Debbie Stabenow

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Debbie Stabenow

Debbie Stabenow (born in Gladwin, MI, April 29, 1950) is a leftist Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Michigan.

Early Life & Career


Growing up in Clare, Michigan Debbie Stabenow, was the daughter of an Oldsmobile dealer, and the Director of Nursing at the local hospital. She graduated at the top of her class from Clare High School and went on to receive her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Michigan State University. She worked with youth in the public schools before running for public office. Senator Stabenow was inspired to first run for office after leading a successful effort to stop the closure of a local nursing home. She was elected to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners when she was 24 years old, and in just two years, was elected Chair of the Board. She was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives where she served for twelve years (1979-90) and to the State Senate where she served for four years (1991-94).

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1996 representing Michigan's Eighth Congressional District, she made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from the State of Michigan elected to the United States Senate.


Public Service

Ingham County commissioner 1975-1978; member, State house of representatives 1979-1990; member, State senate 1991-1994; elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Fifth and One Hundred Sixth Congresses (January 3, 1997-January 3, 2001); was not a candidate for reelection to the House of Representatives in 2000, but was elected to the United States Senate for the term commencing January 3, 2001; reelected in 2006 for the term ending January 3, 2013; Democratic Conference secretary (2005-2007).[2]

Relationship to socialist Millie Jeffrey

Debbie Stabenow visited Moscow, Leningrad and Tblisi, Georgia in the U.S.S.R. in 1989 as a delegate with Women for a Meaningful Summit traveling with the Hon. Millie Jeffrey and JoAnn Watson[3]

Millie was open to everything and everybody. She made friends with everyone—young and old, men and women, big and small, those who spoke English and those who didn’t. Said her friend, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who was with her on a delegation of women to the Soviet Union

"Every place we went women would walk in off the street and ask if Millie was there. And they may have been speaking another language, but they would walk in and they would be looking for Millie Jeffrey.” [4]

In 1995 Mildred Jeffrey accompanied Debbie Stabenow to China.[5]

Millie's capacity for connecting with people was unmatched. As one who traveled with her to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, it was amazing to see people from all over the world, hearing we were from Michigan, asking if we knew Millie Jeffrey and if we could tell them where she was; or that their grandmother, their aunt, suggested they meet Millie Jeffrey....

In 1994 Mildred Jeffrey was a leader[6]in the Stabenow for Governor Committee.

On Millie Jeffrey's death in 2004 Debbie Stabenow wrote[7]; I have lost a very dear friend, as have the people of Michigan and hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Millie Jeffery is an icon in the State of Michigan and in our country for civil rights, women's rights, and workers' rights. Her life has epitomized the principles by which we all strive to live our lives-justice, equality, and compassion...
Millie is the "political godmother" for many of us, and we are extremely grateful for her love and support.

In 2000 Millie Jeffrey was part[8]of Team Stabenow-actively supporting her friend's successful bid for U.S. senate.

When Millie Jeffrey died in 2004[9]Michigan Democrats Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Stabenow spoke of their debt of gratitude to her work.

When Millie died last week, both Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (DMich.) told the media that they would not be in their current positions without the decades of work that Millie had put in on behalf of equal opportunities for women.

Honoring Millie Jeffrey

On May 15, 2004, the Michigan Democratic Party held their annual Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner. At the dinner an iron sculpture representing equality, created by Wayne State University students was presented to the family of Millie Jeffrey. Jeffrey was a founder-leader of the Democratic Socialists of America. MDP Chair Melvin Hollowell stated that the Lifetime Achievement Award was given in tribute to "Millie's wonderful and enduring legacy of fighting for the equal rights of all people, particularly women." U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Representative Carolyn Kilpatrick and Governor Jennifer Granholm presented the award. The keynote speaker was former U.S. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt.[10]

Co-sponsored Resolution Honoring DSA Leader

On May 20, 2004, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin co-sponsored Senate Resolution 367: A resolution honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams "Millie" Jeffrey (1910-2004) and her contributions to her community and to the United States.. The resolution passed with unanimous consent.[11]

"Passing the Torch"

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March 2006, the Michigan Veteran Feminists of America presented the documentary Passing the Torch on March 25 on PBS (WTVS, Channel 56).

The documentary, narrated by Lily Tomlin, explored Michigan women’s motivations to participate in "one of the most profound social movements of the 20th Century."

Detroit-area feminists were active in the women’s movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s, and they joined the national VFA organization in the fall of 2000 to ensure the gains that they helped to make on behalf of women remain in place today. Through interviews and oral histories, the documentary recalls the struggles of these engaging activists to establish domestic violence shelters, pass legislation to promote more accessible child care and gain reproductive rights.

