top of page


2004 - 2011


January 19

Refuel, Reinvest, Reinforce: PWA in 2011

Melissa Moore Janes, Chairperson, Progressive Women’s Alliance


February 16

Context for Conflict: Progressives, Laissez Faire, & the Promise of Democratic Government

Paul Murphy, Professor, Grand Valley State University, author of The Rebuke of History


March 16

The War Against Planned Parenthood

Sarah Scranton, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan


April 20

Environmental Groups Take Stand as Michigan Prepares for Reinvention

Rep. Patricia Birkholz, Director, Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of the Great Lakes and former Michigan Senator

Rich VanderVeen, Founder and President, Mackinaw Power LLC Nicholas Occhipinti, Director of Policy and Community Action, West Michigan Environmental Action Council


May 18

Up-to-the-Minute Report on Snyder’s “State of Change” Judy Putnam, Communications Director, Michigan League for Human Services, former journalist


June 9

Strong Voices in Art, Music, and Politics PWA Fundraiser at Eve at the B.O.B. 4th floor

September 21

PACing a Punch: Money and the 2012 Election

Klaas Kwant, local political consultant, and Mary Alice Williams, PWA Candidate Committee and former City Commissioner


November 14

Creating a Culture for Change: Lessons from the Front Lines of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

PWA Fundraiser featuring Kerry Eleveld, LGBT Activist, Senior Fellow at, Former White House Correspondent for The Advocate



January 13

The Governor Speaks About Then and Now

Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan


February 17

Be Very Afraid: What the 2010 Census Could Mean for Michigan

Amanda Stitt, Executive Director, Michigan Voice


March 17

Women’s Reproductive Rights, the Health Care Debate, and Margaret Sanger: What You Need to Know

Kary Moss, Executive Director, ACLU of Michigan

Sarah Scranton, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan State Senator (23rd District)

Gayla Jewell, PhD, Nurse Practitioner, Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center


April 21

PWA Membership Drive PWA Friendraiser at Bohemia Too in downtown Grand Rapids


May 19

The Stakes for Women in State Government: The Elections of 2010

PWA Fundraiser featuring Rep. Pam Byrnes, Michigan House Speaker Pro Tempore


June 16

Learn from a Lobbyist: Advice for Progressives in 2010

Jean Doss, J. Doss Consulting, LLC


August 18

Looking at the Big Picture: Your PWA $$$ At Work

PWA Candidate Committee and recent endorsees (attended by Rebekah Warren, Kate Segal, Mary Valentine, representative of Marcia Hovey-Wright, Candace Chivis, Pat Miles)


September 15

The Stakes for Michigan’s Supreme Court

PWA Fundraiser featuring Mark Brewer, Chair, Michigan Democratic Party


September 16

PWA fundraiser luncheon with journalist Eleanor Clift as special guest


September 27

PWA Progressive Leadership Awards Luncheon

PWA Fundraiser honoring Kathy Humphrey and Kristin Revere


October 20

Foul/No Foul: Refereeing the 2010 Campaigns

Susan Demas, columnist and analyst for Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS)




January 21

PWA Post-Inaugural Party

Post-election celebration at Mercury Head Gallery


February 2

Front Seat, Front Page: Covering Barack Obama PWA Fundraiser featuring Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times


March 18

Upping the Gender Balance in Lansing: Run, Women, Run

Melissa Anderson, PWA Chairperson

Joan Bowman, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Jo Ellyn Clarey, PWA Program Committee

[State Rep. Pam Byrnes was the scheduled speaker but had to cancel.]


April 15

Strong Voices in Art, Music & Politics

PWA Fundraiser at San Chez restaurant


May 20

Everybody In; Nobody Out: A Primer on Single Payer Health Insurance

Dr. John A. Cavacece, Physicians for a National Health Plan, and Grand Rapids Family Medicine, Wege Institute at St. Mary’s Hospital


September 16

Getting Into Gear for 2010: PWA on the Move

Melissa Anderson, PWA Chairperson


October 21

What’s At Stake in November 2010

Bill Ballenger, Editor, Inside Michigan Politics

November 18

Meet the Press Paul M. Keep, Editor, Grand Rapids Press



January 16

Advancing Women’s Leadership: The White House Project Comes to Michigan

Shannon Garrett, Director, Michigan Field Office, The White House Project


February 16

One Year After the Surge [in Iraq]: Where Do We Stand? Where Do We Go From Here?

Sen. Carl Levin, U.S. Senator


March 19

Time to Talk: An Equinoctial Assessment of Our Progress Melissa Anderson, Chairperson, Progressive Women’s Alliance


April 16

Strong Voices in Art, Music, and Politics PWA Fundraiser at San Chez restaurant


May 21

Just War Theory: An Analysis of Bush Foreign Policy

Dr. Roger Durham, Professor of Political Science, Aquinas College


June 18

Courting Trouble: A Forum About Threats to a Fair, Open, and Independent Michigan Supreme Court

Justice Marilyn Kelly, Michigan Supreme Court

Rich Robinson, Executive Director, Michigan Campaign Finance Network


July 16

An Opportunity for Progressives: Michigan’s 7th and Mark Schauer

Mark Schauer, PWA-Endorsed Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives


September 17

Back to Basics on Stem Cells: The Science and the Initiative

Dr. Joe Schwarz, former US Representative, Current Chair of Cure Michigan


October 15

The Final 20 Days: Activism and Campaigning

Mary Alice Williams, PWA Candidate Committee


November 19

Righting the Ship of State: Challenges and Opportunities for the New President

Dan Balfour, Professor, School of Public & Nonprofit Administration, Grand Valley State University




January 17

Inauguration, Celebration, Participation!

