In an organization like ours, math matters most. The data and reports our policy analysts use are the backbone of the work we do. Without math, without numbers, we would lack the tools to make a difference in Michigan.
But it’s no secret that I’m not a math major. The numbers that are crunched around the office are certainly the backbone of our work, but the heart of what we do can be found in the words we use. That’s why the League’s blog is so important to me.
Factually Speaking is designed to expose that heart of our work … to share the stories that personalize and humanize our policy issues. Last year, posts from our staff, board members, interns and national partners explored issues that matter to all Michiganders. Sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heart-wrenching, always moving. And you helped prove the power of these posts by reading and sharing them.
Here are our most shared blogs of 2017:
- Investing in infrastructure … just words until you make the human connection: Real people are impacted by the lack of investment in Michigan’s infrastructure. President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs addresses the fact that a state income tax cut would exacerbate those impacts even further, and that roads, water systems, and buildings must be a priority for our state.
- Help protect the Affordable Care Act: League analyst Emily Schwarzkopf, a self-proclaimed “health policy nerd,” shares the top reasons the Affordable Care Act is good for Michigan. This was in January 2017 at the onset of a year-long battle to protect the ACA–one that will continue in 2018.
- Philosophy, career changes and granola bars: How kids can inspire our choices: Our communications associate Laura Ross made a big leap from teaching high school to working with the League. Here, she explores why it was a leap in the right direction.
- Personal tragedies, political failures: Our CEO and President Gilda Z. Jacobs shares how the pain of losing a loved one is compounded when it is caused by bad public policy or inaction by our elected officials.
- Why I have zero tolerance for “zero tolerance”: For this post, I celebrated the end of Michigan’s zero tolerance school discipline policy by taking a walk down memory lane and thinking about some of the less-than-angelic (and thankfully “tolerated”) exploits of my youth.
- Facing the rhetoric about working families and child care: Senior policy analyst Pat Sorenson knows firsthand the struggle of being a working mom, and in this post she writes about how that struggle has only become more difficult in the last two decades.
- 130,000 Michigan workers have had wages stolen by employers: Senior policy analyst Peter Ruark breaks down the many ways in which workers in our state have experienced wage violations. And over 60% of those workers are women.
- Stop and listen: As a community engagement specialist, Jenny Kinne has worked one-on-one with Michigan residents who rely on the policies we support. Here, she shares the ways in which she is humbled by their stories … and how she has learned to put listening first.
- Michigan considering replicating Kansas’ failed tax cut “experiment” (Guest Blog by Michael Mazerov): A major concern in the early months of 2017 was the Michigan Legislature’s consideration of phasing out the state income tax. Because our national partners have seen the disastrous effects of tax cuts like this in other states, several of them were able to weigh in on the ramifications. Michael Mazerov is a Senior Fellow at the national Center on Budget and Policy priorities and explains just how harmful an income tax cut would be for all
- I know it’s cheating in terms of a true “Top Ten” list, but I already said I wasn’t great at math. These blogs were within a few shares of each other, so I decided to include them all:
- CB…oh no?! by policy analyst Emily Schwarzkopf (insights on one of many damning Congressional Budget Office scores of the many ACA repeals);
- Michigan continues to lag behind nationally in outcomes for kids by Kids Count Director Alicia Guevara Warren;
- Unemployed workers falsely accused of fraud need more than just repayment by senior policy analyst Peter Ruark;
- This Thanksgiving, Republicans in Congress offer a recipe for disaster–legislative coordinator Rachel Richards’ warning of the impending and unfortunately successful push to pass an unfair tax plan.
- Weaving a wider safety net is good for all kids AND Help Wanted: Michigan lacks teacher diversity by League communications associate and resident teacher Laura Millard Ross;
In 2017, the League tackled a lot of important issues and did a lot of good work. Our blog is one way we try to capture and communicate that, with backbone and with heart. Thanks for reading and sharing all of these this past year. You are the ones who truly bring these blogs to life.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to subscribe to our blog via email or RSS feed so you can stay up to date on everything we’re working on. And please continue to share them on social media so we can reach a wider audience and generate greater support for the issues we all care so deeply about.
–Alex Rossman, Communications Director