Each week Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, join us to take a look at Michigan politics. 

In the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, Gov. Rick Snyder called for a pause on efforts to admit Syrian refugees into the U.S. and Michigan. Snyder says while he eventually wants to allow Syrian refugees to settle in the state, he first wants the federal government to review their security protocols for assigning refugee status.


Some Michigan county law enforcement agencies must return surplus military gear to the US government, and they’re not happy about it.

Macomb County is one of three in Michigan to get an armored personnel carrier through a former federal program that transferred unneeded war gear from federal to state and local agencies.

Eric Constantineau / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM / cropped from original

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has issued a reminder in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.

They want people to take a stand against retaliatory violence and discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans.

Earlier this week, the FBI office in Detroit issued a statement that it's investigating anti-Muslim threats against Dearborn.

Islamophobia harms the fearful as much as the feared

Nov 19, 2015
flickr user JMacPherson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

The ISIS attacks in Paris triggered fresh waves of fear and suspicion aimed at Muslims.

In just one example, the FBI is now investigating a Michigan woman regarding a tweet she sent out the day after the Paris attacks:

“Dearborn, MI has the largest Muslim population in the United States. Let’s f--- that place up and send a message to ISIS. We’re coming.”

From a local tweet like that to CNN anchors questioning why no one in the French Muslim community spoke up to warn of the Paris attacks, the shock waves of fear and paranoia can be felt resonating far and wide.

Raed / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Rahmaa Institute, a Michigan-based, Muslim-oriented family counseling non-profit group, is distributing safety advice to Muslim organizations in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.

The Institute's founder, Khalid Iqbal, said the best way for Muslims to combat fear and backlash is to reach out to their non-Muslim neighbors so they get to know each other.

UNHCR / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Activists have delivered thousands of signatures to Gov. Rick Snyder urging him to welcome more Syrian refugees. Snyder says he’s “pausing” his efforts to attract additional Syrian refugees to Michigan after last week’s attacks in Paris.

Julie Quiroz of Ann Arbor started an online petition asking the governor to reconsider. She says she didn’t expect it to get so much attention.

flickr user Gunner's Pixs / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Venice Biennale is considered the world’s top tier architecture show, and the city of Detroit will be in the spotlight when it opens next May.

That’s because the focus of the U.S. exhibition will be Detroit. The exhibit’s co-curators are Monica Ponce de Leon and Cynthia Davidson.

Bytemarks / flickr

In 2016,  the U.S. economy will grow at the fastest pace in 10 years, according to the University of Michigan's annual economic forecast.

They're also predicting annual unemployment will drop below 5% next year, for the first time since 2007.

The forecasters say nearly five million new jobs will be added over the next couple of years, which could be especially good news for part-time workers seeking full-time jobs.

"For us to turn our backs on people now, I think is just to abdicate what it means to be an American."

That's what  Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell tells Stateside host Cynthia Canty.

The Mayor of Michigan's second-largest city recently addressed the Grand Rapids City Commission after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

William Melendez in court.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Former Inkster police officer William Melendez has been found guilty on two of the three charges against him.

In January, Melendez pulled over and arrested Floyd Dent, 57, of Detroit for cocaine possession and resisting arrest. Dashcam footage later revealed how Melendez beat Dent during the arrest.


Issues & Ale – Flint’s Water Crisis

Tuesday, December 1, 7:00-8:30 PM Redwood Brewery, Flint