Butzel Long attorney featured during SAE International’s Connect2Car@CES Digital Summit in January

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jennifer Dukarski, Butzel Long attorney, shareholder and leader of the firm’s Connected Car and Autonomous Vehicle Specialty team, will be a featured panelist during SAE International’s Connect2Car@CES Digital Summit on January 14, 2021. The Connect2Car@CES is part of the continued partnership between SAE and the Consumer Technology Association and is the longest continually running automotive session at CES.

Dukarski will participate in a virtual roundtable discussion titled, “Smart Cars Deliver the Future of Mobility.” Other featured panelists include representatives from IHS Markit, Connected Travel, Amazon Web Services, Ford Motor Co. and Panasonic Automotive.

The panel will explore electric vehicles, autonomous, smart city, and industry, but more importantly, brings the connected human into the connected car arena with a conversation on how to lead to accelerated adoption.

About Jennifer Dukarski

Jennifer Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on emerging and disruptive issues: digital media and content, cybersecurity and privacy, infotainment and shared mobility, and connected and autonomous cars.

In her practice, she has assisted clients with defamation, invasion of privacy, copyright, and other content-based claims. She focuses on compliance with various industry regulations and has become a national leader in legal issues facing emerging automotive technology and is the leader of Butzel Long’s connected car working group.

A self-titled “recovering engineer,” Dukarski was named one of the 30 Women Defining the Future of Technology in January 2020 by Warner Communications for her innovative thoughts and contributions to the tech industry.

Dukarski is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010). She’s also a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy College of Engineering and Science, (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, summa cum laude, 1996).

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Lambert & Co. Expands Sales Team to Include Two Industry Veterans

Lambert is bolstering its new business operations with the hiring of Sarah Smith and Karen Keller. The duo will be responsible for strategic growth initiatives to attract and cultivate major clients across industry sectors on behalf of Lambert and its family of companies. Serving as vice president of sales, Smith brings over a dozen years of business development, strategic planning, and integrated marketing experience. She joins Lambert from Olympia Entertainment and The District Detroit. Keller brings more than two decades of experience and a balanced financial and marketing perspective as director of sales for Lambert’s capital markets and investor relations practice.

Detroit Is It: Detroit Regional Chamber and General Motors Announce NeighborHUB Grant Winners

Dec. 14, 2020

Detroit Is It

By John Bozick

With COVID-19, election madness, and economic woes, it’s important to remember some of the happier matters taking place in Detroit. One instance is the awarding of “NeighborHUB” grants, PPE and other supplies to various Detroit nonprofits as part of a partnership between General Motors and the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“On behalf of everyone at GM, we are proud to support the visionary organizations driving measurable progress in their communities,” shared Terry Rhatigan, executive director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “NeighborHUB was born out of a desire to take a residents-first approach to progress in the Detroit region, and it is a privilege to be able to continue to help bring these impactful projects to life.”

The nonprofits that will receive NeighborHUB grants, PPE, and other support from the Chamber and GM are the following:

What’s to Come From Those Receiving a NeighborHUB Grant:

The NeighborHUB grants will be put to good use by the non-profits, with some using the funds to introduce new programs, while others will be using the money to expand and improve new additions to their facility.

This year has been a hard year for everyone, especially communities of color, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation’s (DHDC) 28,000-square-foot-facility has sat as a virtually empty, underutilized space, that is still a cost to the organization, said Lex Zavala, director of DHDC, in a press release put out by the city.

“We settled on the concept of a Ghost Food Hall/Market, which will be named ‘Fantazma Market.’ Utilizing our outdoor and underutilized indoor spaces, restaurants and small businesses will be able to safely deliver their food or sell their merchandise in our space, all while artists perform, helping to expand their customer base. This is a great opportunity where nonprofit, community and small businesses can come together to help each other during this crisis, helping DHDC regain lost funds while supporting struggling local businesses and artists,” Zavala added.

In Detroit’s Durfee/Central neighborhood, Life Remodeled will have the opportunity to introduce new programs to the Durfee Innovation Society while also further improving the former elementary school.

“We were honored to be among the awesome Detroit nonprofits selected by General Motors and the Detroit Regional Chamber to win a NeighborHUB grant! This grant will greatly impact the kids in our Durfee-Central community who need expanded educational opportunities now more than ever due to setbacks brought on by COVID-19,” shared Chris Lambert, CEO and Founder of Life Remodeled.

