Biden visit, data and voices underscore need for action on ‘Build Back Better’ ⋆

Every Michigander deserves a fair shot at opportunity and prosperity. But for too long, many families — particularly people of color and those families with low incomes — have struggled to make ends meet despite their best efforts to provide for their families. 

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan would make a historic investment in Michiganders, lowering costs for housing, child care, food and health care —  all of which make it easier for us to work and take care of our families.

And this important opportunity came with an important visit this week, as President Biden spoke in Howell to advocate for the Build Back Better bill to improve the lives of workers and children with proven effective policies to expand opportunity and reduce poverty. 

As Biden continues to advocate for the Build Back Better plan, and continues to work with Michigan’s congressional delegation to get it done, here are some important statistics on the many benefits Build Back Better would have on our fellow Michiganders.

The data on the Build Back Better plan

  • Over 1.9 million kids in Michigan — roughly 90% of all children in our state — would benefit from an extension of the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit. Particularly critical is a provision that makes the full credit available to the kids who need it most: children in families with little to no earnings.

The voices

These numbers are certainly important, but it’s equally important to remember that each one of those data points represents a real Michigan child, worker or household. 

At the League, we always say that combining data and personal stories is a winning advocacy formula, and it’s just as true with BBB. That’s why I was so glad to be part of a press conference Thursday to lift up a variety of Michigan voices and perspectives joining together with a common call: the passage of the Build Back Better plan.

I was proud to be joined by Tameka Ramsey, co-director of Michigan Voices and a participant in the League’s Advocacy Boot Camp, who spoke about her experiences as a policy advocate, parent and grandparent. Tameka shared how important the increased Child Tax Credit has been for her and her kids and grandkids, and the need to make those changes permanent. She also emphasized the importance of the need to help make child care more accessible and affordable for all parents.

Tameka’s thoughts on the Child Tax Credit were reinforced by David Reyes, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Director at the Capital Area United Way, who also echoed the benefits of — and need to also make permanent in BBB — the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. 

Other participants and points of emphasis included: Andrea Acevedo, Healthcare President for the Service Employees International Union, discussing health needs and home and community-based care; Conan Smith, CEO for the Michigan Environmental Council, talking about efforts to combat climate change; and Dr. Farhan Bhatti, the director of Care Free Medical, lifting up proposals to reduce health care costs.

The action

The Build Back Better plan would make a historic investment in Michiganders, lowering costs for housing, child care, food and health care — all of which make it easier for us to work and take care of our families. And it would pay for all or most of those investments by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations and without raising taxes on anyone with income under $400,000. 

That’s a great deal for Michigan.

Build Back Better is the president’s plan, so we know he is there. The data is there. And the voices of Michigan advocates and the people we serve are there. And we trust our congressional delegation will keep working to support Michigan residents and their families and pass the full proposed Build Back Better plan.

authored by Gilda Z. Jacobs
First published at

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