…Ellen Cogen Lipton Honors Sister & Public Education… (video)

sideGARDENtopState gallowaycollens1Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton Honors Sister and

Public Education in Farewell Speech (video)

(C. Proxmire, Dec. 7, 2014)

(scroll to bottom for video)

At the end of three terms in the House of Representatives, Ellen Cogen Lipton of Huntington Woods said farewell with a sentimental speech honoring her sister and touting the importance of public education.

lisa schmidt lawLipton spoke about her motivation for getting involved in public service, prompted mainly by her sister Shannon Hope who was diagnosed with cancer.

“It was her advice and diagnosis that inspired me to run for office – an unlikely path for a patent attorney, from Alabama no less,” she said.

“I shared with her the joys and frustrations of public service and as she recounted her own battles, many on this end seemed petty and insignificant compared to the war she was waging for her very life.”

Hope, who had been an advocate for equality in public education, passed away in March and was laid to rest on Lipton’s birthday.

“There was nothing that infuriated her more than the issue of public education and the wrong direction both federal and state policy were moving, all in the name of so-called reform,” Lipton said. “Many of the educationSahara ad with wine policies emanating from this body over the last four years were at best misguided and at worst downright harmful to Michigan’s children. Spin and messaging aside we are spending less per pupil today than in 1994, the advent of Proposal A, when adjusted for inflation.

“We are subjecting our children to hours and hours of standardized testing which offers little educational value but returns enormous profit to the testing industry. And it widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots because one of the few things these standardized tests can reliably measure is the socioeconomic status of the students who take them.

seed542767892 Karen Towmey“Take steps to reduce poverty in a community and the educational achievement of its youngest citizens will grow.”

Lipton called public education the “very foundation of a Democratic society,” and spent much of her time in the House fighting for school funding and the dismantling of the Education Achievement Authority.

She represents the 27th House District including Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park, Hazel Park and Royal Oak Township. Her time in the legislature comes to an end at the end of the year as she is term-limited out and Robert Wittenberg of Berkley will fill that seat.

“As my journey here comes to an end, I pray that I have left more stones on the pile upon my exit than when I first arrived,” Lipton said. Referring to her sister, she said “Yours was a life well-lived and I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Lipton will be hosting her final coffee hour as State Rep on Dec. 9 at the Ferndale Public Library.  For more information see http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/12/02/ellen-cogen-liptons-final-coffee-hour-as-state-rep-dec-9/

The video of Lipton’s speech is below, courtesy of the Michigan Democrats on You Tube

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