News Briefs 1/9


GVL Briefs

Elizabeth Schanz, News Editor

Ottawa County removes Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, changes slogan and implements new conservative figures

On Jan. 3, Ottawa County Board of Commissioners removed the county’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the county’s motto was changed from “Where You Belong” to “Where Freedom Rings.” 

According to MLive, these changes come with the new, right-leaning majority of Ottawa County Commissioners, many of whom campaigned on the idea of “shaking up the county’s status quo.”

Other changes within the organizational meeting included personnel changes. The board demoted the county’s Administrative Health Officer Adeline Hambley to the interim administrative health officer. Her role is set to be replaced by Nathan Kelly, granted that he’s confirmed for the position by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  

Additionally, the board transitioned the county’s in-house law attorney to a law group called Kallman Legal Group that notably promotes conservative causes including defending two businesses investigated for denying service to LGBTQ people due to religious beliefs and challenging COVID-19 shutdowns. 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy wins Speaker of the House

On Jan. 7, after 15 days of voting and negotiations, representative Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House. 

The vote was divided by conservative representative Andy Biggs of Arizona who held the remaining GOP votes in order to secure a majority. To receive the majority of votes to secure this position, McCarthy and his allies made concessions with a group of far-right conservative lawmakers who did not feel that McCarthy was conservative enough and refused to support him.

According to CNN, some of the agreed-upon concessions include more Freedom Caucus representation on committees, including the House Rules Committee, 72 hours to review bills before they come to the house floor, that House will hold key votes on conservative bills and more.

Notably, one of the agreed-upon concessions allows any member to call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair, which would make it easier to make a “no confidence vote” in the speaker. This was fought for by conservatives but sparked concerns around how this could reduce the Speaker of the House’s power. 

McCarthy was able to secure a narrow 50.5% with 216 votes on the 15th ballot while New York democrat Hakeem Jefferies secured 49.5% of the votes with 212 representatives.