We will use the NeighborHUB grant money to create a state-of-the-art robotics lab within the Durfee Innovation Society (DIS). The DIS is a hub of opportunity offering something for people of all ages, from free diapers and baby formula to job placement services to supplementary educational programs,” added Lambert. “This space will serve as the home practice lab for the Durfee Elementary-Middle School FIRST Robotics team and will eventually act as a robotics lab for additional school teams nearby the DIS. The goal of the program is to improve math and English test scores and, eventually, increase college readiness and provide a workforce development opportunity for Durfee students.

Alex Allen, President, and CEO of the Chandler Park Conservancy was thrilled about the grant awards. The Conservancy has plans to expand growing facilities while also working with those in the surrounding community to teach individuals about the importance of growing their own food.

“A few years ago, we went through the planning process to plan a community garden and the grant will help us with the development plan, shared Allen. “We’re going to be building a hoop house so you can grow food all year round and we will be able to teach young people how to grow food. It will really be a place for the community to come together.”

For this year’s winners, work on their respective projects will begin this month and continue through fall 2021. Learn more about the projects and program at www.detroitchamber.com/neighborhub.

View the original article. 

Butzel Long attorney celebrates 18th Adoption Day in Michigan; presents Maura D. Corrigan Foster Family Lifetime Achievement Award for service to children and families

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney Maura Corrigan has been a trailblazer in law and an advocate on behalf of foster and adoptive children and their families in the state of Michigan.

In recognition of Justice Corrigan’s remarkable career, the Michigan Supreme Court established the Maura D. Corrigan Foster Family Lifetime Achievement Award, an annual award to recognize some of the state’s truly extraordinary and giving foster parents. The Award is presented each year prior to Thanksgiving.

Notably, more than 12,000 children remain in foster care in Michigan and continue to harbor the goal of having their own forever homes.

During her tenure as Chief Justice, she focused on streamlining the adoption process helping more children find “forever” families. On November 24 (Michigan Adoption Day), Justice Corrigan presented the Maura D. Corrigan Foster Family Lifetime Achievement Award (virtually) to Veda Thompkins, director of Detroit-based Families on the Move, Inc. Thompkins, a foster mother herself, also has served on Michigan’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.

“Veda Thompkins is an amazing example having led a life that made a difference – a life full of purpose and meaning,” said Justice Corrigan. “She has been a foster and adoptive parent since 1985. It is pretty amazing that she has extended a circle of love to children for all these years.

“Veda drafted a Foster Caregivers Bill of Rights and stirred up the right kind of trouble in order to help children and families get what they need and deserve,” she said. “Veda sets an inspiring example for all of us.”

During the ceremony, which was hosted by Justice Stephen Markman, Justice Elizabeth Clement and Justice Megan Cavanagh, the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cass County Chief Judge Susan Dobrich for her exceptional service to Michigan’s children.

About Justice Maura Corrigan

Justice Corrigan concentrates her practice in litigation and appeals. She served as a law clerk to Judge John Gillis of the Michigan Court of Appeals. She then became a Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney in 1974, and Chief of Appeals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit in 1979. In 1986, she was promoted to Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, the first woman to hold that position. She became a partner at Plunkett and Cooney in 1989.

In 1992, former Governor John Engler appointed her to the Michigan Court of Appeals. In 1997, the Supreme Court named her Chief Judge of the appeals court. She was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in 1998 and reelected in 2006. Justice Corrigan is the only person ever to serve as Chief Judge of both the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She served two terms as Chief Justice.

Justice Corrigan left the court on January 14, 2011 to become the Director of the Michigan Department of Human Services under Governor Rick Snyder. From 2015 – 2016, Justice Corrigan was a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. where she worked on poverty and child welfare issues. In that role, she testified in Congress, authored papers and book chapters, and served as liaison to state secretaries of human services.

Justice Corrigan has participated in numerous community and professional activities. She currently serves on five nonprofit boards. She is a past president of the Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers and the Detroit Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
She served as a public member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission from 1991-1998, as an executive board member of the Michigan Judges Association, and as a member of the Judicial Advisory Board of the Center for Law and Organizational Economics at the University of Kansas Law School. She was vice-president of the Conference of Chief Justices from 2003 – 2004. She is a published author in the legal and child welfare fields. She holds seven honorary doctorates from Michigan colleges and universities, among numerous honors and awards. Notably, Justice Corrigan was named to WJR-AM 760’s 2018 Class of “Women Who Lead.”

