Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:
Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:
How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?
How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?
Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:
Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).
Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)
Here is the link to our prospectus.
Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.
The Matt Epling Safe School Law is a Michigan law in the state school code, named in honor of Matt Epling who took his own life shortly after his eighth grade year due to bullying. This law includes policy prohibiting bullying , and says that schools should try to prohibit instances of bullying through preventative measures such as annual trainings for teachers and administration and provisions to form bullying prevention task forces. This law helps solidify positive initiatives like “provisions for considering the use of restorative practices in the correction of bullying behavior” and clearly defines different types of bullying and when the school should intervene. Studies show that 82% of LGBTQ youth had problems during the previous year with bullying about their sexual orientation and 64% felt unsafe at school due to sexual orientation. We propose that the “Matt Epling Safe School Law” should include a statement about prohibition of bullying for LGBTQ youth, specifically. School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%, which would make a huge positive impact if the rates decreased this significantly in the LGBTQ community. 28% of students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying, compared with 82% of LGBTQ youth who have reported being bullied. We would like to include the phrase “bullying for LGBTQ students” explicitely in the law and require special education and initiatives to limit the rates of bullying for these students.
The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act is an anti discrimination law that prevents discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations. The issue with this bill is that it applies to discriminations based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, or marital status. However, the Elliott-Larsen act does not protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In specific terms, employers can refuse to hire or fire people, landlords can deny housing opportunities, and businesses can refuse to give service based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender (Michigan Department of Civil Rights Report on LGBT Inclusion, 2013). According to Patrick Gaulier, a case manager of the Ozone House, 66.2% of LGBT students felt discriminated against in school due to their sexual orientation within the state of Michigan. Discrimination at any level is an issue that should be addressed which is we why we propose an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include the terms “sexual orientation as well as “gender identity” as characteristics to which could not be subject to discrimination. There have been previous attempts to amend this law, Sam Singh proposed including the terms “sexual orientation”, “gender expression” and “gender identity” in 2014, however his attempt did not make it past the Michigan House Commerce Committee. With 40% of homeless youth being part of the LGBT community, the time for immediate action is now.
Office of Homeless Youth Creation
In today’s age, there is an “an epidemic of homelessness among LGBTQ youth” all throughout the US. In California, significant funds were recently approved for LGBTQ shelters in response to an “alarming rise of youth homelessness in the state”. Senate Bill 918, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), would create an Office of Homeless Youth to help create goals to end youth homelessness. The legislation would allocate $60 million towards these LGBT shelters. The initiative of SB918 would help to get young people off the streets and provide comprehensive housing services to them, as “line of defense” and a protection source from this terrible situation. Michigan would benefit immensely from legislation similar to what was done in California. Within the state of Michigan there are 38,000 LGBT individuals living on the streets. They are not just lacking shelter, they are also very vulnerable and may have issues of high stress, depression, anxiety and low self esteem. These kids could benefit immensely from a well-known, comfortable and easy to contact and enter, central office, in which they would know that some people in their state have their best interest in mind. This would provide them with just a little for security and peace of mind, and make it easier to be connected to shelters and special services. [STATISTICS about Youth Homelessness]
With the creation of additional shelters, and an office responsible for preventing and supporting homelessness within the LGBT community, we would expect to see lower rates of youth homelessness in addition to a more productive Michigan economy.
Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:
You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.
Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit. In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.
Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?
The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.Preambulatory clauses
These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.
(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)Operative clauses
These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....
(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)Counter-arguments:
What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?
3.Costs and funding:
What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from? Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?
These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.