WestSouthwest Brief

Vendors of election security services and equipment ply the halls during a convention of secretaries of state in Santa Fe, N.M.,  July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
Morgan Lee / The Associated Press

West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says he hasn’t made a final decision about running for another term. The St. Joseph Republican says “I would not be doing these 10, 12, 14 hour days often six, seven days a week, if we had made the decision not to run, but frankly it’s just a little bit too early.” 


Courtesy photo | Beverly Tatum

What's one of the most powerful ways to reduce racism in America? Just talk to someone different than you. So says race relations scholar Beverly Tatum, the former longtime president of Spelman College, an historically black women's college in Atlanta. 


Map of Michigan's Congressional Districts
Department of Interior / Wikimedia Commons

The Director of Princeton University’s Gerrymandering Project says a new independent commission in Michigan presents an opportunity to move past partisan gridlock and represent a wide range of interests. Sam Wang says there are also challenges such as essentially starting a new state agency from scratch.


Cover of the book When the Promise Was Broken: Short Plays Inspired by the Songs of Bruce Springsteen from Smith and Kraus Publishers
Smith and Kraus Publishers

Two Kalamazoo area playwrights say the idea for a book of plays inspired by the songs of Bruce Springsteen was first hatched “six or seven years ago.” It finally took off when the chair of Western Michigan University’s Theater Department said “then do it.”


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Climate change has been on weighing on Josh Gottlieb’s mind. The Kalamazoo Central High School teacher says when his young children are grown, he wants them to know he fought for a habitable planet. Last spring he went to his students and asked what they could to together.

“Basically, what the students said is we want to deliver the United States to Greta,” he said. They were referring to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who famously started skipping school on Fridays to protest inaction on the climate crisis.


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