Justice Corrigan earned her J.D. degree (cum laude) from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and her B.A. degree (magna cum laude) from Marygrove College.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Commentary: United we stand for talent, for equity, for Detroit

Crain’s Detroit Business

Dec. 13, 2020

By Bill Moses and Punita Dani Thurman

Now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to remember that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us. Thriving households, strong businesses, and safe neighborhoods are things we all aspire for. We share a common vision and a common fate. And even though today’s political climate may suggest otherwise, we even share common agendas.

Through the leadership of the Detroit Regional Chamber, businesses, colleges, K-12 systems, nonprofits, state leaders and foundations are pledging to adopt strategies that will position our region to achieve two goals: 1) reaching 60 percent degree or credential attainment and 2) reducing the racial equity gap by half. We aim to do both by 2030. With a unified approach, it can be done.

Our region is brimming with talented neighbors who are eager to learn and work. We also have businesses, and entire industry sectors, eager to employ people with specialized education and training. What we lack is a coordinated, multi-sector approach to prepare and connect our people to our places of work. The recently announced Detroit Regional Talent Compact marks a turning point in our region’s efforts to answer that need.

The Kresge and Skillman Foundations have long supported efforts to strengthen pathways to college and career, with particular focus on ensuring people of color and those from less resourced communities can access and succeed in postsecondary pursuits. But while philanthropic dollars are useful for supporting innovation, expanding best practices, and filling gaps, solving the problem takes a widespread commitment. And the commitment must be to the intended results, not just to the inputs.

Success cannot be measured by dollars invested or number of people who enter postsecondary education. Success must be measured by the outputs — the percentage of people who obtain a degree or certification, with attention to building a system that helps all of us to flourish. We must hold the expectation that all of us will be educated and skilled, and that prosperity will not only be destined for the affluent or the lucky few who “beat the odds.”

Consider this: roughly half of southeast Michigan residents who pursue a college education do not earn a certificate or degree within six years of graduating from high school. This finding alone is troubling. But a closer read of the data reveals stark racial disparities. Only 26 percent of enrolled Black students, who are more likely to grow up in under-resourced communities, earn a college degree within six years compared to 60 percent of white students. This represents one of the largest racial equity gaps in postsecondary attainment nationwide. These outcomes are simply unacceptable, particularly in a region that is as rich in racial diversity as ours.

We must understand that these numbers are not a failure of our students. Instead, they reflect a failure in our system and of our expectations of our system.

Currently, 47 percent of people in Southeast Michigan hold a postsecondary degree or certificate, but in today’s job market, 80 percent of jobs require some education beyond high school. That’s less than half of our working-aged population competing for the vast majority of jobs. And that means we have a twin problem: hundreds of thousands of people without the necessary skills to fill jobs that go unfilled — and hundreds of thousands of people who are unable to access the employment opportunities and experience the prosperity that often comes with greater educational attainment.

We may be preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, we need greater action to put our region on the right track. The cities have that flourished over the past two decades, Austin, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Washington, D.C., all have a couple of things in common, most notably high educational attainment rates that attract and nurture some of the nation’s most innovative businesses. And like our metro area, they also have significant racial equity gaps in college attainment.

The Detroit Compact seeks to address both challenges. It provides a collective vision to formalize our region’s efforts to lay out a strategic blueprint for each stakeholder to increase postsecondary attainment and to ensure that our entire community benefits.

For example, as an employer Henry Ford Health System will expand apprenticeship programs for city of Detroit residents. K-12 institutions have committed to provide more equitable access to dual enrollment and early college opportunities. Higher education institutions have agreed to scale institutional debt forgiveness efforts, which are positioned to have an outsized impact on Black adult returning students. Funders including the Ballmer Group, Detroit Children’s Fund, Jamie & Denise Jacob Family Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and The Skillman Foundation have pledged $18 million to support the implementation of strategies outlined in the Compact. But we can’t succeed without an even larger coalition of partners from every sector, especially innovative businesses.

The urgency has never been greater. The Compact provides a blueprint to help us recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. But we must act now. We can no longer lag in taking a concerted approach to our region and state’s most pressing problems. The goal of reaching 60 percent degree or credential attainment by 2030 has been adopted by states and regions across the country, with Michigan among the last to adopt it. Let’s not be last to achieve it.

