Detroit Caucus Members Respond to Snyder’s State of the State Address

Detroit Legislators says we need strategies that will work for Detroit, all Michiganders
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

LANSING — Despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s assurances to the contrary in tonight’s State of the State address, Detroit families continue to struggle under five years of leadership from Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature, said Detroit Caucus Chairman Brian Banks (D-Detroit) and caucus members Representatives Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit) and Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). Rather than doubling down on Gov. Snyder’s failed agenda, Detroit legislators said it’s time to create a Michigan that puts our communities, school kids, families, small-business owners first who are being left behind by the Republican agenda.

“Detroit residents, and our school kids in particular, are not doing well under Gov. Snyder and the Republican legislature,” said Rep. Banks. “Kids are going to school in buildings that are literally falling apart, and now a bill has been introduced to take away a judge from the 36th District Court, one of the busiest courts in the state and the country. Detroiters deserve much better that what the governor is offering.”

“We need quick and decisive action on environmental justice issues in Michigan to ensure that we have clean air and safe, affordable, accessible water for residents of Detroit, Flint, and the entire state of Michigan,” said Rep. Chang. “From the lead poisoning of thousands of Flint children to the water shutoffs affecting tens of thousands of families in Detroit, the water crisis is a public health epidemic that deserves not just our attention but also our commitment as lawmakers to enacting systemic reforms to prevent these situations from happening again.”

Rather than continuing a legislative agenda that prioritizes big corporations over working families and small businesses, Detroit Democrats and their House Democratic colleagues prioritize legislation that would make college more affordable, improve education for all Michigan children and reduce taxes on families and seniors.

“It is time this administration, and the Republican-led Legislature, speak on behalf of actual Michigan residents, not just the corporations and special interests that bankroll their campaigns,” said Assistant Democratic Leader Durhal. “Otherwise we cannot move forward from the mistakes of 2015. We have an opportunity to begin working to right the wrongs that were done to the families of Detroit, of Flint and of Michigan, but only if we act quickly.”

“There is no doubt that despite their resilience, the teachers, students and families of Detroit — and of Michigan as a whole — have suffered due to mismanagement and bad policy,” said Rep. Gay-Dagnogo, Urban Education Reform Advisor and Chairwoman. “This new year is the chance for us to start over and to change the conversation. We need to put the focus back on our communities, and agree that the only way we can affect positive change is to come together in a bipartisan fashion, admit the mistakes of the past and move forward.”