Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogger's Edition of 'Off the Record'

Much apologies for posting this after the fact...

This past weekend I was honored to once again appear on Tim Skubick's 'Off the Record' with Eric B. also of MichiganLiberal and two bloggers from the Right.

We taped the episode a week in advance, so I completely forgot it aired on the 26th until I got admonished by my mother for not letting her know. :-)

If you're so inclined to watch, you can do so through WKAR's website, or download it as a podcast.

Enjoy and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When Government Makes Good Things Happen

Before we all go off and celebrate, there's one final thing to add to the list.

The passing of House Bill 5046, the Restroom Access Bill. Otherwise known as the Bathroom Bill, the bill provides access to bathrooms in retail spaces, providing certain measures can be met by the establishment, to those of us with medical conditions.

The LSJ's John Schneider did a piece this morning about it here. I'd like to thank John personally for his advocacy on the issue.

A Christmas gift to those who gotta go when they gotta go ...

There were plenty of things state legislators should have done, but didn't do, in last week's lame-duck session.

But, in the words of Julielyn Gibbons - a Lansing woman who suffers from Crohn's disease - senators exhibited remarkable "common sense" in passing House Bill 5046, the restroom access bill.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, the bill was pronounced dead. According to Gibbons, a champion of the measure, it was resuscitated around 9 a.m.

Megan Brown, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said Monday the governor intends to sign the bill into law.

And thus compassion and decency - as it applies to this one aspect of human existence, anyway - will be the law of the land.

Introduced as a bill by State Rep. Andy Meisner (D-Ferndale), the law will require retail establishments with employees only bathrooms to open them to people with illnesses that necessitate immediate access to toilets.

Those folks will carry written proof from their doctors, and present it in emergencies.

The law, which also protects retailers from liability, will take effect in 90 days.

It's meant to help people with Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnant women, etc.

Said Gibbons: "I think it's a real victory for those of us with medical conditions that kept us at home. It's another step forward for civil rights."

Last month I wrote about a woman with diabetes who suffered a humiliating accident after a clerk at Williams-Sonoma at the Eastwood Towne Center refused to let the woman use the store's bathroom.

A big thanks also to all of you who called and emailed on behalf of the issue, and to the Lansing-based Rossman Group, for their pro-bono work on the effort.

This is why those of us in politics keep doing what we do, because every so often, something good happens as a result.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Curiosity Abounds; or It's Your Turn to Speak Out

Slump, depression, recession, whatever you call it, times are tough, no where more so than here in Michigan.

We all cut back, tighten the old belt, don't open our wallets quite as often or as wide as before. Sometimes that means cutting back at the grocery store, right now I'm guessing the pile under you Christmas tree will look a little slimmer than years past, as will mine.

But what I'm curious to know is - how has the downward trend in the economy affected the options that you make for yourself in health care?

Do you try to cut back on the number of doctor appointments? Are you trying to make your prescription medicines and nutritional supplements last longer? Have you stopped taking certain meds/supplements?

Has it changed the way you plan for your family, in regards to having children, or how you budget for meals/vacations/gifts/clothes/etc for your family and children?

Similarly, how has the economy affected your health care plan? Has your employer changed plans or stop providing health care?

All information shared will be kept strictly confidential, and you can either leave your responses as a comment, or you can email them directly to me - liberallucy[at]gmail[dot]com

For full-disclosure, my curiosity stems from a discussion I've been having with several fellow female political bloggers on how a poor economy affects healthcare options.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will there be any 'Merry' in Michigan's Christmas?

It's a tough time to live in Michigan, even tougher if you're part of the middle-class, an autoworker, or related to one.

If you've been following along over at MichLib, you heard me share how this holiday is going to be a bit different for my family, as I'm sure it will millions others. Tightening the belt doesn't even begin to describe how many Michiganders are going to juggle a failing economy and the holiday.

