2020 Champion Award | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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The Honorable Gretchen Whitmer,
Governor of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander. She is a lawyer, an educator, former prosecutor, State Representative and Senator. She was the first woman to lead a Senate caucus. But as she likes to say, the most important title she boasts is MOM. Inspired by her family, she’s devoted her life to building a stronger Michigan for everyone.

As part of her commitment to protecting kids, Gov. Whitmer in September 2019 became the first governor to take emergency action to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic. In the midst of a rapidly growing public health crisis, Gov. Whitmer declared youth e-cigarette use to be a public health emergency and proposed the first statewide ban on the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes.

Her action in Michigan changed the national debate on the e-cigarette epidemic and served as the catalyst for other states to propose similar measures, both executive and legislative. Even in the face of tobacco industry challenges, her leadership on this issue continues to galvanize states and cities across the nation to take the necessary action to end this epidemic.

Gov. Whitmer was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000 and to the state Senate in 2006 where she served as the Senate Democratic Leader. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Gov. Whitmer carried all 83 counties in the primary and then won the general election. Since taking office, she has put together the most diverse cabinet in the state’s history and has signed executive directives to clean up drinking water, end discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation and gender identity, secure equal pay for equal work, and expand opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.

Gov. Whitmer is committed to solving the problems Michiganders face every day. That means ensuring every Michigander has a great public education and a path to a good-paying job, every community has clean, safe drinking water, and everyone can drive to work or drop their kids at school safely, without blowing a tire or cracking a windshield.

She and her husband live in Lansing with her two daughters. Her three stepsons live in Michigan as well. Gov. Whitmer earned a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Michigan State University.