GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 1, 2024 — Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and state Reps. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming), Carol Glanville (D-Walker), Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids), Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), and Phil Skaggs (D-East Grand Rapids) issued the following statement in advance of former President Donald Trump’s visit to the city:

“As elected representatives from Kent County, we stand united in expressing our deep dismay and condemnation regarding the impending visit of former President Donald Trump in response to the tragic murder of Ruby Garcia.

“Donald Trump’s visit to our community seeks to perversely twist this profound loss in our community to further exacerbate tensions and deepen divisions. His past actions and statements have fueled hatred and bigotry and only serve to foster an environment of unnecessary suspicion and fear directed against marginalized communities.

“West Michigan has a rich and proud history of being a welcoming place to immigrants and first-generation Americans who have enriched our community for generations. Trump’s repeated anti-immigrant rhetoric stokes fear and xenophobia that does not accurately represent the values of West Michigan.

“Given the former President’s callous disregard for women, including prosecution for sexual abuse and his retaliation toward his victim, his attempt to commandeer this event for his selfish benefit makes this visit all the more disturbing.

“We unequivocally reject any attempt to exploit this tragedy for political gain, and we support the pursuit of justice for the family of Ruby Garcia.”