(1905 – 1996)
At a time when few women were holding office, Lucille McCollough was an active and influential member of the Michigan House of Representatives, a position she held for 28 years. She was a champion of children and senior citizens, and she worked hard to ensure that every Michigan child was able to receive an education.
Ms. McCollough’s public policy career began when she joined the McDonald’s Elementary School Mother’s Club where she worked to achieve a safer community for her children by adding more traffic lights and crossing guards. She soon realized the importance of having representation that was concerned with children and women. McCollough served two terms on the Dearborn City Council before running for the state House of Representatives. She won that election and spent nearly three decades, from 1954 to 1982, as a state Representative.
Ms. McCollough’s record in the House of Representatives is outstanding. She had 100 percent voting attendance, a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, and was a direct factor in many important pieces of legislation. McCollough sponsored the McCollough-Bursley School Aid Formula that created equal education opportunities for all children, and she wrote the legislation requiring school districts to have special education. McCollough worked for higher education, too, by calling for an expansion of the community college system, an increase in the number and availability of higher education institutions, and an increase in scholarships and tuition grants. McCollough was also behind the creation of a law requiring separate facilities for juveniles at state institutions. She was a leader in establishing day-care programs, and was the co-sponsor of the Halloween Bill that made it a crime to place harmful objects in trick-or-treat candy.
Children, however, were not her only interest. The Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University is the result of a law co-sponsored by McCollough. Highway safety was a concern as well, and she fought for stricter drunk driving laws and improved driver education programs.
Lucille McCollough was a hero to children, a friend to education, and an inspiration to women. She was a strong supporter of women’s rights and equal pay, and she blazed the way for future women politicians. When her son entered politics, they became the first mother-son legislative team in Michigan.
Photo Courtesy of Patrick H. McCollough