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 at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit and, who as Chair of the Department of Pathology, is the first woman named to chair a department at the hospital. 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.
Respecting women in the workplace – Working women deserve equal pay and should be respected for their knowledge and skills. 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. In the legislature, I fight for equal employment with equal wages and better educational opportunities which allow everyone to overcome challenges and achieve their highest potential.