Anti-Glenn protests about more than tax proposal

By Tori Phelps & Kylie Wojciechowski

More than 20 SVSU students showed up Wednesday to protest a live broadcast town hall meeting about a transportation tax proposal that will appear on the statewide ballot Tuesday, May 5.

They didn’t unite in opposition to the tax proposal, but in opposition to one panelist’s political ideologies.

Gary Glenn, a state representative from Midland, served on the session as a panelist against the proposal. He was joined by Paul Mitchell from the Coalition against Higher Taxes.

The Valley Vanguard

Panelists in support of the proposal included Bay County Executive Tom Hickner and a representative from the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

A Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives, Glenn represents District 98. He currently serves on the Michigan commerce and trade, energy policy, military and veterans affairs and tax policy committees.

“The protest is an objection to Glenn’s representation as a whole,” political science junior Janelle Lake said. “While he believes he is representing his district’s best interests, in reality, he is only representing a small faction of the Republican Party overall, and that’s wrong.”

Public administration sophomore Brandon Errer also participated in the protest, taking a stance against Glenn’s anti-homosexual views.

“(Glenn) refuses to listen to anything that he doesn’t already agree with,” Errer said. “… This protest is more about me wanting every transgender person to know that they are not fighting this battle alone. Someone should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity or gender expression.”

Occupational therapy graduate student Katy Smith joined the protest to represent the Secular Student Alliance Association.

“(Glenn) … uses his faith as evidence for his arguments,” Smith said. “This gradual erosion whereby faith as rhetoric is viable and even at times essential to candidacy is something as secular students and citizens in a secular democracy that we must fight.”

Lake, who serves as president of SVSU’s College Democrats, also relates the protest to her organization.

“When we don’t vote, when we don’t stand up for what we believe in, we allow men like Gary Glenn to not only win elections, but to actually have the power to write and pass legislation for his own political agenda,” Lake said.

Errer said he hopes the protest will draw attention to transgender issues that are usually ignored.

“I [also] hope that Glenn realizes that people are upset about the things that he’s doing and maybe he will realize that he’s actively participating in discrimination,” he said.

Vanguard advertising manager Tyler Bradley participated in the protest.


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