Luminaries such as former Michigan First Lady Helen Milliken, Erma Henderson, the first African American woman elected to the Detroit City Council, UAW executive Millie Jeffrey, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Governor Jennifer Granholm "reminisce about the protest marches, consciousness raising sessions and the excitement they felt when opening doors that had been closed to women."[12]

Helped by socialist Elizabeth Bunn

Democratic Socialists of America member Elizabeth Bunn was the creator of the UAW's Woman-to-Woman campaign that helped elect Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2000 and Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2002.[13]

NEXT AGENDA Conference

NEXT AGENDA was held at the National Press Club, Main Ballroom, Feb. 28,2001.

At Feb. 28 Conference on NEXT AGENDA, progressive activists, Congressional leaders will unite to forge strategy for "working families" agenda -- the day after President Bush delivers his plans to joint session of Congress.
-- Calling themselves the real "democratic majority," organizers and thinkers, led by the Campaign for America's Future, to release new book outlining an agenda for changes they insist most voters endorsed in 2000 elections.
On Feb. 28, a national conference on the NEXT AGENDA, will bring together progressive activists, intellectuals and allies in the Congress for the first time since the disputed election and battles over President Bush's cabinet nominees. It will frame the next two year's debate.
Sponsored by the progressive advocacy group, the Campaign for America's Future and its sister research organization, the Institute for America's Future, the Conference on the Next Progressive Agenda has been endorsed by a who's who of prominent leaders from the labor unions, women's organizations, civil rights groups, environmentalists and individual members of the House and Senate. Their goal: to forge a progressive movement to fight for the "working family" agenda they insist was endorsed by a majority of the voters in the 2000 election.

Organizers of the conference would release a new book, THE NEXT AGENDA: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement, edited by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey and published by Westview Press.

Special Guests were:

Take Back America Conferences

Debbie Stabenow was on the list of 129 speakers at the 2003 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[15]

Stabenow was on the list of 114 speakers (which included George Soros) at the 2004 Take Back America conference..[16]

Blue Green Alliance

The Blue Green Alliance sponsors the annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The 2009 conference was held from Feb. 4-6, 2009.

Conference speakers included:[17]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Debbie Stabenow in her successful Senate run as candidate for Michigan.[18] Se has also been previously supported by the Council in her House of Representatives run for Michigan.[19]

2012 CLW Senate victories

2012 CLW Senate Victories were;

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT) Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).[20]

The Council said of Stabenow when they endorsed her in 2012;

In 2000, Stebenow challenged incumbent Republican Senator Spencer Abraham. The contest was close, with the challenger trailing until the end. However, she beat Abraham by 49% - 489%, a margin of about 66,000 votes out of four million cast.
During her re-election bid in 2006, she scored a solid victory with 57% of the vote. Council for a Livable World enthusiastically supported her in both of those races.

Stabenow's accomplishments have been widely recognized. As a member of the Senate leadership in the 112th Congress, Sen. Stabenow serves on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Energy Committee and the Budget Committee, and is Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
Senator Stabenow has taken a thoughtful and common sense approach to national security issues. She voted to stop the development of new nuclear weapons in order to prevent a new and dangerous arms race. She has also opposed wasteful spending on a national missile defense system that has yet to work. Additionally, she voted for the New START Treaty to reduce US and Russian nuclear arsenals.[21]
Sen. Stabenow earned a 100% rating on the Council’s voting record for the 111th Congress.

Staffer's trip to Cuba

Sen. Stabenow sent Amanda A. Renteria to Cuba for three days in July 2007. The trip was courtesy of a $1,681.70 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies connected Center for Democracy in the Americas... "Attended fact-finding mission to learn more about Cuba's leadership transition and ongoing program of reforms in Cuban government" .[22]

Opposed Iraq War

Six of the eight U.S. Senators from the four upper Midwest states voted against the resolution to authorize force against Iraq, all of them Democrats or progressive Democrats: Mark Dayton and Paul Wellstone (Minn.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), and Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).

Sen. Wellstone, the only member of the Senate voting "Nay" who was facing election that fall, died in a plane crash just prior to the 2002 election; his seat was taken by Republican Norm Coleman. But Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, joined the war resistance a year later by voting against the $87 billion supplemental appropriation for the Iraq War.[23]

Arab American Political Action Committee

Stabenow at the 8th Annual Dinner

The second annual Arab American Political Action Committee dinner was held in 1999 and was attended by over 800 people. Osama Siblani welcomed the audience and introduced Samer Jaafar the Chairman of the Endorsement Committee. AAPAC's president Abed Hammoud delivered the organization's message and plans for the future. Congressman David Bonior, the House Minority Whip and U.S Senator Spencer Abraham delivered their addresses. Dr. Mohamad Khansa chaired the Dinner Committee.

