Highway named in Aretha Franklin’s honor

    Aretha Franklin | Wikimedia Commons

    There’s finally a “freeway of love,” as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a bill memorializing Detroit pop legend Aretha Franklin.

    House Bill 4060, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit) designates the portion of the M-10 freeway between Livernois and I-94 in Detroit as the “Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway.”

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    Love has said that Franklin was “more than a musical icon,” noting her civil rights legacy, including working with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. She received a host of accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, before passing away on Aug. 18, 2018, at age 76.

    “Aretha Franklin was an American icon. She began her career here in the heart of Detroit. Her creativity and voice contributed to our musical and cultural history in Michigan,” said Whitmer. “I’m honored to be able to dedicate a portion of the M-10 freeway to remember Aretha and all she did for our state.”

     

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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