|Happy Black History Month!
This year’s celebration of Black History is especially momentous, as the nation witnessed the first African American and South Asian woman be sworn in as the Vice President of the United States of America. Jan. 20, 2021, was a day to be proud, not just because of the accomplishments of V.P. Kamala Harris, but proud of the fact that girls from all walks of life have a living example of what they can achieve if they believe in themselves. That old glass ceiling has once again been shattered – the sky’s the limit!
Usually, during Black History Month, there are dozens of in-person events across the city and state. Please be on the lookout for creative ways to celebrate as we continue to be vigilant in our fight against COVID-19. The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus will be celebrating with a virtual event this year. Please join us for this year’s celebration later this month; watch my Facebook page for time and date.
January 2021 Highlights
Opening Day for the 101st Michigan Legislature
All 110 state representatives were sworn in on Jan. 13, the first day of the 2021-2022 legislative session. The swearing-in ceremony marked the formal opening of Michigan’s 101st Legislature. COVID-19 limited members to just one guest, but I was blessed to have my youngest son, David, by my side for this honor. As a life-long Detroiter, I’m so humbled by the opportunity to serve as the voice of my fellow community members at our state Capitol. I take the responsibility as an elected official incredibly seriously and look forward to advocating for stronger educational outcomes, better job opportunities, better health outcomes and a criminal justice system free of discrimination and implicit biases. We the People includes all of us.
Meet Team Young
I have been blessed to assemble an amazingly talented group of people. Coming into this position I knew I wanted a Lansing insider, who had experience navigating procedures and policies of the House and who had a genuine heart for Detroit. Meet Kevin Shopshire: a veteran who loves politics and public service. He has worked in the Senate and the House of Representatives and brings a wealth of knowledge that helped us hit the ground running.
Next meet Alicia George, Director of Constituent Relations. Alicia has a genuine heart for the care and concern of the people. A resident and small business owner in District 8, Alicia brings a wealth of knowledge of the community and its many nuances. To round out the team is our intern, India Jones. India is a dynamic young woman dedicated to service. She serves on local community and nonprofit boards and is a precinct delegate. She brings a fresh, young perspective to the office that helps ensure we keep her demographic top of mind while we do this work.
Rep. Young Named Treasurer of the Detroit Caucus
I was pleased to be voted as the Treasurer of the Detroit Caucus by colleagues. The bicameral Detroit Caucus consists of 14 members who represent all or portions of Detroit in the Michigan House and Senate. The Caucus, chaired by Rep. Tenisha Yancey, is a significant voting block in the Michigan Legislature. We hope to harness this collective power to improve the lives of those we serve in the City.
We want to hear from you, and the Caucus plans listening tours on topics such as community health, criminal justice and police reform, and more. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for info and dates.
Budget Process Begins with Revenue Estimating Conference
The budget process began on Jan. 15 with the required Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) where the official economic and revenue estimates that will become the basis for that fiscal year’s budget are presented.
Revenues in the state were higher than expected as income tax withholding payments have exceeded expectations due to federal unemployment benefits – in 2020 they were $557 million, four times higher than what the state collected during the last recession – and consumer spending, particularly online shopping, has been higher than anticipated. Federal stimulus is also thought to be a factor.
Once the governor presents her budget recommendations to the Legislature, the Appropriations Committee will begin hearings with the constitutionally required goal to present a balanced budget by Oct. 1. Click here for additional information.
Young Joins Black and Jewish Unity Caucus
I was proud to join the Black and Jewish Unity Caucus, which was founded two years ago by Senators Marshall Bullock and Jeremy Moss as a nonpartisan group of Black and Jewish lawmakers committed to justice and equity, and uplifting legislation and policy that is rooted in those values. The mission of the caucus is to seek to promote shared values, solidarity and relationship building, and advocate for effective legislation that works to dismantle racism, anti-Semitism, and other ethnic-based hatred and terror in all its forms. We believe that through our work we can reach the ideal of a more perfect union by truly supporting liberty and justice for all.
Celebrating MLK with Community Service
Team Young joined the Detroit Blight Busters (DBB) and other volunteers to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Day of Service. We spent the day boarding up and beautifying open and abandoned homes; cutting down trees and cleaning up trash on a distressed block in Old Redford on Thatcher Street. Special thanks to Representatives Abraham Aiyash and Mary Cavanaugh for joining us in District 8 for our day of service.
It was an honor to work alongside DBB in their mission to revitalize and stabilize the lifeblood of Detroit: our neighborhoods. My heart was warmed when a senior citizen waved me over to give us some potato salad and a box of raisins just to say ‘thank you’ with all she had to give, because we cared about them. Be on the lookout for other service projects throughout the District in 2021. You can see more photos on my Instagram page (@staterepyoung).
District 8 ‘Community Conversations’ 2021
This month we kick-off “Community Conversations,” a meeting of residents, business owners and other stakeholders from the District. This is a time to share your suggestions and concerns as we work together to improve our overall quality of life. Please join us for our first virtual conversation on Monday, Feb. 8 from 10-11 a.m. We will hold a morning meeting and evening meeting twice monthly to ensure those interested in attending have an opportunity to do so. To join us via Zoom when the time comes, click here.
Please save the dates for the upcoming virtual “Community Conversations”:
Heart Health and Black History Month Trivia
- Mon, Feb. 8, from 10–11 a.m.
- Fri, Feb. 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Squatters and Other Neighborhood Nuisances
- Mon, March 8, from 10–11 a.m.
- Fri, March 26, from 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Financial Literacy Month
- Mon, April 12, from 10-11 a.m.
- Fri, April 30, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Restaurants Open for In Person Dining
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released its updated epidemic order took effect today. The order allows for indoor dining at restaurants with certain requirements; concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums; personal services requiring mask removal; and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households. The order will last three weeks, until Sunday, Feb. 21.
Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. Outdoor tents with four sides are permitted under these same rules. Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m. Additionally, contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes.
Indoor residential and non-residential gatherings are limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with, consistent with guidance already released by the department. Families are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to maintain momentum and to protect loved ones. Families are also encouraged to mask up and mask right, using guidance for what masks to wear and how to wear them. For more information on how to do so, click here.
Please be sure to regularly check Michigan.gov/coronavirus and CDC.gov/coronavirus for the latest information. If you have additional questions about what the state is doing to mitigate the spread of the virus you can call Michigan’s COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 535-6136 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email COVID19@michigan.gov and your questions will be answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
If you should have any comments or questions, please feel free to call me at (517) 373-3815 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEPHANIE A. YOUNG
8th House District