Prominent Michigan public officials in attendance included US Senator Spencer Abraham and his wife Jane Abraham, US Congressman David Bonior and his wife Judy Bonior, US Congressman John Dingell and his wife Debbie Dingell, US Congressman Sander Levin and his wife Vicki Levin, US Congressman John Conyers, Jr., US Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow, US Congressman Joe Knollenberg, US Congresswoman Lynn Rivers, Wayne County Sheriff Robert Ficano and Eunice Confer representing U.S. Senator Carl Levin.[24]

The eighth annual dinner of the Arab American Political Action Committee was held on November 4, 2005 at the Binte Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn. Present at the dinner were John Conyers and Debbie Stabenow.[25]

Democratic Party Super Delegates

In February 2008 Michigan Democratic Party Super Delegates were;[[26]

Charles Brown Mon, 25 Feb 2008

Spoke at Green Jobs Conference

On Feb. 5, 2009, Stabenow spoke alongside Rhone Resch, President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association and Cathy Zoi, CEO, Alliance for Climate Protection at the 2009 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, organized by the Blue Green Alliance. Also speaking at the conference were Van Jones, Founder and President, Green For All and Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO.[27]

Manufacturing workers support tour

In late May, 2009, actor Danny Glover joined labor, political and civil-rights leaders on one of the first stops of a four-day, 11-state tour supporting U.S. manufacturing workers.

The 'Lethal Weapon' star told a crowd of mainly union workers Monday in the Detroit suburb of Hamtramck the 'deindustrialization of the nation' began in Michigan, and its workers can be 'the architects of their own rescue.'

Glover, the son of union members, said he stands with those affected by plant closings.

The event also included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard.[28]

DSA sponsored rally

Over 300 people attended the Call to Action Rally at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 876 Hall in Madison Heights on February 18th 2010. The rally was organized to press members of the Michigan Congressional delegation , particularly in the Senate, to pass key components of the progressive agenda including health care reform, cap and trade energy legislation, immigration reform, and the Employee Free Choice Act. Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America co-sponsored the rally along with 31 other organizations including Health Care for America Now, the UAW, the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union ), UFCW, UNITE-HERE Local 24, AFSCME Council 25, Reform Immigration for America, Repower America (the organization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore to promote investment in renewable energy), Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit, Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network, the Arabic Community Coalition for Economic and Social Security, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and MOSES.

Congressmen Sander Levin and John Conyers, Jr. addressed the audience. In addition, aides to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin and Representatives Dale Kildee, Gary Peters, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and John Dingell attended the rally.

DSA member Al Fishman spoke to the audience about how the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Obama’s domestic agenda in a manner analogous to the way in which the Vietnam War undermined President Johnson’s Great Society programs. DSA Executive Board member Dave Ivers spoke about the imperative for a national jobs program, shared a personal anecdote about how the health care crisis had affected his family, and stressed the importance of Congress passing the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to organize unions. Other speakers included Chris Michalakis, Legislative Director of UFCW Local 876, who spoke about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform. Luke Canfora of Repower America described the huge potential benefits of investment in renewable energy (decreased reliance on foreign oil, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, and job creation). Marcia Boehm and Altheia Henry discussed the urgent need for health care reform. John Freeman, Michigan Director of Health Care for America Now, moderated the event.[29]

Detroit rally

Over 10,000 Detroiters marched down Washington Boulevard from the UAW-Ford National Programs Center to Grand Circus Park on Saturday, August 28th 2010, to demand "jobs, peace, and justice". The march was organized by United Auto Workers (UAW) President Bob King and Operation PUSH founder and director Reverend Jesse Jackson. It commemorated the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington.

