The Round-Up: What You Need to Know in Politics in 5 Minutes or Less

What's happening in politics? January 2016


President Barack Obama, in his final year of office, will visit the Detroit International Auto Show on Wednesday, January 21. US News & World Report notes that "Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will address the North American International Auto Show on Thursday, discussing government efforts to boost self-driving cars" ahead of Obama's visit.

The Detroit Free Press reported that there is legislation in the works to create a system to lead the financially struggling Detroit Public School District. The proposals would create two school boards: one comprised of individuals appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan and Governor Rick Snyder and another elected by the public. Each board would have different responsibilities and powers.

The Canadian economic climate may increase the amount of funding Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must put forth to fund construction of the planned Gordie Howe International Bridge that will cross the Detroit River and connect Windsor and the Motor City. The bridge will join the Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor Tunnel as local ways to cross over in an automobile. A forth of all goods transferred between the US and Canada goes through the Ambassador Bridge, the Huffington Post reports.

A Detroit artist has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a building her mural is on. If you've driven along John R, you may have noticed the paint-dripped piece of art.

The Detroit Free Press makes a case that Michigan will be an important point of the Republican presidential primary, writing "positioned between southern Super Tuesday and winner-take-all states in Florida and Ohio, Michigan expected to be a key state in race for the Republican nomination."  


The Flint Water Situation Continues. Dangerously high levels of lead were found in Flint's drinking water. These articles from CNN, the Washington Post , and The Atlantic note that the issue prompted Governor Snyder to declare a state of emergency for Genesee County. The government handling of the Flint water issue has fueled heated debate across the country.   

Michigan's ballots will no longer feature straight-ticket voting. No longer will you be able to check a box and vote exclusively for Democratic or Republican candidates with a single check box.


With Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel facing criticism after an unarmed black man was shot and killed by police, some community leaders in the Windy City have chosen to boycott the Mayor's Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.

President Obama gave his final State of the Union Address Tuesday. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan, a Republican, criticized the speech which had mentioned Ryan himself and his attempts to aid the poor.

Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his son to brain cancer last year, is focusing his efforts on leading the quest for a cure for cancer. Obama lent his support in his State of the Union address, saying, “For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all," notes. 

Steve Zoski (@z0ski) manages the volunteer program of the Michigan Science Center, a Midtown Detroit institution that makes STEM learning fun even for a liberal arts guy like himself. He is a proud University of Michigan alum, and is addicted to reading almost as much as he is addicted to coffee. The coolest "person" he knows is actually a dog.