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February 28, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-28

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4 - Friday, February 28, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

4 - Friday, February 28, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

4e Mitigan :at'619
Edited and managed by students at
the University ofMichigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Updating an outdated law
Michigan must include the LGBTQ community in the ELCRA
recent Gallup poll revealed glaring discrepancies between
public perception and the realities of anti-discrimination
laws in the state of Michigan. While nine out of 10 people
mistakenly believe protections exist for members of the LGBTQ
community, current laws are disgracefully outdated and do not
encompass guarantees for LGBTQ citizens. The Elliot-Larsen Civil
Rights Act - Michigan's anti-discrimination law - provides protection
to individuals on the basis of numerous categories. Yet, individuals
who identify as - or are even suspected of being - homosexual,
transgendered or bisexual continue to face the unjust possibility of
being denied employment, housing or access to public accommodations.
To ensure the equality and fundamental rights of all members of the
state, Michigan needs to amend the ELCRA to be more inclusive.

The role of Detroit's fellowship programs

peaking on campus earlier
this month at the Ross School
of Business, Republican Gov.
Rick Snyder
students - a
sizable portion
of the 300
attendees inBlau
Auditorium - to
remain in-state
after graduation,ALEXANDER
emphasizing HEXANNE
opportunities HERMANN
in Detroit in
It's a script Snyder has repeated
frequently since assuming office
- why be just another yuppie in
Chicago when you can make a real
difference in Detroit?
Further, Snyder contends that
many recent graduates and young
professionals simply aren't aware
of the opportunities available to
them here.
And he's right.
There are numerous unique
opportunities in Detroit meant
to attract young professionals
seriously considering relocating to
the Motor City for the first time or
those who might otherwise depart
for greener pastures.
Consider, for example,
Challenge Detroit, a "leadership
and professional development"
fellowship that pairs 30
participants from across the
country with Detroit-based
employers in every industry and
sector. Fellows become immersed
in Detroit's social scene, volunteer
opportunities, and leadership and
networking events. Challenge
Detroit is accepting applications
through March 9, and is an excellent
prospect for graduating students
looking to jumpstart a career while
making a difference in the city.
The program is only one of
several fellowships providing
incentives for young professionals
to broadly impact Detroit.
The Detroit Revitalization

Fellows Program similarly matches
development professionals with
key economic and community
development agencies across
the city. The D:hive Residency
Program is also specifically tailored
to attract recent graduates with
limited professional experience to
If nothing else, these programs
contribute to and accelerate the
promising trend in Detroit's urban
core that's currently witnessing a
much-needed talent infusion.
According to "7.2 SQ MI: A
Report on Greater Downtown
Detroit," in 2011 nearly 1,000
young professionals - defined
as 25- to 34-year-olds with
bachelor's degrees - were selected
for three-month to two-year
fellowships and internships in
Detroit through programs like
Challenge Detroit, the D:hive
residency, Teach for America
and the Detroit Revitalization
Fellows. Additionally, the
report - commissioned by the
Hudson-Webber Foundation
and other partners a year ago
- claims that over 2,600 young
professionals reside in the 7.2-
mile area comprising Detroit's
Greater Downtown, including
the Central Business District and

that these positive developments
are no substitute for a cohesive
agenda that strengthens Detroit
neighborhoods and simultaneously
builds capacity outside the
immediate downtown-area
to complement urban core
As Thomas Sugrue, author of
"The Origins of the Urban Crisis:
Race and Inequality in Postwar
Detroit" - to many, the book on
Detroit - recently talked with the
Detroit Free Press about the city's
"The future of a city, if it's going
to be successful, the future of
Detroit is going to be improving the
everyday quality of life for residents
who are living a long way from
downtown and a long way from
Midtown, who probably aren't ever
going to spend much time listening
to techno or sipping lattes,"
Sugrue said.
But with the right energy and
a commitment to social justice,
young professionals can certainly
make meaningful progress
benefitting everyone in the city.
For example, 24 of 27 fellows from
Challenge Detroit's inaugural
cohort remained in Detroit.
And of all the fellowship
programs mentioned above -

