Sen. Debbie Stabenow Warns Against Ignoring Upper Peninsula

Stabenow says it’s important that the UP not be out-of-sight, out-of-mind for downstate policymakers.

Laura Weber Davis, WDET

Before Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) went to Mackinac Island last week for the policy conference with business leaders and elected officials, she toured the Upper Peninsula visiting small businesses.

Detroit Today producer Laura Weber-Davis spoke with Stabenow about why the trip up north is important to her.

Stabenow told TV6

“I tell all my colleagues, we don’t have an economy, we don’t have a middle class unless we make things and grow things,” said Stabenow. “And that’s what we do in Michigan, and right here at Delta Manufacturing and Cretens Furniture, that’s what’s happening.”

“We’re a very big state and sometimes I think [the U.P. can be viewed as] out-of-sight, out-of-mind,” says Stabenow on Detroit Today.

The Upper Peninsula has dealt with loss of its key industry, mining, just as Southeast Michigan has lost a lot of manufacturing. Stabenow says the U.P. produces an element key to making steel used in automobiles, taconite. And she says another mine in the U.P. is set to close.

“We’ve got a mine closing right now and 400 people are losing their jobs,” she says.

To hear more of her conversation on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.