If your organization would like to join the Detroit Regional Talent Compact, contact Melanie D’Evelyn of the Detroit Regional Chamber at mdevelyn@detroitchamber.com.

View the original article. 

Butzel Long attorney Les Glick to discuss USMCA during December 17 webinar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Butzel Long international trade and customs attorney Leslie (“Les”) Alan Glick, and Aristeo López Sánchez, Counsel at Mexican Embassy, will discuss, “Supply Chain Agreements and USMCA: Rules of Origin Requirements, Labor Enforcement, De Minimis Levels, Sunset Clause” during a Strafford continuing legal education live webinar from 1-2:30 p.m. (EST) on December 17, 2020.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) went into effect on July 1, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This new free trade agreement makes several changes to the rules related to multiple moving parts of the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican economies. The changes also address e-commerce and digital trade, which NAFTA did not address.

With changes to what qualifies as duty-free, attorneys and corporate management must consider addressing these issues in supply chain agreements. The USMCA requires that attorneys and corporate management consider the duty preference claim process and qualifications.

The discussion will focus on providing guidance on revising supply chain agreements to comply with the USMCA. In addition to reforming provisions related to the rules of origin, labor enforcement, de minimis levels, and creating a sunset clause, the new trade agreement has several industry-specific provisions that must be complied with to ensure the delivery of goods.

Other topics that will be addressed include:

• What are the significant differences between NAFTA and the USMCA?

• How does the USMCA address e-commerce and digital trade?

• What must be included in automotive contracts to comply with the USMCA?

• What are best practices for revising supply chain agreements to comply with the USMCA?

Notably, Glick has handled cases arising under the U.S. Customs laws involving classification, valuation, country of origin marking and customs fraud, and gray market and supply chain security issues (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) and has represented clients in USMCA negotiations and counseled them on USMCA compliance.

He has been active in developing customs compliance programs for many U.S. corporations. He is the author of books on customs law and NAFTA, and a recent book entitled, “United States Mexico Canada Agreement(USMCA) Legal and Business Implications”(Kluwer Law International, November 2020) and has been widely consulted by companies and trade associations in regard to U.S./Mexico legal questions involving imports, exports, investment, transportation and other areas.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

New Survey Reveals Statewide Opinions on COVID-19 Economic Impact, Business Priorities, Vaccine, and Government Action

DETROIT (Dec. 15, 2020) – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber released the findings from a new statewide poll of registered voters in Michigan that provides insight and data on how Michiganders have reacted to the ongoing dual public health and economic crises. The Chamber commissioned Glengariff Group Inc. to complete a statewide general population poll of 600 registered Michigan voters between Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, 2020. The poll’s findings simultaneously demonstrate fundamental consistencies and an evolution of Michigan voters’ priorities compared with the Chamber’s previous polls conducted in April and May of 2020.

“As we mark the ninth month of the pandemic, promising news on vaccine distribution, and the Governor temporarily reimposing business restrictions, the Chamber wanted to assess how voters feel about Michigan’s health, economy, and political situation,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Similar to our statewide polls in April and May, voters are sending a clear message that public health measures are essential to beating the pandemic and that the public health crisis and business restrictions are harming our economy.”

“This poll also highlighted a series of new concerns for Michigan voters,” said Baruah. “Voters were clear that government leaders need to support small businesses, keep manufacturing open, and do more to find a bipartisan consensus to stop the pandemic.”

The poll results show remarkable stability in how seriously Michiganders are taking the virus and how concerned they remain about the economic consequences of prolonged shutdowns.

“There is a lot of nuance in how voters are approaching this crisis,” said Richard Czuba, president of Glengariff Group Inc. “As we’ve seen in the past, voters understand the health risk of the pandemic. But these numbers also show that voters understand the economic difficulties facing small businesses. Voters are saying they understand the health dimension, but they also are saying we want to make sure small businesses are helped through the economic crisis. Voters are saying both are important.”

The following are some key themes from the polling results:

Michiganders Continue to View COVID-19 as a Public Health Threat

  • A majority of Michigan voters believe the pandemic situation is worse in Michigan than in April. 82.7% of Michigan residents believe the situation is the same or worse than April.
  • 60.3% believe the threat of COVID-19 has been balanced or downplayed, compared to 33.8% who believe the threat has been exaggerated. Those numbers remain virtually unchanged from May when 58.8% believed the threat of COVID-19 has been balanced or downplayed, compared to 32.2% who believed the threat has been exaggerated.
  • 83.8% of Michigan voters say that getting the pandemic under control would help Michigan’s economy.

