Christy McDonald: Why it’s time to pay attention to what’s happening in Lansing

‘It’s time to listen and engage’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. ((AP Photo/Al Goldis))

A big night in Lansing on Wednesday when Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave her State of the State address.

It’s the beginning of her second term, the state finally emerging from the COVID pandemic crisis mode. We have a large batch of new legislators, thanks to redistricting.

There is the first female Senate majority leader (Winnie Brinks) and the first Black Speaker of the House (Joe Tate). And Democrats enjoy a slim majority in both houses, along with a Democratic Governor. It’s the makings of a shift in this state we haven’t seen in decades.

Did you watch? Maybe you were shoveling snow. Maybe your candidate didn’t win and you’re not interested. Maybe you’ve given up on politics.

Let me give you a gentle nudge to hit the play button on this page and watch it. It’s time to pay attention to what’s happening in Lansing.

Michigan politics isn’t a game. It’s decisions being made that impact everything we do – from our taxes to reproductive choices. The state has a massive surplus ($9+ billion) and some once in a generation funding to reshape how we want life in Michigan to be.

How much will we spend on education? What’s the philosophy behind economic incentives to land new businesses? What kinds of business do we want here?

How do we train a skilled workforce? Is gun control (universal background checks, safe storage) important to us? How will we retain teachers, improve student scores?

Are there better solutions to raising money to fix the roads? Are we investing enough in our cities and townships to make them great places to live?

Once we think about these questions, it’s time to listen and engage. Know your state representative and senator. Tell them what you’d like to see happen.  They work for you and your input is more important than you know.

Here are Local 4 we’re going to do our part to help you keep on top of what is happening in Lansing and the major decisions that are being made. You’ll see reports throughout the week, and Devin Scillian’s Flashpoint on Sunday mornings always brings some political perspective to what is happening.

Tell me what you’re most concerned about in the comments below, and feel free to email your thoughts any time.

About the Author:

Christy McDonald is an Emmy-Award winning TV anchor and journalist who has covered news in Detroit and Michigan for 25 years before joining WDIV in 2022.