Ellen Lipton

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Ellen Lipton is a Michigan activist.


My life’s path changed when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Thankfully, I had health insurance to pay for the medication I needed to live a healthy and productive life. But that medication would not exist without stem cell research. A little over 10 years ago, stem cell research was illegal in Michigan. When I learned of the statewide ballot initiative to overturn the stem cell research ban, I had to get involved. I put my law practice on hold for two years and traveled around Michigan, educating communities across the state about the value of stem cell research and the importance of passing the ballot initiative.

. That fight inspired me to run for office, and in 2008 I became a State Representative. I served three terms in Lansing, the maximum allowed by state law. In Lansing, I was best known for taking on Betsy DeVos, shutting down her attempts to wreak havoc on our state’s school system with her harmful privatization agenda. I also helped spearhead energy efficiency legislation and was appointed to lead the effort to reform Michigan’s broken criminal justice system for appointing counsel to indigent citizens.

I’m proud to say I helped co-found the Progressive Women’s Caucus in the State House, which works to elect pro-choice women to the legislature. [1]


In Lansing, Ellen Lipton was the Vice Chair for both the Education Committee and the Judiciary Committee, as well as serving on the Appropriations and Energy & Technology Committees. During her time as a State Representative she was named the Public Official of the Year in 2010 by the National MS Society, Legislator of the Year in 2011 and 2012 by the Michigan Probate Judges Association and the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Environmental Champion in 2012 by the Michigan Sierra Club, Elected Official of the Year in 2013 by the Oakland County Democratic Party, and Democratic Representative of the Year in 2014 by the Michigan Information and Research Service. [2]

Post politics

After leaving Lansing, Lipton founded and became the President of the Michigan Promise Zone Association. Promise Zones guarantee free college tuition as well as financial aid and scholarship assistance, vocational training and certification to every graduating high school student in communities across the state.

When I left the legislature, I thought my career in politics was over. I was happy to return to my law practice and continue my work as an advocate for public education. But President Trump’s election changed everything. I saw that there was much more to do, and I realized how important it is that we send more women to Washington. [3]

Sharing a stage with Van Jones

"Green jobs pioneer" and former communist Van Jones was the keynote speaker for the 4th annual Michigan Summit on June 12,2010 headlining a day-long event focusing on key issues and policy reforms for Michigan. Jones was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a leading Washington, DC-based think tank. other speakers included Flint Mayor Dayne Walling; Dan Kildee, President of Community Progress; Representative Rashida Tlaib; Representative Sarah Roberts; Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton; Representative Woodrow Stanley; Representative Kate Segal.[4]

DSA endorsement

From Metro Detroit Democratic Socialists of America newsletter July 2018.


Electoral Committee Updates

The next meeting of the Electoral Committee will be TOMORROW, July 16 at 7.00 pm, to discuss how the primary activity is going and start organizing for the general election. ALL MEMBERS WELCOME, email Gillian at gilliantalwar@gmail.com for meeting location info.
For the first time ever we have endorsed FOUR candidates running in Democratic primaries who are Chapter members! They are:
In addition, we have jointly endorsed Andy Levin and Ellen Cogen Lipton in the 9th Congressional District, finding both equally deserving of support. Members are encouraged to support either candidate and the Chapter will support whichever of the two candidates wins the primary election.
There is less than a month until the primary on Tuesday, August 8 and much work to do to help our DSA candidates succeed.