Michigan Voters Overwhelmingly Say the Economy is Worse Than Before Pandemic

  • 83.7% of Michigan voters believe the state’s economy is worse now than before the pandemic hit.
  • There is deep and broad agreement among every demographic group that Michigan’s economy is worse since the pandemic.
  • 58 of Michigan voters say that COVID-19 is affecting their household finances.
  • Voters described COVID-19’s impact on their household finances. The numbers on the left look at December 2020 compared to the numbers on the right from May 2020. One in four voters continues to deal with catastrophic or major effects on their household finances.
Dec.  May Effect
6.2% 5.0% Catastrophic
18.0% 18.8% Major effect
34.2% 46.3% Minor effect
41.0% 27.7% No effect
  • The most significant impact continues to be on voters under the age of 40 years old. For voters 18-29, 34.1% said the impact was catastrophic or major. For voters 30-39, 32.8% said the impact was catastrophic or major.
  • 45.8% said the economy was worse because elected officials kept shutting down businesses.
  • 39.6% said the economy was worse because we cannot get the virus under control.

Top Post-Pandemic Priority: Support Small Businesses

  • 58% of Michigan voters said helping small businesses bounce back was the first issue that state leaders should address.
  • Voters shared what they believe is the first issue state leaders should work on once Michigan emerges from the pandemic.
    • 58.0% – Helping small businesses bounce back.
    • 6.7% – Improving access to health care.
    • 6.3% – Job training for people hurt by the pandemic.
    • 6.2% – Attracting more jobs to the state.
    • 5.8% – Improving Michigan’s schools.
    • 2.3% – Fixing Michigan’s roads and bridges.
    • 2.2% – Lowering the cost of college tuition.
    • 5.2% – Miscellaneous issues.

“We are gratified that by a wide margin, Michigan voters agree with the Chamber that supporting small businesses is their top priority,” said Baruah.

Last week in a letter to the Michigan Congressional Delegation, the Chamber urged swift passage of a bipartisan pandemic relief bill that takes on the following measures:

  • Paycheck Protection Program
  • Enhanced Unemployment Assistance
  • Assistance to States
  • Legal Liability Protection for Businesses

“The Chamber recognizes that businesses are struggling through no fault of their own. A robust post-pandemic recovery requires bipartisan action to provide relief,” said Baruah. “The time to act is now, and leaders at the state and local level should be working on solutions that help small businesses.”

Michigan Voters Put Priority on Keeping Business Open

Voters were given a list of five entities and asked if they could only keep ONE open, which would be their highest priority.

  • 30.3% – Manufacturing plants
  • 22.8% – Retail and small businesses
  • 18.7% – K-12 schools
  • 3.8% – Construction companies
  • 3.5% – Restaurants

Cumulatively, business was the highest priority among all party affiliations. But at 24.1%, K-12 schools was the single highest priority for Strong Republican voters.

Governor Gets Higher Marks for Handling Pandemic Than Legislature

  • 63.3% of Michigan voters believe Gov. Whitmer is aggressively working on getting the pandemic under control and protecting public health. These favorable numbers for the Governor are virtually the same as they were in May.
  • 27.0% of voters believe she is not doing everything. More than half of the individuals who said the Governor was not doing everything said it was because she should open businesses or do nothing.
  • One-third of Republican voters believe Gov. Whitmer is doing everything she can to get the pandemic under control. Republican opposition of out-state voters drives the differences by region.
  • 29.0% of Michigan voters say the state’s legislative leaders are doing everything they can to get the pandemic under control. 46.5% of voters say they are not doing everything they can do.
  • The 46.5% of voters that said legislative leaders were not doing everything they could do were asked what they should be doing:
    • 40.9% said they should work and compromise with the Governor.
    • 11.1% said they should listen to scientists and health officials.
    • 8.6% said they should work on financial help.
    • 8.2% said they should enforce restrictions like masks and social distancing.

