I have been lucky to have been surrounded by women who have helped form my outlook and beliefs which drive my priorities.
It started with my mother – Lorraine Sowerby taught me the value of every person, and that ideas are worth nothing without taking action on issues of fairness and justice. She raised my siblings and me with a sense of purpose and commitment to others. She advocated for welfare rights, the United Farm Workers, the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice, the Free Medical Clinic, Meals on Wheels and so many more organizations fighting for those who need a hand up. Through her eyes, I learned that Women’s Rights are Human Rights.
My wife influences my daily life – I married a smart, strong, active woman, Dr. Martha Higgins, who has taught me how important it is to have women in leadership positions, trusting women to make their own health care decisions, and to have zero tolerance for sexual harassment and domestic violence. It is my privilege to support her in her work as a physician at one of Michigan’s largest teaching hospitals which is located in the City of Detroit. We have both been long-time supporters of Turning Point in Mt. Clemens, and Martha served on the Board of that organization for several years.
A privilege to help where needed – “Thank you, Bill Sowerby and Martha Higgins, your generosity helps us to continue our mission to provide programs and resources that enable victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault regain control of their lives.” – Suzanne Coats, former President and CEO of Turning Point, Mt. Clemens.
For many years as Clinton Township Treasurer, I had the opportunity to work with an all-female staff, and I appointed Cindy Melitz as my Deputy Treasurer because I believe in promoting women to leadership positions.
- Bill Sowerby cosponsored legislation that addresses pay equity for women. The bill package increases fines on those that commit wage discrimination and creates a commission on pay equity (HBs 4629-4633).
- Bill supports increasing health care coverage for new mothers on Medicaid from 60 days to a full year. The “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” plan addresses Michigan’s high rate of infant mortality.
- Bill Sowerby cosponsored legislation that requires paid sick leave for employees (HB 5628).
- Bill voted to prohibit auto insurance companies from using discriminatory non-driving factors, like gender, marital status, and zip code, when setting your insurance rate. These factors have nothing to do with your driving record and will make your insurance rates more affordable (SB 1).