Benson is the co-founder and President of the Board of the Military Spouses of Michigan, a network of Military spouses, partners and family members in Michigan dedicated to building a network of support and services for each other. We host social and community support projects, ranging from sending care packages for spouses and children whose family members are deployed, gatherings for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, social programs ranging from bowling to movie nights, and child care support. We believe military spouses and families should have access to the rights and protections that are afforded to them under the law. Services we provide to our spouses, free of charge, include legal advice and representation, educational opportunities and access to information about employment and career support in our state. We will also provide information on important state and federal changes or development that affect their rights and benefits as spouses or family members, and encourage them to advocate for legal and policy changes that protect our military community, including our veterans and family members. Any Michigan-based spouse, partner or family member of a service member can join the Military Spouses of Michigan, and anyone can volunteer to help support and serve our spouses and family members throughout the state. To get involved, simplyvisit our website or join our facebook page.
Michigan Transparency Coalition
The Michigan Transparency Coalition is a coalition of citizens in support of an amendment to Michigan's constitution that wouldrequire instant disclosure of all money in our political process. We believe it's time we know the impact of corporate contributions, shadow money, and big money lobbying in Michigan. We have a right to know when corporations, wealthy individuals and special interests unfairly make their voices louder than real people, real voters. We're taking action by building support for an amendment to Michigan's constitution, via a ballot initiative in 2014, that will give every voter the opportunity to restore transparency to politics. We believe that we, as voters and consumers, have a right to know the origins of money spent to influence elections or government officials so that we can make informed decisions and hold our leaders accountable. To join the coalition and be involved in this exciting campaign, visit our website or facebook page.
Benson is the Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Michigan Allies Projects (MAP) at the Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University. The project is designed to track and map hate crimes and bias incidents in Michigan, publish online reports documenting incidents at colleges and schools, build a network of ‘allies’ to aid in tracking incidents across Michigan, and aid in launching innovative civil lawsuits and advocate for victims of bigotry and discrimination. In 2009 the number of hate groups in Michigan was at 26. In just one year that number leapt to 35. Michigan is consistently ranked in the top 5 states for hate crimes reported each year, and the bullying of our youth is reaching pandemic proportions. What can you do? You can help.
- Visit the Michigan Allies Project’s website and find out how you can become an Ally, or submit incidents.
- Visit us on Facebook and help spread this important message.
- Donate so that we can redouble our efforts to wipe out hate in this state.
Every 10 years, the Michigan legislature redraws district lines for U.S. Congress and the state legislature. These district lines can keep our communities together or split them apart, and affect whether we have representatives who feel responsible for our concerns. The “Michigan Citizens’ Redistricting Competition” is a nonpartisan project to give citizens a voice in the 2011 redistricting process. By entering the competition, Michigan residents can craft and design their own redistricting maps for Congressional or Michigan legislative districts. The maps that best fit with objective and fair criteria will be submitted to the Michigan legislature for consideration. We believe that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around. And we hope that this contest will demonstrate how a nonpartisan, open, transparent and inclusive redistricting process based on objective criteria and citizen input can produce fair legislative districts in Michigan. For more information please join us on Facebook.