The dais at Grand Circus Park was "teeming with dignitaries—politicians, clergy of every denomination, and union leaders". Among the elected officials present were Representatives John Conyers, Jr., John Dingell, Maxine Waters, Marcy Kaptur and Senator Debbie Stabenow. Michigan Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero briefly addressed the audience and committed himself to placing the interests of Main Street over those of Wall Street. Among the union leaders who spoke were UAW President Bob King, newly-elected President of the Service Employees International Union Mary Kay Henry, Farm Laborers Organizing Committee President Baldemar Velasquez, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 25 President Al Garrett.[30]

EMILY's List

Stabenow has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Aspen Institute

From May 23 - 28, 2004, Stabenow traveled to Barcelona, Spain to participate in a conference on political Islam. The trip which costed $7,511, was paid for by the Aspen Institute. From August 10 - 16 she traveled to Moscow, Russia to participate in a conference on U.S.-Russia relations.[31]

The Justice Caucus

from left: Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Paul Stevenson, Justice Diane Hathaway, Justice Alton Thomas Davis, Judge Denise Langford Morris

On August 28, 2010, The Justice Caucus held a meeting at the 2010 Michigan Democratic Party Convention which ran from August 28-29, 2010. Speaking on the panel were Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Paul Stevenson, Justice Diane Hathaway, Justice Alton Thomas Davis, Judge Denise Langford Morris.[32] At the meeting, the Caucus presented Governor Jennifer Granholm with the "Spirit of Millie Award" honoring her contribution to Michigan's judiciary via judicial appointments.[33]

Bring Jobs Home Act

Senator Stabenow, sponsored the Bring Jobs Home Act which would end tax breaks for companies that move jobs abroad and give tax incentives to those companies which bring jobs home. Although the bill had majority support (56-42) in the Senate, it was blocked by a Republican filibuster.[34]

Cuba trip

A delegation of American lawmakers led by Senator Patrick Leahy arrived in Cuba on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in order to gauge the island's economic changes and to lobby on behalf of Alan Gross, an American whose detention has chilled relations between the two countries. The trip was the first to the Communist-run island by high-level US politicians since President Barack Obama's re-election in November.

The delegation also included, Republican senator Jeff Flake, the Democrat senators Sherrod Brown, Debbie Stabenow and Sheldon Whitehouse and the Democratic congressmen James McGovern (Massachusetts) and Chris Van Hollen from Maryland, Gross's home state.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag


The following have worked as staff members for Debbie Stabenow:[35]

External links


  1. official Senate bio, accessed April 7, 2013
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named legbio
  3. [1] JoAnn Watson, Detroit City Council bio, accessed June 1, 2010
  4. [2] CBS News Opinion, Thoroughly Marvelous Millie CBS' Lynch Reflects On The Life Of Activist Mildred McWilliams Jeffrey March 29, 2004
  10. Wayne State University: Michigan Democratic Party taps Wayne State University for tribute sculpture to Mildred Jeffrey, May 5, 2004 (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  11. [ S. Res. 367: A resolution honoring the life of Mildred McWilliams "Millie" Jeffrey (1910-2004) and her...] (accessed on Jan. 28, 2011)
  12. [3] News from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Fall 2006
  13. Huffington Post DNC Michigan Superdelegates, Posted February 28, 2008
  14. [, Common Dreams, Morning After Bush's Speech, Progressive Activists to Unite Feb. 28 for Conference on 'Working Family' Agenda, WASHINGTON - February 26 - News Advisory]
  15. Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
  16. Our Future website: Take Back America 2004 Speakers (accessed on June 11, 2010)
  17. Green Jobs Conference website: 2009 Speakers (accessed on Jan. 28, 2011)
  18. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  19. CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
  20. Meet the Candidates, accessed April 10, 2013
  21. CLW website, accessed May 15, 2013
  22. Legistorm: Center for Democracy in the Americas - Sponsor of Congressional Travel (accessed on August 30, 2010)
  23. [, correction,, 01.04.2005 14:43], indymedia]
  24. AAPAC: Second Annual Dinner (accessed on Feb. 15, 2011)
  25. AAPAC: AAPAC 8th Annual Dinner, Dec. 5, 2005 (accessed on Feb. 15, 2011)
  26. [Marxism-Thaxis] Democratic meltdown looming]
  27. Blue Green Alliance website: Advisory: Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, Feb. 4-6, in Washington, D.C., Feb. 3, 2009 (accessed on Jan. 28, 2011)
  28. PW, Danny Glover joins tour supporting union manufacturing workers, May 22, 2009
  29. GDDSA newsletter. March 2010 Volume 11, Issue 2]
  30. Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America DDDSA newsletter, September 2010 Volume 11, Issue 5
  31. Legistorm: Debbie Stabenow: Trips (accessed on Jan. 17, 2010)
  32. West Michigan Rising: Justice Caucus at the Convention, Aug. 30, 2010 (accessed on Feb. 17, 2011)
  33. [ Justice 4 Michigan: Justice Caucus to Honor Governor Granholm's Contribution to Michigan Judiciary, August 20, 2011)
  34. PW, Bring the jobs home, by: Pat Barile January 2 2013
  35. Legistorm: Debbie Stabenow (accessed on Jan. 17, 2011)