Voters Don’t See Bipartisanship 

  • Voters rated Gov. Whitmer on a scale of one to 10 for working in a bipartisan manner to get the pandemic under control. Overall, voters rated Gov. Whitmer at 5.8.
  • Metro voters rated her 6.5. Out-state voters rated her at 5.1. Independent voters rate her at 6.0 for bipartisanship.
Party Rating
Strong Dem 8.4
Lean Dem 7.6
Independent 6.0
Lean GOP 4.1
Strong GOP 2.9






  • Voters rated the State Legislature leaders on a scale of one to 10 for working in a bipartisan manner to get the pandemic under control. Overall, voters rated legislative leadership at 4.5. Legislative leaders get their highest rating from Leaning Democratic and Independent voters.
Party Rating
Strong Dem 4.1
Lean Dem 5.3
Independent 4.9
Lean GOP 4.6
Strong GOP 4.2






Michiganders Wear Masks With Strong Support of an Indoor Mask Requirement

“The Chamber has been vocal from the start of the crisis that the universal use of masks in public is critical to keeping businesses open. This poll shows voters overwhelmingly agree through their actions and support for an indoor mask mandate,” said Baruah.

  • 79.8% of voters said they always wear a mask indoors in public. 13.3% wear a mask most of the time, and 3.5% said occasionally.
  • In May 2020, 80.7% of voters said they wore a mask when in public. It appears these numbers have remained statistically unchanged.
  • By a margin of 68.2%-29.8%, Michigan voters overwhelmingly support the State Legislature passing a requirement that everyone must wear a mask indoors in public places.
  • Only one demographic group opposed a mask requirement: Strong Republican voters.
Party Support Oppose
Strong Dem 95.9% 1.7%
Lean Dem 91.1% 7.1%
Independent 72.3% 26.3%
Lean GOP 50.0% 48.1%
Strong GOP 33.5% 63.9%






  • 85.3% of voters say wearing a mask in public is important. There is only one noticeable demographic group where these numbers drop – Strong Republican. Only 65.2% of Strong Republican voters believe it is important to wear a mask in public.

Michiganders Listen to Public Health Officials

  • In addition to wearing masks, Michigan voters listen to public health officials, contributing to a noticeable decline in cases from the spike we had around Thanksgiving.
  • 76.2% of Michigan voters have changed their holiday plans.
  • 86% of Strong Democratic voters have changed their plans. 79% of Independent voters have changed their plans. 60% of Strong Republican voters have changed their plans.
  • Voters reported specifically how their plans had changed:
    • 19.9% – Smaller gatherings
    • 19.9% – No travel plans
    • 17.9% – No gatherings at all or staying alone
    • 12.7% – Canceled plans
    • 10.3% – Immediate family only
    • 10.1% – No family get together

View the full findings from the December Michigan COVID Priorities Poll, the May and April public opinion poll, and the Chamber’s regional executive survey.

Additional Findings from the December MI COVID Priorities Poll:

Support Grows for Vaccinations

  • 52.5% of Michigan voters now say they will get the vaccine when it is available. 30.0% say they will not get the vaccine. 13.2% of voters said it depends.
  • This number represents a nearly eight-point increase from polling conducted in late October when only 44.6% said they would get the vaccine, 8% said they would not get the vaccine, and 17.5% said it depends.
  • There are significant differences among the population of those who are willing to get the vaccine. The chart below compares those that will or will not get the vaccine based on party affiliation.
Party Affiliation Will Will Not
Strong Dem 67.4% 16.3%
Lean Dem 51.8% 14.3%
Independent 50.8% 28.5%
Lean GOP 51.9% 31.5%
Strong GOP 41.1% 47.5%






  • While 57.8% of white voters will get the vaccine, only 32.9% of Black voters will get the vaccine. 26.6% of Black voters said it depends. This reluctance reflects the mistrust caused by past governmental abuse related to vaccines and public health trials.
  • The sharpest differences are by age, with voters over 50 willing to get the vaccine and those under 50 not planning to get the vaccine.
Age Will Will Not
18-29 41.8% 39.6%
30-39 36.1% 46.2%
40-49 43.2% 35.1%
50-64 63.5% 22.4%
65+ 70.8% 11.7%






“The Chamber is confident that support for the vaccine will continue to rise when it is successfully administered to frontline workers and those most at risk from the virus,” said Baruah. “We are committed to doing our part to promote an orderly and responsible vaccination program because that will help keep businesses open and put people back to work.”

Voters Split on How to Make School Work

  • 49.7% of voters want to see schools held online, while 36.0% say it is safe to send children to school. 6.5% said school should be a combination of online and in person.
  • These numbers are statistically identical to numbers from early September 2020.
Time Period Online School/Safe Combination
Sept. 2020 49.5% 37.8% 6.7%
Dec. 2020 49.7% 36.0% 6.5%
  • The division remains among parents with school-aged children on whether school should be online or in-person: 41.2% of parents said it was safe to send children to school, while 46.1% of parents said school should be online. 8.8% of parents said it should be a combination of the two.

