Former Rep. Mary Schroer, an Ann Arbor Democrat who was one of the Legislature’s most visible supporters of abortion rights and gun control during the 1990s, died earlier this month of cancer. She was 70.
She was probably best-known in that term for leading the opposition to making Michigan a “shall-issue” state for concealed pistol licenses, or as they were then known, carrying a concealed weapon permits. She emphasized law enforcement opposition to the law, and opponents of the legislation succeeded in that term at preventing it from passing.
Ms. Schroer also was a strong supporter of abortion rights and opponent of the regular large increases at that time in the Department of Corrections budget. She was not afraid to cast a relatively lonely no vote as seen on one Corrections budget that she said would leave the state with “castrated, undereducated inmates running around in the dark fixing roads.”
Ms. Schroer also was one of a handful of legislators to vote against a bill banning human cloning, warning the wording of the legislation could deprive researchers of medical innovations. And she did so with wit as was often the case.
“The thought of 110 more of us running around is truly a scary thought,” she said in a floor speech. “But I don’t want research stopped that could save the life of a child or elderly person.”
More from the Ann Arbor News, October 8, 2017:
Mary was a well informed, passionate and energetic legislator in the Michigan House of Representatives spanning the years 1992 through 1998. Her Washtenaw County District was the 52nd house district composed of the northern portion of Ann Arbor and the six townships comprising northwest Washtenaw County. Her introduction to community activism occurred when Mary moved to Ann Arbor in 1972 and joined the group Parents for Alternative Learning, advocates for open classroom teaching in the Ann Arbor Schools. It was during this time that Ed Pierce, Ann Arbor’s mayor, recruited Mary to work on his successful campaign for the state senate. It was there that Mary displayed her firm grasp of campaign politics. She went on to play a prime role in the Ed Pierce campaign for governor. Mary then became active in Lana Pollack’s successful campaign for the state senate. Upon forming her senate staff, Senator Pollack tapped Mary as a legislative assistant. Mary was a trusted and effective legislative assistant for the 10 years preceding her swearing in to the House of Representatives. Mary attended Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University. She was awarded a degree in political science, summa cum laude, by Eastern Michigan University. Among her many committees and boards, Mary served as chair of the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees, as a Board member of the Ann Arbor Community Center and as a board member of the Democratic Michigan Women’s Campaign Fund.