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Jan 18, 2024

In this week's episode, host Ryan Connerty speaks with Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, who shares the state’s ambitious policy goals, discusses her keys to achieving bipartisan results, and talks about how Michigan is protecting the integrity of its elections. The first woman to lead the Michigan Senate, Brinks rose to public office as the result of a last-minute write-in campaign. Despite never intending to run for office and viewing herself as an "unlikely" politician, Senator Brinks is driven by her experiences as one of five children growing up on her family's dairy farm and is dedicated to shaping policy that provides a safety net for families. Ryan and Senator Brinks reflect on Michigan Democrats' exciting wins on gun safety, reproductive rights, and renewable energy in 2023 and how Brinks hopes to build on these accomplishments in 2024, while continuing to find areas of bipartisan agreement. She also offers a view of the November elections from the Great Lakes State, highlighting the ways that effective Democratic policies are rising above Republican chaos. Tune in to hear Senator Brinks' 2024 game plan for her caucus, as well as her advice for those who are debating a run for office. 


(01:55) Welcoming Michigan Senate Majority Leader, Winnie Brinks. 

(02:35) An overview of how things have been going in Michigan at the start of 2024. 

(04:39) The Michigan Clean Energy Act and the state’s ambitious goal of having 100% Clean energy by 2040.

(07:56) How Senator Brinks champions bipartisan collaboration.

(10:39) How Michigan is leading nationally on election integrity and security in response to the 2020 election.

(12:42) The Senate Majority Leader’s perspective on the future of democratic participation and whether the country can move past election denialism and misinformation.

(14:51) Her unexpected journey to politics through education, non-profits, and volunteering.

(16:35) How her experiences growing up inform her work today.

(21:42) Why economic and community development in Michigan requires an all-the-above approach to uplifting families. 

(23:32) Senator Brinks’s personal experience working in government as someone who never intended to run for office.

(27:35) A view of the 2024 election from the Great Lakes State and why an earlier primary in Michigan is more representative of the country as a whole. 

(28:28) Chaos in the Michigan Republican party in juxtaposition with the proven efficacy of the Democratic party.