The DLGA Dispatch: Democratic Lt. Govs across the country lead on key issues in 2024

This month, Democratic Lieutenant Governors held events on issues top of mind to voters across the country, from a roundtable on abortion access in Wisconsin, to a summit on gun violence prevention in Michigan, to tackling food insecurity in Minnesota.

See more highlights from our Lt. Govs. below: 


Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman recently underwent a successful double mastectomy upon early detection of breast cancer. She is encouraging Kentuckians to schedule their preventative exams and take proactive steps towards their well-being.


In Green Bay, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rodriguez led a roundtable with advocates and physicians to highlight the stakes of the 2024 election and underscore that abortion access is on the ballot. In Columbus, she met with small business owners. And this week, Governor Evers named Lt. Gov. Rodriguez, a former nurse and health care leader, as the Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce to lead efforts to strengthen the job opportunities in Wisconsin and expand access to affordable health care. 

WHBL: Evers Names Lt. Governor Rodriguez to Lead Healthcare Workforce Task Force

“As the leader of this new workforce, we will focus on ways that we can not only bring more talented workers to our state but keep them here too,” said Rodriguez.  “And building on the momentum that we’ve already started, we will seek out new and innovative pathways to get more people started in a successful health care career.”

The task force will investigate recruitment and retention, identify ways to improve patient care, explore ways to grow the healthcare workforce, and create a plan with solutions related to workforce development.


In Michigan, Lt. Gov. Gilchrist held a gun violence prevention summit with advocates and survivors to discuss policies to keep communities safe. Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist have taken meaningful action in their administration to address gun violence, including through laws that will strengthen safe storage of firearms and implement “red flag” laws to keep people safe.

Michigan Advance: ‘We need you to keep fighting for our lives’

Gun violence has touched the lives of every Michigander, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said Monday at the start of the Michigan Gun Violence Prevention Summit held virtually on Monday and Tuesday. Beyond having the god-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Gilchrist added individuals should have the right to live without the fear of gun violence looming over them at work, at home or at school.

“Every single death by a gun in Michigan and America in the world is 100% preventable,” Gilchrist said. “That means that we have the power to stop all of this death and all of our communities — no matter what community you live in. No matter what the shape and spirit of gun violence looks like. No matter whether it is suicide or homicide, they are all preventable.”


Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan is helping to lead the “Make Hunger History” initiative to cut the rate of food insecurity in the state by half by 2030. Lt. Gov. and DLGA Chair Flanagan has been outspoken about her own experiences with food insecurity as a child and she has been steadfast in her leadership to address this growing problem in Minnesota.

MPR News: Second Harvest Heartland announces goal to cut state hunger in half by 2030

Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest food banks in the country, said it plans to cut the state’s growing hunger problem in half by 2030 through a new “care center” team connecting people to economic and social services and by identifying hunger hot spots.

At an event Monday, Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Second Harvest Heartland officials and other partners gathered to announce the new “Make Hunger History” initiative.  


“The dollars that we put in to go to food shelves this last session, we know that those are being distributed, there certainly is more that we need to do,” Flanagan said. 

In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis announced $90 million in student mental health grants available to students across the state. He also went to South Carolina to campaign for Biden-Harris and talk about what’s at stake in this election.

Latrobe Bulletin: Lt. Gov. Austin Davis highlights $90M in student mental health grants

“Pennsylvania kids need more support and more services to help them stay safe and healthy, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too,” said Davis. “One of Gov. Shapiro’s top priorities in the state budget last year was investing more in student mental health, so schools have the resources they need to provide the services and support our kids need. We delivered on that promise by investing $90 million in student mental health grants for schools across the commonwealth.”


Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll is highlighting the ongoing issues of domestic violence and supporting the resources needed to aid survivors. She traveled to western Massachusetts to discuss how there is more to be done to fulfill ongoing needs of victims and survivors, and how organizations like the YWCA are aiding in that effort. 

WWLP: Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll tours YWCA in Springfield

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll was able to see and learn about the 20 community-based programs at the facility. The YWCA provides shelter to battered women and their children in crisis at their facility which has state-of-the-art computerized security. 

Lt Governor Driscoll told 22News how her administration plans to tackle this issue head-on, “I mean it’s terrific to have an organization like the YWCA that provides such an array of service to survivors. From the hot line they operate to the residential programming they support. For us, I think we see this as ‘How do we become a force multiplier?’ There’s obviously support in the community, both dollars and people, and how do we come in and leverage the resources that we can provide, so that they can continue to do the incredible work they are doing.”


Lt. Governor Stratton is a national leader in the work to make Illinois’ criminal justice system more equitable and just. As part of the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative that she leads, Lt. Governor Stratton engaged with advocates and experts to to advance Illinois’ adoption of a more trauma-informed and healing-centered justice system. Last week, Lt. Governor Stratton launched the  Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force (IHCTF) as a key part of these efforts to make Illinois a more trauma-informed and healing-center state.

Governors State University News: Lt. Governor Stratton, making Illinois more trauma-informed

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, joined by law and policymakers, social workers, and thought leaders, recently launched the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force (IHCTF) at Governors State University (GovState).

Created by Senate Bill 646, the IHCTF will work to make Illinois a more trauma-informed and healing-centered state by addressing root causes and treatment of trauma, often tied to gun violence but also defined to include limited access to food, housing and heath care. Stratton also said trauma is disinvestment in communities; and in many instances trauma is fueled by deeply rooted racism.

I am excited to be here today, not just as your Lt. Governor, but as someone who has experienced traumatic events in my life, and someone who has experienced the power of healing, not just individually, but collectively. It is my life’s work in this role to help communities all around our state to heal as well,” said Stratton.


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