As a result of Michigan's "at-will" law,
employers don't need to provide a justification
for firing an employee. Similarly, the absence
of protections under the ELCRA allows
LGBTQ members to be denied access to
restaurants and hotels. Michigan's lack of
protections demonstrates that the state's
legislation is archaic compared to the
advancements in many parts of the country.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced
in February that the Obama administration's
decision to extend equal rights to legally
married same-sex couples in federal matters.
Likewise, discrimination on the basis of sexual
orientation is outlawed in 21 states and the
District of Columbia, with 17 states instituting
protections on the basis of gender identity.
Whilea sizable portion of the United States
is proactive inits efforts to guarantee equality,
Michigan currently possesses a subpar set
of protections. Select municipalities in the
state - all of which are located in the lower
peninsula of Michigan - enforce LGBTQ
protections for citizens at the local level.
However, these laws vary greatly between
cities on both the type of discrimination and
the identities they protect. Citizens shouldn't
need to worry about whether their rights will
be encroached upon or denied if they leave

a particular city and travel elsewhere in the
state. Unified and comprehensive legislation
is needed in order to ensure the rights of all
Michigan citizens.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder needs to
stop relying on local governments to handle
these issues and should instead push state
legislators to create a comprehensive plan.
Earlier this year, Snyder was reported
to have had "a number of other things ...
as priorities" when he was questioned
about his lack of a stance on issues such as
LGBTQ employment discrimination and gay
marriage. Michigan can't continue to allow a
portion of its citizens to suffer under unfair
legislation. The state should follow in the
steps of California and Massachusetts, which
guarantee LGBTQ members equal access to
housing, employment, government services,
marriage and adoption rights.
At a time when the rest of the country is
moving forward and growing more open to
equal rights for LGBTQ members of society,
Michigan is severely lagging behind. Granting
full equality protection to LGBTQ citizens
is an initiative a majority of voters approve
of. Updating the ELCRA will help Michigan
become more inclusive and propel the state into
a leadership role in the battle for equal rights.

several adjacent
Similarly, 95
percent of
rentals in
Midtown and
have remained
since 2012
and currently
hover near 98


from Teach
for America
h the right energy in Detroit
to D:hive to
a commitment to Challenge
a . c y Detroit to
,al justice, young the Detroit
rofessionals can Revitalization
Fellows -
Make progress. none has been
around longer

percent, even as prices have risen,
due in large part to the interest of
young professionals. Improving the
population's education, occupancy
and rental rates represents
important signs of progress in a city
that needs these short-term wins.
But one must caution, of course,

than four years.
These impacts will only improve
and become more obvious as these
programs leave their infancy, and
past participants advance even
further in their careers.
- Alexander Hermann can be
reached at aherm@umich.edu.

Sochi: the disaster we wailted

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
I thought I had more time

As the cleanup in Sochi continues
this week, the impending disaster
that had been so frequently dis-
cussed before the event has been
averted. There wasn't a terrorist
attack, the facilities were finished,
and, by and large, everything ran
smoothly - so much smoother than
we wanted.
In the lead-up to the Winter
Games in Sochi, the negative press
surrounding the games was stag-
gering. Everything ranging from
Russian legislation against homo-
sexuality, to the mismanagement
of funds and allegations of cor-
ruption. Even the poor stray dogs
of Sochi made headlines, with the
discovery of a Russian plan to elimi-
nate the feral population before the
arrival of hundreds of thousands of
tourists, many with a penchant for
petting animals on the streets with-
out a second thought to the pos-
sible health risks the animals carry.
Following the coverage closely, I
started to believe that we wanted
something bad to happen.
To our delight, we whetted our
palate with proof of the imminent
disaster as the press arrived in
Sochi. Photos and comments began
pouring out from the press about
the "conditions" in Sochi. "Sochi
Disaster" started trending on Twit-
ter. Looking closer at many of the
"issues," things like not being able
to flush toilet paper or the tap water
being undrinkable aren't really
characteristics of a lack of prepa-
ration or any form of disaster, but
conditions that exist in most devel-

oping nations. It's frankly embar-
rassingthatthese minor peccadillos
captured the imagination of the
Western public. A great deal of the
world's population lives in condi-
tions similar to these. I suppose
Russia should offer a heartfelt apol-
ogy to the journalists, because the
hotels in Sochi weren't, in fact, the
Hilton in London or the Marriott in
New York City. I'm sorry that Russia
wasn't as nice as Vancouver in 2010
or Turin before that. But things are
looking up! South Korea is next and
perhaps they are developed enough
for the press.
But unlike similar or worse condi-
tions that were rampant at the 2010
World Cup in South Africa (which
caused an influx of more than
40,000 prostitutes in the country),
Russia is somehow held responsible
for being different. Even as the ice
has all but melted from the Cold
War, the West still takes an adver-
sarial approach to Russia. Putin has,
without a doubt, tyrannical tenden-
cies and his regime should be open
to criticism, but belittling Sochi for
some non-functional toilets or bro-
ken curtains is nothing but Western
elitism. We live in a world with lin-
gering Cold War prejudices, a world
in which the average American still
views the average Russian as their
backwards rival.
Yet as the American media
throws allegations of corruption
on Russian officials in Sochi, they
seemed to have conveniently forgot-
ten the allegations of bribery that
accompanied the Winter Games in

