Daisy Elliott | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Daisy Elliott

State renames building for two Michigan civil rights pioneers

Sep 21, 2020
daisy elliott holds papers posing in front of the Michigan Capitol
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has formally dedicated a state office building with a new name that honors two civil rights pioneers.

The former Lewis Cass building in downtown Lansing is now the Elliott-Larsen Building.

daisy elliott holds papers posing in front of the Michigan Capitol
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

 

Many Michiganders have heard of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It's been in the news most recently because of a petition drive to expand the law's protections to members of the LGBTQ community. But while Elliott-Larsen is a well-known piece of legislation, few of us know much about the people who gave the law its name. One of those people was Daisy Elliott.

thetoad / Flickr

The woman who wrote and championed Michigan’s groundbreaking Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act has died.

Daisy Elliott was a state representative from Detroit for nearly two decades.

Fellow lawmakers remembered her as a quiet, gracious woman who fiercely opposed discrimination of any kind.

Her years-long campaign for state-level civil rights protections finally paid off in 1977, when the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act became law with bipartisan support. It declared: