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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency is giving the city of Flint and the state of Michigan until early next year to get its plans in place for switching to the KWA water pipeline.

Eventually, the city of Flint’s tap water will come from the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline. But the EPA says there are a few things that have to happen first.   

Mistakes made the last time Flint tried treating its own drinking damaged pipes with leached lead into the tap water. 

A demolition in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

A federal investigation into Detroit’s demolition program under Mayor Mike Duggan seems to be picking up speed, and possibly widening in scope.

Federal agents visited the Detroit land bank Wednesday.

The land bank has used almost $130 million in federal money, originally allocated for foreclosure prevention, on demolitions as part of Duggan’s aggressive blight elimination campaign.

“The biggest fear is that we would go backwards into fear rather than forward into hope. That we’d go backwards into polarization, not forward into unity. We’ve made an awful lot of progress in the last 50 years, and that progress is now threatened.”
Laura Weber / MPRN

 

A week ago, we woke up to the news that Donald Trump is our president-elect.

Since that day, we’ve seen a flood of reported hate incidents across the country.

Antonin / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Like their national counterparts, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Planned Parenthood of Michigan  have seen dramatic increases in contributions  in the week since Election Day to help them fight any efforts by the Trump administration to undermine their causes.  

"Given the very overt threats to our work and the women we serve throughout the campaign, people turned to Planned Parenthood and felt like what they could do is offer their time and their resources," said Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Election 2016 triggered anti-Trump protests and vigils across the country, including some on college campuses in Michigan.

For This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss how schools should handle that conversation and the responsibilities of community leaders in places where post-election threats and bullying have occurred.

They also discuss Gov. Rick Snyder's trip to China and his priorities as he heads into the final two years of his term.


The RTA identified the Michigan Avenue Corridor as one of the areas that would have benefited from a regional transit system, had the millage passed.
Regional Transit Authority

It's back to the drawing board for those who've been working towards a true regional transportation system for Southeast Michigan.

A slim majority of voters across Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties last week rejected the regional transit millage. And it will be two years before the RTA can try again.

Stateside was joined by the President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Baruah, who had been hoping the RTA millage would pass. 

Flint city leaders say water crisis is far from over

Nov 15, 2016
What caused the Flint water crisis? Rick Sadler from Michigan State University argues the true cause of Flint's water disaster goes back decades.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's water crisis became national news last year, but city officials want you to know it's still not fixed yet.

This week, Congressman Dan Kildee introduced new legislation to improve lead standards in drinking water, and the Flint city council approved Mayor Karen Weaver's renewal of emergency status for Flint.

Weaver says city residents still don't have safe tap water.

“In case somebody doesn't know, unfortunately the fact of the matter is that we still cannot drink our water without a filter,” Weaver says. "And that’s a huge issue.”

Portland General Electric / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Last week, amid the frenzy that followed the presidential election, the Michigan Senate passed a pair of bills that would mean a dramatic overhaul of Michigan’s energy policy. The bills, which still have to make it through the Michigan House of Representatives, would be the first new energy policy in Michigan since 2008.

We spoke with Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s Lansing Bureau Chief, about the new legislation. He told us that, although the two bills both had bipartisan support and passed by wide margins, they also have detractors.

Courtesy Photo

For the first time in 28 years a majority of Michigan voters chose a Republican president.

Although low voter turnout in big, democratic strongholds like Flint and Detroit played a role, exit polling shows rural voters turned out in record numbers to flip Michigan for Trump.

With the first female presidential candidate on the ballot this election, it was widely expected women would turnout in large numbers for Hillary Clinton. Most did. But exit polls still show 42% of women backed Trump. White, non-college educated women voted for Trump 2 to 1.

 

Today, we discuss the reports of harassment and intimidation in the days after the presidential election. We also learn what history may tell us about that election and the turmoil left in the aftermath of such a long, tough campaign.

raquel4citycouncil.org / Facebook

There’s no sign that Detroit will change any of its immigrant-friendly policies as a result of Donald Trump’s election, according to one City Council member who has helped spearhead some of them.

Detroit is a self-designated “sanctuary city.” Those cities offer limited protections to undocumented immigrants.

Trump has pledged to cancel federal funding to all sanctuary cities during his first 100 days in office.

But Detroit City Council member Raquel Castañeda Lopez said there are no plans to change anything—yet.

screen grab from 60 Minutes / CBS News

Over the last week since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election, there have been an increase in the number of reports of harassment and bullying directed at students of color and religious minorities.

Speaking to Lesley Stahl last night on CBS' 60 Minutes, President-elect Donald Trump addressed the recent incidents.

Trump said he was "saddened" by the news and implored people to "stop it".

Donald Trump doesn't take the oath of office for 49 days but he's already used Twitter to send some crystal clear messages to business and unions.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

 

There’s no better way to understand what lies ahead than to take a look at our history.

Gleaves Whitney sat down with us today to talk about what history might tell us about Donald Trump’s Election Day victory and the turmoil and division that’s been left in the wake of this long, tough campaign.

Courtesy of Dawud Walid

In the past week, middle school students in Royal Oak chanted “Build the Wall,” a Canton police officer was suspended over a racist Facebook post, and a University of Michigan student reported she was confronted by a man who threatened to set her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab.

