Meet Lieutenant Governor

GARLIN GILCHRIST II

Standing tall for Michigan.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist has dedicated his career to solving problems.

An engineer by training, he uses thoughtful innovation, progressive reform, and efficient modernization of policies and programs to make the work better for hardworking families. From spearheading campaigns for equality and justice to harnessing technology to solve real problems, his focus has consistently remained on serving the public and getting things done.

Engineer. Entrepreneur. Activist.

He brings a lifetime of experience to the task, receiving his first computer at age five and setting up a computer lab in a Detroit community recreation center using computers that he built himself at age 16. Lt. Governor Gilchrist studied computer engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, graduating with honors, and later had a successful career as a software engineer at Microsoft, helping to build SharePoint into the fastest growing product in the company’s history.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist spent the next several years of his career as a social entrepreneur and community organizer who helped people in communities across America realize their full economic and political potential. Upon returning home to Detroit, Lt. Governor Gilchrist worked in local government to build systems that made the government more responsive, transparent, and accountable to city residents. This experience prepared him for a key priority: to bring Michigan’s state government fully into the 21st century on every level.

Addressing inequity across Michigan

As part of the Whitmer Administration, Lt. Governor Gilchrist has sought to address injustice and inequity across our state at every level. From co-chairing the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration to helming the Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, these task forces have taken actions that saved lives and protect our most vulnerable populations. Lt. Governor Gilchrist’s approach to addressing these disparities is deeply rooted in fact-based practices, science, and connecting with individuals across Michigan.

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and his wife, Ellen, reside in Detroit where they are raising their twins, Emily and Garlin III, and daughter, Ruby.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist is a fighter for the freedom to vote. Whatever your race, background or zip code, voters deserve to pick our leaders -- our leaders do not get to pick their voters. When it comes to our elections, we want a transparent process we can trust, where Michiganders have equal freedom to vote.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist believes Michiganders should be able to safely and freely cast our ballots so that every voice is heard and our elections reflect the will of the people. He is fighting to ensure every eligible American has the freedom to vote, to make their voice heard, and to be counted.

In April 2019, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2019-10 creating the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. The Task Force issued its final report and recommendations in January of 2020 and found significant growth in county jail populations, costing taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars annually. Jail populations have been driven equally by pretrial and post-conviction incarceration, with limited guidance in state law on the preferred or presumed intervention.

The Task Force recommended extensive state policy changes related to traffic violations, arrests, behavioral health diversion, pretrial release and detention, speedy trials, sentencing, probation and parole, financial barriers for system-involved individuals, victim services, and data collection. The Michigan Legislature passed many of the Task Force recommendations with bipartisan support in December of 2020, which were signed into law by Governor Whitmer on January 4, 2021.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist believes expanding high-speed internet will help ensure all Michiganders have access to the opportunities it provides and will prevent children from falling behind in school just because they don’t have high-speed internet. A fully connected Michigan is essential for our state to reach its economic potential in the 21st century global economy. We need to make a major investment in closing the digital divide to ensure that every Michigander has high-speed internet to increase opportunity and prevent children from falling behind in school just because they don’t have high-speed internet.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist led the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which has made significant progress towards reducing COVID-19 mortality rate disparities for Michiganders of color. They focused on two goals:

  1. To reduce the disparities in the mortality rate of COVID-19, and
  2. To connect those interventions to more extended term efforts.

Additionally, this task force has worked to close the digital divide in telehealth and remote learning, launched a “Get Covered” campaign to make a coordinated push for every Michigander to sign up for health insurance, increased mobile testing infrastructure, which has transitioned seamlessly into vaccine administration and provided guidance to health care professionals on avoiding implicit bias.

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Governor Whitmer is fighting to ensure a brighter, healthier future for all Michiganders.

With involvement from folks like you, a brighter future is possible.