There are traces of Dick DeVos all over the state of Michigan, more so in his beloved Grand Rapids city. Dick and his entire family have donated millions to all sorts of causes meant to help the state and cities. Sure, there may be a lot of people who disagree with Dick’s fundamental beliefs and his political persuasion, but not one person can say that he is not passionate about the well-being of Michigan.
The people of the United States did not know much about this family nor this name until President Trump decided to make Betsy DeVos, Dick’s wife, the Secretary of Education. This move was controversial for a number of reasons. For one, Betsy had no experience in public education. Furthermore, Dick’s wife also seems to be against public education and favors private and religious education instead. A person who does not seem to support public education has now been put in charge of it, which has made several people in the country nervous.
There is no doubt that having a DeVos in charge of education will likely create some change. The combination between Betsy and Dick has been quite powerful in their home state. The two have managed to make charter schools the main source of education in Michigan, and many who love the idea of school choice continue to celebrate that success. Those who worry that the DeVos’ family is attempting to hurt the country should look to their past to see that their intentions are benign, at least in their perspective.
For example, back in 1991, Dick fought tooth and nails against the building of a sports arena in Grand Rapids. Dick lobbied against the arena as he remembers how a similar arena hurt the city of Detroit. This man wanted to bring culture and education to the city with things like a performance hall and a medical school. Some of these goals were achieved, and it made Grand Rapids the official ‘cool city’ in Michigan. It is perhaps one of the most visited cities in the state, and it continues to attract an interesting crowd of people.
One thing that can be said about Dick and Betsy is that they do not let defeat bring them down. Dick lost a state governor run back in 2006, and it was a devastating lost that cost him a lot of money. Still, it is clear that Dick is not scared of losing money as long as he is given the opportunity to create change. No one would say that all his ideas have panned out as he hoped, but he definitely aspires for improvement at all costs. Learn more: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20170602/NEWS/170609993/dick-and-betsy-devos