment. I was missing true, genuine mentors when I was young. I did not have anyone to look up to. I am trying to fill that gap for other young people.

Why do you believe the law needs to stop treating 17-year-olds as adults?

We should never be treating children as adults, period. We now understand brain development, so we know that students do not develop their full brain capacities until their mid-20s. Young people need their teen years filled with opportunity. They need time to grow into adulthood.

For more information about the Raise the Age campaign, visit

— Hakim C.

An ode to the policies we love

Added February 14th, 2018 by MLPP | Email This Entry Email This Entry

Yes, we’re into data. Yes, we love watching live feeds from the Michigan House and Senate. Yes, we actually enjoy talking about tax policy and reading spreadsheets.

But just because we’re nerds doesn’t mean we don’t have heart. Even though what we work on might seem a little wonkish, the entire reason we do what we do is that we have big hearts and love the people of Michigan and the policies they depend on. And we can even get a little poetic (when we’re forced by the communications director to do so…).  Today, we give you our love letters to policies.

Victoria Crouse

Victoria Crouse

Victoria Crouse, Policy Fellow

Dear DACA,

Thank you for opening this country’s arms to young immigrants, keeping families intact and giving everyone a shot at the American dream



Alicia Guevara Warren

Alicia Guevara Warren

Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count Director

Dear Home Visiting Programs,

How I love the support and coaching that your home visitors give to kids and families every day. I admire the dedication of home visitors and the diverse models with varying focuses and evidence-based results. I am loving that Congress reauthorized funding for five years for MIECHV (Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting).


Gilda Z. Jacobs, President & CEO

Gilda Z. Jacobs

Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO

Dear Supporters of the League,

My heart belongs to you, our dear helpful friends.
You make our work count…on you it depends!

Through fight after fight, through thick and through thin
You give us the strength to help Michigan win.

Renell Weathers

Renell Weathers

Renell Weathers, Community Engagement Director

Heat and Eat, you are so sweet!

Helping seniors and kids stay strong all year long…
with you fully funded, Michigan can’t go wrong!

Thanks, legislators, for keeping Heat and Eat in the budget!

Jenny Kinne

Jenny Kinne

Jenny Kinne, Community Engagement Specialist

I love you, advocates
Please don’t protest my affections!



Alex Rossman

Alex Rossman

Alex Rossman, Communications Director

Healthy Michigan Plan, How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways…

$235,000,000 in state budget savings, 673,000 people you care for, 30,000 new jobs each year…

ONE devoted admirer.

Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Karen Holcomb-Merrill, Vice President

Thank you, racial equity,
Barriers exposed
So we can tear them all down



Rachel Richards

Rachel Richards

Rachel Richards, Legislative Coordinator

Taxes pay for roads…

Taxes pay for schools…

I love paying taxes…

And so should you!

Peter Ruark

Peter Ruark

Peter Ruark, Senior Policy Analyst

 UI is “U” and “I”.

Cutting Unemployment Insurance is a broken promise that breaks my heart.



Emily Schwarzkopf

Emily Schwarzkopf

Emily Schwarzkopf, Policy Analyst

Four failed attempts to repeal you…

Sorry, ACA

Congress just can’t quit you!


Once we finished our love letters, we felt that we still had more affection to express, so we put together some videos to share far and wide!

I need you like working families need the EITC. 

You warm my heart like LIHEAP warms homes.

You feed my soul like SNAP feeds families.

UR my paid sick leave during flu season.

Policies We Love…




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