Melissa Anderson, Chairperson, Progressive Women’s Alliance


February 21

See Dick and Jen Run: A Capitol Correspondent’s View of the 2006 Election

Tim Skubick, Political Journalist and Author


March 21

Being Progressive in Michigan – An Environmentalist’s Point of View

Lana Pollack, President of the Michigan Environmental Council


April 25

Strong Voices in Art, Music, and Politics PWA Fundraiser at San Chez restaurant


May 16

Regional Opportunities for Progressive Action

Mayor George Heartwell, Grand Rapids


June 20

Framing: How Language Manipulates Political Thought

Dr. Michael Wolfe, Associate Professor of Psychology, Grand Valley State University


July 18

PWA Action on behalf of endorsed 2nd Ward City Commission Candidate Ruth Kelly

Neighborhood walking, friend-to-friend cards, letter-writing


September 19

Everyday Leadership: Getting Results in Business, Politics, and Life

Dan Mulhern, First Gentleman of Michigan


October 17

PAC 101: A User’s Guide to Political Action Committees

Darlene Szumko, Election Law Attorney

Evelyn Quiroga, Bureau of Elections, Michigan Department of State


November 26

A Celebration of Progressive Values

PWA Fundraiser at the home of Marge Byington, featuring U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Michigan State Representative Mary Valentine




February 15

Progressive Women’s Alliance 2nd Anniversary

Celebration held at Tributary Art Gallery on Division at Weston


March 15

March to the Majority: Women in Politics and the 2006 Michigan House Races

Rep. Dianne Byrum, Michigan State Representative, House Democratic Leader


April 19

Strong Voices in Art, Music, and Politics PWA Fundraiser at the Urban Institute for the Contemporary Arts


May 17

Defeating the Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative on the Ballot This Fall

Trish Stein, Director, One United Michigan


June 21

Double-Teaming for the Environment: Green Building and Clean Water

Guy Bazzani, President, Bazzani Associates, Inc. Kym Spring, Community Organizer, Clean Water Action


July 19

Morning Rally for Governor Jennifer Granholm, featuring Ellen R. Malcolm, President and Co-Founder of EMILY’s List


July 19

Kent County Senior Millage on the Ballot

Local representatives supporting the ballot initiative, meeting held at United Methodist Community House


August 16 

PWA Action: How to Support PWA-Endorsed Candidates PWA Issues Committee; Tom Russell, Campaign Manager for Senator Stabenow; Trevor Thomas, representative from Gov. Granholm’s campaign

September 20

Understanding the Jihad Movement and Homeland Security

Dr. Jonathan R. White, Professor of Criminal Justice, Founding Director of the School of Criminal Justice, Grand Valley State University



January 19

Reproductive Rights: Past Progress and Current Threats Alice St. Clair, Communication Coordinator, Planned Parenthood of West Michigan


March 16

The Resilient Tradition of Grand Rapids Women in Elective Politics: Then and Now

Jo Ellyn Clarey, Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council


April 20

Framing Religion and Its Progressive Political Expression

Ian W. Lawton, Executive Minister, Christ Community Church, Spring Lake


May 18

Holding Local Broadcasters Accountable Jeff Smith, Director, Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy


July 20

Economic Development in West Michigan: How Our Region is Perceived, What We Do Well, What Needs Improvement

Birgit Klohs, President, The Right Place, Inc.


August 4

PWA Fundraiser for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator from Michigan


August 17

Main Street Partnership: An Organization for Disenfranchised Republicans

Bob Eleveld, Attorney, PWA Endorsee, Member of recently-formed state chapter of Main Street Partnership


September 21

The Charter School Approach: University Prep High School 

Doug Ross, Superintendent and Founder of University Prep High School, Detroit


October 18

The K-16 Coalition Keeps Marching Along: Proposed Changes to the Funding System for Educational Institutions in Michigan Ken MacGregor, Former Manager of Government Relations-West for the National Education Association, now with the K-16 Coalition for Michigan’s Future


November 16

Strong Beginnings – A Federal Program to Reduce Infant Mortality in the African American Community 

Dr. Khan Nedd, Chairperson, Grand Rapids African-American Health Institute

Peggy Vandermeulen, Program Director at Strong Beginnings

Yvette McCutcheon, Education Manager for Strong Beginnings Dr. Marguerite Morgan, Coordinator of the mental health component of the program through Arbor Circle

Mickey Jenson-Haver, Moderator



April 21

Mayor George Heartwell, Grand Rapids


May 24

Progressive Women Can Change the World

PWA Fundraiser featuring Gov. Jennifer Granholm


June 16

The Michigan Political Landscape 

Craig Ruff, President and CEO of Public Sector Consultants

August 18

Working with the Governor and Legislature on the Budget Crisis in Michigan

Mary Lannoye, State Budget Director

November 17

Post-Election Analysis

Glenn Barkan, Professor, Aquinas College


December 15

The Electoral College

Keith St. Clair, Professor, Grand Rapids Community College

bottom of page