We are pleased to announce that Holly Holland is the 2023 recipient of the Kelly Rossman-McKinney Scholarship! Holly is from Dimondale and studies political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduating in 2024, Holly plans to pursue a Master of Public Policy degree.

As part of this year’s process, we asked applicants to write an essay on a policy issue important to them that the new Democratic majority should tackle. You can read Holly’s essay on the gender pay gap below. We are excited to support Holly in her education and to see everything she will accomplish in the future!

The Eaton County Democratic Party offers an annual scholarship named in honor and memory of Kelly Rossman-McKinney. The Kelly Rossman-McKinney Scholarship is a $500 non-renewable scholarship to a student seeking to further their education at a trade school or college. The application is generally available in the spring.

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“A pressing injustice that currently plagues America is gender pay inequality. Women do not make the same amount as men do for the same amount of work, which is an injustice that America should not stand for. In Michigan, the pay gap is the eighth worst in the country. However, the pay gap is even worse for women of color and older women, disproportionately impacting women who belong to these demographics.

As a woman of color, gender equality is important to me when I have to work and think about my income in a few short years. If I am working the same amount of hours, doing the same work as a male co-worker, then I should have the right to receive the same amount on my paycheck as my co-worker does. When we stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school, we don’t say the phrase, “… with liberty and justice for all,” just for there to be multiple inequalities that defy that statement. Justice means fairness, and fairness means equality. Equality doesn’t mean different pay; it means equal pay.

Working adults need every penny they can get, be it as a single woman, married couple, single mother, or family. Often, families depend on every single dollar of their income; anything the woman earns goes toward the family’s expenses. Depending on the husband’s job, the family can either relax, or both spouses have to pick up an extra part-time job, or have to work longer at their job. Many families are forced to budget their income in order to meet their needs. The more children the family has, the more they have to worry about this, when they should be enjoying time with their children when they are still young. Not all families have two people with income – people with disabilities receive the sub-minimum wage, an amount that’s even less than the minimum wage.

If the legislature addresses the gender pay gap, the outcome of this injustice is equal pay for both women and men. Women would finally receive the equality they deserve with their income. Eaton County families wouldn’t need to work or budget as hard in order to sufficiently meet their needs. They would have more time to spend together as a family. If there are children, they could be more involved, participating in sports or other extracurricular activities. People wouldn’t have to work part-time or take extra hours, freeing up jobs for others who want them. Additionally, women or families looking to retire at a younger age would be able to, as they wouldn’t have to work as long to acquire all the money they will need. Finally, addressing this problem would allow women across the state, and Eaton County, to garner more respect from others, and in turn, will feel more valued by their community.”