This is the Michigan work ethic. It has been a common theme in Michigan economic success stories for generations, from the storefront to the boardroom, from the farm to the factory floor.
This is Michigan’s civil rights legacy. Long before the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) was enacted in 1976, Michigan was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, protecting its citizens and working to treat all people equally and fairly under the law. This is a legacy of which all Michiganders can be proud.
Together, our Michigan work ethic and our adherence to ideas of basic fairness and equality have been a cornerstone for our economy, creating jobs, opening opportunities, encouraging investment and supporting families.
Updating ELCRA to include the sexual orientation and gender identity of Michigan residents strengthens that cornerstone at the very time Michigan is pushing hardest toward economic recovery.
The Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition is a partnership of business leaders representing companies large and small, associations and chambers of commerce who have come together around the goal of updating Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Who is the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition?
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce
Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan*
Chrysler Group LLC
Clark Hill PLC
Detroit Medical Center
Detroit Regional Chamber
Detroit Venture Partners, LLC
The Dow Chemical Company*
Dow Corning Corporation
Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance
Henry Ford Health Systems
Infinity and Ovation Yacht Charters
Irwin Seating Company
Issue Media Group
Lake Superior Community Partnership
Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
Mayotte Group Architects
Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators
Michigan Association of School Boards
Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Community College Association
Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance
Pepper Hamilton LLC
Petoskey Chamber of Commerce
President's Council, State Universities of Michigan
Professional Property Management
Public Policy Associates
The Right Place
Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce
Sam Bernstein Law Firm
Slow’s Bar BQ
Southwest Michigan First
Strategic Staffing Solutions*
WW Group, Inc.
Wood Temporary Staffing
Cindy Pasky, CEO
Strategic Staffing Solutions
Jim Murray, CEO
AT&T of Michigan
Kary Moss, Exec. Director
ACLU of Michigan
Brian Walker, CEO
Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan
Jewish Community Council of Metro Detroit
Jewish Federation of Ann Arbor
Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Michigan League for Public Policy
Plymouth United Church of Christ
* Founding member
Leaders of businesses large and small, along with a large and growing bipartisan majority of Michigan residents agree: updating the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, and now is the right time to do it.
It is right because everyone in Michigan, whatever race, gender, religion, physical characteristics, sexual orientation or gender identity deserves to be treated fairly and equally under the law.
It is smart because Michigan’s continued economic growth relies on keeping and attracting talented, hard working, determined people… Michiganders who take pride in their contributions and invest their time and talents in their work and their communities.
It is the time because we have already waited too long. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Michiganders know this. Voters understand this. Economic growth needs this. And simple fairness requires this.
A: The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) is Michigan’s version of the federal Civil Rights Act.
Under ELCRA, it’s illegal to subject people to differential treatment based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. The ELCRA prohibits employers from discriminating in hiring, compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment.
A: Contrary to what an overwhelming majority of business owners and residents think, it is currently legal in Michigan to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or lesbian. First, this is simply unfair. Second, it is bad for business and bad for Michigan as we compete with other states for talented, well-educated and hard working employees to help drive Michigan’s economic comeback.
A: Research shows an overwhelming majority of Michigan residents support updating ELCRA, and many communities across Michigan have already acted to update their civil rights ordinances on this issue. In addition, surveys of small business owners show that a strong majority support striking this important balance.
As leaders in Michigan and leaders in business, updating ELCRA is the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for our economy, and now is the right time to do it.
A: The Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition is coalition of business leaders from Michigan companies, associations and chambers of commerce who have come together around the goal of working with public policy makers to update the ELCRA to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
A: Together, our Michigan work ethic and our adherence to ideas of basic fairness and equality have been a cornerstone for our economy, creating jobs, opening opportunities, encouraging investment and supporting families. Updating ELCRA to include the sexual orientation and gender identity of Michigan residents strengthens that cornerstone at the very time Michigan is pushing hardest toward economic recovery.
Put plainly, Michigan’s continued economic growth relies on keeping and attracting talented, hard working, determined people. Updating ELCRA will help do that.
September 30, 2014
Petoskey News Review, Aug. 20, 2014