Voters Comfortable with Grocery Stores, Work, and Socializing Outside

  • On a scale of one to 10 voters shared how confident they were to attend specific locations. The higher the number, the greater the confidence in attending that location. The data below ranks the highest to the lowest levels of confidence.
    • 7.8 – Grocery store
    • 7.4 – Socialize with friends or family outdoors
    • 7.3 – Work
    • 5.9 – Church
    • 5.7 – Socialize with friends or family indoors
    • 5.4 – Eat indoors at a restaurant
    • 4.5 – Gym or Health club
    • 4.5 – Movies
    • 4.0 – Bar
  • The chart below rates all nine locations by party affiliation. All highlighted numbers are above 7.0.
  • Strong GOP voters are confident above 7.0 going to every location, except bars.
  • Independent voters are confident going to the grocery store, work, and outdoors with friends/family.
  • Strong Democratic voters are not confident above 7.0 going to any of these locations.


Hand Washing Makes Everyone More Confident

Voters shared five different ways people could reduce the virus’s spread and asked how much confidence that action gave them on a scale of one to 10.

  • 8.1 – To know people are regularly washing their hands.
  • 7.3 – To see people remaining at least six feet apart.
  • 7.1 – To see everyone wearing a mask in public.
  • 6.9 – To know that people are avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • 6.9 – To see people getting vaccinated.

Strong Democratic voters rated all five above 8.0. Independent voters rated all five above 7.0. Strong Republican voters rated only ‘washing hands’ above 7.0. Three of the five rated below 6.0 among Strong Republican voters.


Butzel Long attorney Jennifer Consiglio named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s ‘Go To Business Lawyers’ list

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney Jennifer (Jen) Consiglio is one of 20 attorneys named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Go To Business Lawyers” list. The newly launched program honors leading lawyers in a particular field of law as nominated by their peers.
Notably, a “Michigan Go To Lawyer” is:

• An expert in his or her field, well-versed in the nuances of the case law, statutes and regulations clients will encounter.

• Experienced, with a record of success in many cases and/or transactions.

• A lawyer to whom other lawyers make referrals because of his or her expertise and accomplishments.

• A lawyer who can think creatively and identify all options for a client.

• A lawyer you would name when a friend needs legal help.

• A lawyer you might call yourself if you needed legal help in his or her field of expertise.

Consiglio is a member of Butzel Long’s Business Law Department. She practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, corporate finance, corporate governance, and general business law.
She is the immediate past Chair and active member of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. In fulfilling its mission to foster the highest quality of professionalism and practice in business law and to cultivate a competitive business climate in Michigan, the section monitors Michigan’s business laws and advises on their amendment from time to time, and provides educational, networking and mentoring opportunities for business lawyers in the state. She is a past Chair and active member of Butzel Long’s Pro-Bono Committee and actively involved in providing pro bono legal services as well as other community service-related activities in the metro Detroit and Flint areas.

Consiglio is ranked by Chambers USA in the field of corporate law/mergers and acquisitions, included in Michigan Super Lawyers, and named numerous times by DBusiness Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Metro Detroit for corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. She also has been recognized as one of 25 Women in Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

She is an Honors and Order of the Coif graduate of The George Washington University Law School, where she was Executive Notes Editor of The George Washington University International Law Review, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree cum laude from Georgetown University (School of Foreign Service).

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Fifth Third Bank Announces $2.8B Investment to Accelerate Racial Equity, Equality, and Inclusion

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank, with 185 locations in Michigan, announced a $2.8 billion commitment that will provide $2.2 billion in lending, $500 million in investments, $60 million in financial accessibility, and $40 million in philanthropy as part of its three-year Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity, and Inclusion initiative.

The initiative is part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity, which is focused on creating equitable outcomes for all.

The pledge focuses on three constituents: employees, customers and communities. Each vertical has a specific emphasis on accelerating the bank’s progress toward an equitable environment for Black Americans.

“As we continue to make meaningful strides in advancing inclusion and diversity in our industry and in our communities, Fifth Third is committed to maintaining and extending its leadership and making a difference for our Black customers, communities, and employees,” says Greg Carmichael, chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. “The dedicated investment, philanthropy, and lending efforts will help accelerate our progress toward promoting equality, equity and inclusion, both within the Bank and in our communities, launching with a $2.8 billion commitment.”

