Coalition of Progressive Michigan Organizations Demand “A Budget that Reflects Our Values”

We the People — Michigan
3 min readAug 28, 2020

By 482 Forward, Detroit Action, SEIU Michigan State Council, We the People Michigan, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and Rising Voices of Asian American Families

People line the Capitol Rotunda to protest the lame duck legislation Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. At least 200 gathered in the Capitol and chanted slogans, led by many of the folks in this coalition. Robert Killips | Lansing State Journal

Today, Friday, August 28, 2020, on the heels of the recent state revenue-estimating conference in Lansing, progressive organizations 482 Forward, Detroit Action, SEIU Michigan State Council, We the People Michigan, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and Rising Voices of Asian American Families released the following statement insisting that lawmakers pass a budget that leaves no one behind:

We know that in Michigan, we pull through by pulling together. In times of crisis, we need everyone to pitch in, and a budget that reflects our values. For some of us, that’s putting on scrubs and a face-mask, or teaching students remotely, or stocking grocery store shelves. For the wealthy and big businesses, it means paying their fair share so we care for those who are hardest hit. It’s past time we ensure we have what we need by providing the people who care for, inform, and educate our communities with the resources to do their jobs.

But certain politicians are choosing to divide us in this crisis based on what we look like or where we come from. Will they decide to cut off funding to maintain and expand vital public health, education, and housing services that every Michigander needs to live with dignity? Before Covid-19, wealthy people like Betsy Devos bought new yachts while lobbying their friends in the legislature to slash business taxes and enrich corporations and deny our communities what we need to get and stay well — leaving our schools and infrastructure crumbling, our water systems failing, and our families struggling to put food on the table.

We know that Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield will be working behind closed doors to ram through a budget that harms everyday people. Instead of choosing to fund our schools and ensure Michiganders have a roof over their heads and can see a doctor when they are sick, Shirkey and Chatfield are willing to watch us die, starve, be poisoned, get kicked out of our homes, and packed into crumbling schools.

But we know that we can win by coming together to fight for a better world because we make Michigan. We need a bold, ambitious response to the crisis that strengthens the services we all depend on, like public education and housing support so all Michiganders make it through this crisis and have the ability to live with dignity. For us to continue to call this great place our home, the state legislature and Governor Whitmer must pass a budget that reflects our Michigan values and ensure that each and every one of us can thrive, no exceptions.

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We the People — Michigan

Building multiracial alliances throughout the state of Michigan in order to fight for power and build a proactive vision for what we need and deserve.