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News & Press: Legislation/Policy

Former State, Wayne Lawmaker Burton Leland Dies

Tuesday, March 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Dear social work community,


It is with great sadness that I write to you about the recent death of social worker Burton Leland. Burton served as both a State Representative and State Senator and was always a strong supporter of social workers, social work issues, and was instrumental in our receiving licensure. In fact, his last year as a Senator brought the implementation of our licensure law.


Burton was a serious legislator with a great sense of humor and charisma. He was also a true and loyal friend to many. Both Burton Leland and his wife Roseanne were social workers and had been members of NASW for many year.


Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak made a statement that rings true those of us who knew Burton:


“Today, we lost one of Michigan’s and Detroit’s most memorable political characters.  Burton Leland was quirky and unfiltered, passionate and outspoken, and an outstanding public servant. He knew how to reach the people he represented and how to take good care of them. He was a warrior, both on the campaign trail and on behalf of social justice for the most vulnerable among us.”


Our caring goes to his wife Roseanne and to their children and close friends.


Maxine Thome, PhD, LMSW, ACSW, MPH. Executive Director, NASW-Michigan

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