With last week's bailout-killing vote by the U.S. Senate Republicans, I was more than mad, I was furious, and frustrated, and sad. I'm not sure what to expect, other than to pray that our entire state doesn't go belly up. I don't think I'm any different than most Michiganders right now. I do feel fortunate that I'm not trying to raise a young family in these tough times, because I simply do not know how I'd ever do it.

Looking past the initial impact of the vote, I took a stab in the dark trying to predict the fallout for Republicans in the coming months and years, particularly here in this state. Survey says: It can't be good.

Either way, I'm trying to find that cheer that usually just automatically comes with the season, but no surprise, this year is proving harder to find it than others.

Here's hoping tomorrow brings more hope, more joy, and more optimism, God knows we can use it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Catching up on the Craziness

Hello again. I've had a chance to take a break from the craziness of politics to rest, and hope you've had the same.

While I've been away, I've collected a smattering of fun/interesting/worthwhile links that I encourage you to check out and support with your voice, or even just a click or two.

Of course, I have to give credit to some of my favorite bloggers, Lex at 60 Second Blog and Christine at My Library Ideas for these great links and also encourage you to stop by and give them a read as well.

Also for this holiday season, things are going to be remarkably different at Casa del Lucy given our state's economy and the fact that I currently have 5 adult relatives unemployed, including my two parents. I imagine that my family is sadly like many others across the Great Lakes State.

Stay tuned as I share thoughts and opinions on what the holidays in Michigan mean to us, and probably most of the rest of the state.

Till then, happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We Did It, Yes We Did!!!

I'm bone tired, sleep-deprived, and can't remember a time I was so excited.

Obama wins

Prop 2 passes

Prop 1 passes

Progressives sweep the State House

Diane Hathaway unseats Cliff Taylor for State Supreme Court

Oakland County elects a Democratic Prosecutor, Treasurer

Amazing, amazing, just amazing.

To all of you out there who helped all of us make Proposal 2 a reality, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Twas the Night before the Election...

It's been a busy place here in Lucy Land these past couple days, but it all boils down to tomorrow. It's both a relief and slightly terrifying at the same time.

Did we reach enough voters? Did we dispel the lies? Did we quiet the fear? Did we touch enough lives?

In my never-ending desire to do more and be more, the quiet answer comes from a far corner in my mind "hopefully" but based on the overall weariness and exhaustion that I physically feel, I know it is really a resounding 'yes'. And I have to be satisfied with that.

So on this election eve, I'm reminded of two seemingly separate but very connected things.
1) This blog is now 2 years (and almost a month) old.
2) Today would have been my grandmother's 93rd birthday.

So why, on the night before such an important day does this matter?

I started this blog way back in 2006 because I wanted to share forward-thinking ideas for our state, and more specifically the mid-Michigan area.
So if you haven't already figured it out - this blog is about how we become closer as a community, stronger as a state, and more invested as global players. You might hear a lot on elections, healthcare, education, the economy, and like any good liberal, I hug a tree or two. Regardless the topic, this blog is bigger than me or my dreams. It's about Michigan, and how we as a community realize our hopes and dreams into a reality for our great state.

In the two years between now and then, that hasn't changed. A lot of other things have changed, but it's still what I believe in and work towards every day.

My grandmother is a big reason why I work so hard each day for justice and rights for all of us. I miss her as much as I did when we first lost her to ALS over 4 years ago. She was a fighter, and each day as I start the day, I'm reminded of her, and all the adversity she over came to fight for others. She's also a big part of why I'm so passionate about Proposal 2 passing.

Like I've said before, I have so much invested in this fight tomorrow. It's so personal, it's so raw, and the very idea that people and an organized faith would work so hard and spend so much money to fight against giving hope to people who suffer as I do and as my grandmother did is at it's very nature offensive. Don't we all deserve at the very least a hope for a good quality of life?

Please, go out and vote, and vote Yes on Proposal 2.