The $2.8 billion commitment is focused on four strategic pillars that directly impact customers and communities with targeted outcomes enabling the bank to track progress and measure success.

The first is strategic investments. Fifth Third plans to engage in comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to help improve outcomes and quality of life indicators for communities of color that have experienced decades of disinvestment. Through the introduction of an innovative $100 million Neighborhood Fund, the bank will focus on improving the social and environmental determinants in a community bringing together resources and expertise from across the bank’s lines of business. The fund will conduct a competitive application process across the bank’s 11-state footprint and award at least five communities with long-term investments to accelerate impact and outcomes.

Another pillar is access to capital. Fifth Third says it will continue expanding access to home loans and business capital. Through this pillar, the bank intends to increase its mortgage lending by 31 percent with a focus on achieving parity in its top eight markets where Black Americans reside.

“Fifth Third’s leadership in the area of investing in underserved communities to prevent the widening gap of economic inequality and to help people own their own homes is a clear demonstration of the bank’s dedication to creating wealth and helping establish stability for families,” says Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and a member of Fifth Third’s Community Advisory Forum.

Fifth Third plans to play a role in creating opportunities for Black business owners to tap into the financial support they need. Small business lending by Fifth Third is targeted to increase by 25 percent in majority minority communities. It will continue to invest and expand partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions to increase the sources for capital. In 2017, the bank launched the Entrepreneur of Color Funds in Detroit and Chicago, and in 2018 it launched a similar fund in Cincinnati. These programs will now expand to Cleveland, Atlanta, and Louisville.

The third pillar is financial inclusion and education. The Bank expects 25 percent of its new branches to be built in majority-minority tracts and low-and-moderate income communities, and increasing accessibility through innovation. Through these efforts Fifth Third will provide wider access to business and consumer loans, expand accessible tools for financial education, and develop innovative banking solutions for the unbanked and underbanked. Additionally, the bank will continue to work with and invest in historically Black colleges and universities to support scholarships and career readiness through internships and early career development opportunities.

Fifth Third will create opportunities for and increase spending with Black-owned suppliers as part of its supplier diversity program. In 2021, it will launch a program with the National Minority Supplier Development Council to improve supplier readiness for corporate business opportunities.

Social justice and advocacy is the fourth pillar. The bank is investing and partnering with organizations that actively engage and support laws and policies that address systemic racism, create improvements in worker re-entry and improve economic mobility and skill-based training, which will provide for greater access to jobs and skills for low-wage workers through workforce development programs. The already has committed $1 million to the National Urban League for a workforce development program that focuses on growing individual’s skills and developing the tools that are needed for business success.

In addition to the community financial investments for Fifth Third’s customers and communities, the Executive Diversity Leadership Council’s efforts include an employee-focused workstream to ensure the bank maintains and grows its culture of equality, equity, and inclusion among its workforce.

“It is important that we collaborate with our external and internal stakeholders so that we can serve them in the most effective, impactful, and sustainable ways,” says Kala Gibson, chief enterprise responsibility officer and head of business banking at Fifth Third. “We will continue to review policies and practices to evaluate where comprehensive improvements can be made so that the bank’s employees, customers and communities are fully supported.”

Stephanie Smith, Fifth Third’s senior vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer, explained that while the Bank has long valued inclusion and diversity, its leaders are working to enhance equality among its employees. “We have a responsibility to establish a more equitable workplace, particularly for our Black employees, customers, community members and suppliers,” she says. “While these challenging issues won’t be solved overnight, we are continuing the efforts toward actionable change and we are committed to be a force of advancement.”

The Bank recently unveiled six goals to be achieved by 2025 to support inclusion and diversity within its entire workforce and for its diverse suppliers:

  • Complete unconscious bias awareness training for 100 percent of employees. (This was achieved in 2020.)
  • Ensure the diversity of the bank’s workforce reflects the markets it serves.
  • Grow leadership positions at each management level for women and persons of color.
  • Create a work environment where there is no disparity in race or gender.
  • Advance the bank as a leader in inclusion and diversity.
  • Achieve and sustain a 10 percent supplier diversity spend to increase supply chain inclusion.
  • For more information on Fifth Third Bank’s commitment to racial equity and equality, visit here.

View the original article here.