It’s no secret that, since he was elected in 2016, Donald Trump and his administration have consistently chipped away at workers’ rights and the social safety net, undermined environmental protections, and terrorized our immigrant community. Now, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and AG Dana Nessel are fighting back.
In just the last few weeks, Whitmer has issued two executive orders that will help lift up working families across Michigan. First, she chose to raise the asset limit for public assistance, meaning more Michiganders will be able to get the help they need to make ends meet. Last week, she followed that up with an expansion of overtime protections, meaning more salaried workers will be guaranteed fair overtime pay. Nessel has also made workers’ rights a key part of her administration with a new unit dedicated to cracking down on payroll fraud.
Compare that to Trump, whose Department of Labor chose to roll back Obama-era overtime protections and rob working people of fair pay for their extra hours. He’s also pushed cuts to SNAP, which will force more low-income Michiganders to go hungry and put struggling school districts into a position where they may have to go into debt to make sure their students can eat.
Of course, the damage done by the Trump administration isn’t limited to workers’ rights. Under Trump, the EPA seems to have abandoned the “environmental protection” part of its job, as officials continue to roll back important protections against air and water contamination, because what does our health and safety matter when there are profits to be made off pollution?
Meanwhile, Whitmer has passed multiple executive orders meant to clean up our water and make environmental protection a priority. For her part, Nessel has joined numerous lawsuits against the Trump administration EPA sued to shut down Line 5, and worked to hold utility companies accountable.
When it comes to abortion rights, both women have made it clear they stand on the side of reproductive freedom. This week, Whitmer stood with legislators to introduce the Reproductive Health Act, which would expand abortion access and update our state’s outdated laws—and that’s just the latest in a long history of pro-choice actions. Dana Nessel also has our backs and has stated that she would never enforce an abortion ban.
Trump, on the other hand, has relentlessly attacked reproductive freedom, most recently pushing a gag rule that would prevent Title X recipients from giving full, accurate medical information to their patients, a move that has forced Planned Parenthood to turn down federal funding to continue providing quality care.
Some of the Trump administration’s most horrific actions have targeted our immigrant community. From family separation at the border to the Muslim ban to various attacks on legal immigrants, Trump and his officials have made xenophobia and bigotry a central part of their agenda.
Dana Nessel isn’t having it, and she’s used her office to stand up for Michigan’s immigrant community, including joining yet another lawsuit against the Trump administration for violating immigrants’ rights. Gov. Whitmer has also stood with Michigan immigrants, axing a deal for a private immigrant detention center in Ionia and supporting the restoration of driver’s licenses for undocumented folks.
In pretty much every issue area, Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t represent our state’s values. Luckily, Gretchen Whitmer and Dana Nessel do—and we’re glad to have them on our side in this fight.