Salt Lake City in 2002. So severe
were those offenses that several
members of the Olympic Interna-
tional Committee, the governing
body of the Olympics, were forced
to resign. Good thing Mitt Romney
was there save the day.
We are also quick to forget our
own sordid history with homo-
sexuality. Michigan and 16 other
states still have a law banning sod-
omy. It took a Supreme Court case
in 2003 to overturn these laws.
While no longer enforceable, these
laws remain on the books in these
states, and little effort is being made
to change or amend them. The laws
that caused such protest in Russia
are arguably less severe than the
law Michigan lawmakers crafted.
There's an old line of jokes that
go something like "In Russia, car
drives you!" focusing on the overall
backwardness of the nation. Inter-
estingly, a minor amendment could
make this remark applicable for the
United States. "In the United States,
media drives you!" We listen to the
media and it drives our perception
on what will or should happen. The
Western media's complaints are
shameful and show how spoiled
and disconnected we really are. The
disaster the media wanted, that it
marketed so fiercely to the public,
didn't happen. I guess there's some
truth in one of these jokes. Although
driverless cars may be right around
the corner.
Matthew Manning is a graduate
student in the School of Public Policy.

This weekend, I won't be waiting in the
line at Skeep's. I won't be relaxing at home,
binge-watching "House of Cards" on Netflix.
I won't celebrate the end of midterms with
friends. Instead, I will celebrate the life of my
grandmother. I will go home Friday morning,
I will sit with my family in an impersonal room
in the intensive care unit of St. John's Hospital
in Warren, Mich., and I will watch one of the
most important people in my life take her last
breath as she is taken off of life support.
I don't write this so you pity me. I write
this for my own sense of closure.
I last spoke to my grandmother on
Valentine's Day, when I called to see if she had
any plans with friends, or with my parents, or
my uncle, because I worried about her being
alone. She didn't. She said she mightvisit with
my papa, in the cemetery where he's laid for
the past four years. I felt guilty, I remember. I
had plans with my living, breathing boyfriend
that night. I have yet to visit papa at his grave.
She asked me about all the developments in
my life, which I was all too excited to share.
I rambled on about my work at the Daily,
and my internship for the coming summer
and all of the amazing, coming-of-age
milestones that were consuming my life. Out
of obligation, Iasked her what was new in her
life. Nothing much, she said.
Even now as I try so hard to remember
every last word she said to me, I can't. I told
her I couldn't wait to see her in two weeks,
when I would be home for spring break. That
didn't seem so long away at the time.
My grandma, my nana, was stubborn.
She was proud, and she had strong beliefs
and she was good and giving. There were
many moments when we didn't get along,
but there were so many more when we did.
I loved listening to stories about her life
growing up, and about her family and papa,
and everything else. My biggest regret, the

irony of which is not lost on me as I attempt
to establish myself as a journalist, is that I did
not ask her more questions.
How many nights did I spend scrolling
through my Twitter feed or locked in
my room, as she sat in my living room,
anticipating conversation and company? How
did I not realize that she was so much more
interesting than whatever fashion blog I was
reading, that her nights were so much more
precious than mine, so much more finite?
I had been meaning to sit her down to
make a family tree, before all of the faces and
names that had once defined her life were
replaced with the absence of mind that so
often accompanies old age. I thought I had
more time.
My only solace is knowing that the last
conversation my parents had with her was
a happy one. My mother bought her a ticket
to Florida, where we are traveling for Spring
Break, scheduled to leave this Sunday. They
asked if they should get insurance for her
plane ticket. She said no.
This weekend, I don't want to go home. I
don't want to go to the hospital, I don't want
to see the rest of my family, I don't want to sift
through Nana's belongings and I don't want to
face my friends and pretend everything is ok.
I do want Nana pestering me again to peel
the potatoes at Thanksgiving, even though
the turkey won't be done cooking for another
hour. I do want to miss 15 minutes of family
movie night to make her coffee, and I want
to be sent back to the kitchen to put the right
amount of cream into the steaming cup. I
want to explain to her, again, the difference
between the Internet in general and
Facebook specifically, and I want to call her
on Valentine's Day every year for the next 20.
I don't want to say goodbye.
Alicia Adamczyk is an LSA senior.




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