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Our latest update to the DeVos Family Reader: Monitoring the most powerful family in West Michigan

August 31, 2022

In Howard Zinn’s monumental book, A People’s History of the United States, he constantly juxtaposes the amazing things that people did to fight for liberation and the people behind the systems of oppression that social movements were fighting against.

This is exactly why I have spent years monitoring, investigating and critiquing the DeVos Family. They are the most recognizable and powerful manifestation of the systems of power and oppression in West Michigan. Now, I know there are plenty of people who share the belief that without the DeVos Family, Grand Rapids wouldn’t be where it is today. I fully agree with that belief, but for reasons that are the exact opposite of those who hold the most powerful family in West Michigan in high regard.

Three times a year we try to update our DeVos Family Reader, a collection of articles that looks at the family’s history, the influence on election & public policy, their foundations, how they are reported on in the news media, ArtPrize and the section entitled Betsy DeVos Watch.

This updated version of the DeVos Family Reader includes information and analysis on a variety of topics, since our last update, which was 4 months ago. There a total of 10 separate articles we posted having to directly with the DeVos family. The first post in mid-May was an article about the anti-Abortion Cartel in West Michigan, which has at the top of it the DeVos family. This article looks at the level of funding, both to political candidates and through their foundation, the DeVos family has contributed that essentially has led to the criminalization of abortion. In July, we posted another article with some of the same information, but it was also the beginning of a Wanted Poster series we began, looking at the families and organizations that have funded the criminalization of abortion.

A second article, which was post in the 3rd week of May, was written because of the pressure being put on the Kent County Prosecutor to recuse himself in the Patrick Lyoya case, since he took money from the Grand Rapids Area Police Officer’s Association. The GRIID article was pointing out that during the County Prosecutor’s time in office, he has received 23 time more campaign money from the DeVos family, than the cop union.  

In June, we posted four articles about the DeVos family, with the first focusing on the role they are playing the proposed outdoor amphitheater project, which will be located in the southwest part of downtown along the Grand River. The article centers on how much public money is being used without any public input.

Another article in June looks at one the guests that Doug DeVos had on his podcast show, called Believe, while another article looked at an interview that Betsy DeVos did on the Acton Institute’s radio show, which focused on her recently released book.

There was one final post in June about the DeVos family, which was a critique of the Amway Corporation’s decision to pull all of their operations out of Russia.

In early August, right around the time of the Michigan Primary Election, we posted two stories on the DeVos family’s role in campaign financing. One article centered on the fact that the DeVos family, along with other members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure, dominated campaign contributions to candidates from West Michigan in the primary. The second post was about the fact that the DeVos family was the single largest campaign contributor to the GOP gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who won the GOP primary and will face Gov. Whitmer in November. 

The last article we posted in our updated version of the DeVos Family Reader, was a mid-August piece looking at the upcoming art spectacle in Grand Rapids known as ArtPrize. We have written a great deal about ArtPrize over the years, but this year decided to ask the question, How do we justify ArtPrize with all the horrible shit the DeVos family does?

With these new additions to the DeVos Family Reader, we are now up to 681 pages of information and analysis on the most powerful family in West Michigan.

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