You are hereWelcome to the New Year!

Welcome to the New Year!

Gretchen Whitmer - Michigan Senate Democratic Leader
January 1, 2013

Friends –

Let’s face it, 2012 was a year full of frustrations inside Michigan’s Capitol. We saw our Speaker of the House admit to playing a role in an election rigging scandal. We watched as our Governor lied to Michigan’s public and locked them out of the Capitol as he pushed through his politically fueled agenda. And we spoke out in protest time and time again as legislation was passed that took money away from middle-class families, kids and our communities to give it away instead to those already at the top.

Yet as difficult a year as 2012 was, ringing in the new year today provides us with an opportunity to focus on hope once again and discuss the positive action that Michigan must now take to make 2013 the beginning of a real change for our state and our families.
I believe we can turn Michigan around by reinvesting in what makes us great and that starts with our kids.

My Democratic colleagues and I have put forward a plan, the Michigan 2020 Plan, that would move Michigan to the head of the class by giving each and every high school graduate the opportunity to attend college and have it paid for in its entirety. It’s a plan economists, educators, parents and students all agree is the right plan to bring jobs to our state and provide a better future for our next generation. It's a plan we can, and must, take action on.

I believe we can support our middle-class families by creating fair tax policies, not ones that give handouts to those at the top.

We can grow, not cut, the programs that get our unemployed and underemployed workers retrained and back on their feet so that they can find new jobs and new opportunities for themselves and their families.

I believe we can open our doors to graduates and young professionals by fostering the redevelopment going on in our urban areas and creating the atmosphere they look for when deciding where to work, live and start their own families.

We can foster an environment that welcomes the gay and transgender communities here to our state instead of inventing new reasons for them to leave.

And we can make it perfectly clear that there are opportunities here in Michigan that don’t exist anywhere else in the world for people, all people, to succeed in their own personal pursuit of happiness.

We can do all of these things, but only if we have the courage and the strength of character to make it happen.

I hope that Governor Snyder uses the New Year to think long and hard about what’s happened in Michigan’s Capitol over the past two years and spend some time talking, and more important, listening to the people he represents.

They are asking us to be leaders. They are asking us to be bold. They are asking us to make Michigan a place we can all be proud of again.

The voices of those I’ve had an opportunity to speak with in recent weeks would suggest that the Governor has been anything but that.

I believe we can do better. Let’s make 2013 the year we demand better!


Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Senate Democratic Leader