These are just some of the incidents reported since last week’s election of Donald Trump, which came after a long campaign that often focused on Muslims.

University of Michigan Provost Martha Pollack
Cornell University

University of Michigan provost Martha Pollack will become Cornell University's 14th president. 

Cornell University made the announcement today. She is expected to assume the presidency of Cornell on April 17, 2017. Cornell began searching for a new president after the death of their previous president, Elizabeth Garrett, last March.

More from Pollack:

After Tuesday’s historic election, Republicans will continue their firm control of Lansing.

Going into last week, predictions, even among Republicans, were that the GOP would lose at least some seats in the state House of Representatives. There were times, in fact, during the campaign, that some even wondered whether Democrats might take control of the House.

Graph showing racial attacks and harassment since Election Day.
Souther Poverty Law Center

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights continues to receive increased reports of harassment and bullying directed at students of color and religious minorities following Tuesday's election.

Agustin Arbulu is the director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. He says many of the attacks are related to things President-elect Donald Trump said throughout his campaign.

“I think this election had a very negative climate for people on both sides, so it’s not surprising that there are people struggling with the result,” he says.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator says there are some things that Congress has to address when it returns to work this week.  

Sen. Debbie Stabenow says her top priority during Congress’ lame duck session will be lining up federal money for Flint.

“We have a promise that was made to me by the Speaker of the House and the Republican Majority Leader that before the end of this year we would pass the money that’s critical to fixing the pipes in Flint,” says Stabenow.

Protesters also chalked anti-hate messages outside Royal Oak Middle School.
Alexis Gentile / via Facebook

Protesters have taken to streets across the country to express their displeasure with President-elect Donald Trump.

That includes some who gathered to speak out and march in Metro Detroit last night.

In Royal Oak, the group gathered outside Oakland Community College was fairly small, but they did draw lots of supportive honks.

Some shared their anger over Trump’s election—and their determination to resist his policies.

Others spoke about fear of harassment and physical attacks against Muslims, immigrants and other targets of Trump’s rhetoric.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

In this Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the results of Election 2016, now that the dust has had time to settle.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says the city will do everything it can to abide by a federal judge’s order that bottled water should be delivered to households in need.   

Flint residents have been relying on water from distribution centers for nearly a year, since lead contaminated the city’s tap water. But what has become a daily chore for many in Flint can be too taxing for the elderly and disabled.

Mayor Karen Weaver says the city will reach out to the state for help, though she says bottled water is still only a “temporary fix.”  

Today, we hear one veteran explain why women's military service deserves more recognition. And Congresswoman Debbie Dingell describes how she saw the Trump victory coming.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is warning its delinquent commercial water customers that it’s time to pay up or risk being shut off.

City workers were out Friday posting shutoff notices on commercial properties with past due accounts.   Apartment complexes are among those getting the notices.

“What these landlords are doing is wrong,” Mayor Karen Weaver says. “Some owners haven’t paid the city of Flint for utility services since 2015.”

The city is trying to avoid shutting off water service which would force renters out.

Gary Elrod / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The new international trade crossing between Detroit and Windsor seemed to be making all kinds of progress. In 2015, the Canadian government agreed to pick up Michigan’s share of the Gordie Howe Bridge’s cost, removing a major hurdle to the project’s completion.

While the Canadians were at work building approaches on their side of the Detroit River, Michigan was supposed to be purchasing the necessary property to do the same on the U.S. side.

But somewhere along the way, progress stalled. 

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Time for another look at the week in politics with Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas.

There have been protests against the election of Donald Trump around Michigan and across the nation.

Many Republicans see these protesters as little more than sore losers throwing a fit.

Flickr user Presidio of Monterey / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In recent years, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been taken a lot more seriously. But, the general public is often not aware of the struggles returning veterans have with the disorder.

Stephanie Shannon is a veteran of Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations during the first Gulf War. She’s the founder and CEO of Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment and she joined Stateside to talk about how women who fight for our country deserve more recognition for their service. 

Courtesy of Saladin Ahmed

 

The election of Donald Trump as president is a concern for a number of people. Trump has singled out Muslims as people he wants to stop from immigrating to the United States.

A Detroit native, Saladin Ahmed is an Arab American science fiction and fantasy writer. In the past, his family has been target by Islamophobic bigots, including the burning of a community center that helped Arab immigrants. His family founded that center.

Ahmed joined us today.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Atlantic Council / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Pundits and pollsters are trying to figure out how they miscalled the presidential race. So many were nearly certain Hillary Clinton would win.

In a Washington Post opinion piece Member of Congress Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, says she knew Clinton was in trouble. She said so at the time. Her fellow Democrats didn’t listen.

Jeremy Sorrells / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The 2016 presidential election was one of the tightest in history, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Michigan.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, Donald Trump won the state by only 13,107 votes. That’s a tiny .27 percent margin, the closest in state history.

When was the last time a race was so close in Michigan? Way back in 1940.  

Refugee children play in Warren, MI in 2015.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

What will happen to U.S. policy toward Syrian refugees when Donald Trump takes over as president?

That’s what Michigan’s refugee community, and the agencies that help to resettle them, are waiting to find out.

Trump repeatedly depicted Syrian refugees as terrorist threats on the campaign trail, and threatened to “stop Syrian refugees” from entering the country more than once.

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