I can’t believe it’s August already! I hope you are enjoying the summer weather and taking some time to kick back and relax. Your mental and physical health is important, so please be sure to schedule some downtime for yourself.
I hope you find this issue of my monthly newsletter informative. Included you will find information on legislation I’ve introduced and co-sponsored, the foster care system, banning prison solitary confinement, police reform and much more. As always, I’d love to hear from you, so please reach out to me anytime!
District 8 Community Conversations 2021
Hosting my bimonthly “Community Conversations” is a highlight of my work as your state representative. I love engaging residents, business owners and other stakeholders from the district — sharing resources and hearing your voices on how state government should work to improve our overall quality of life. Our last speakers included representatives from the Detroit Fire Department who spoke on fireworks safety and gave out free 10-year smoke detectors, the YMCA who spoke on swimming and water safety and the League of Women Voters who presented in preparation for the August primary election. If you missed any of my Community Conversations, you can view them on my Facebook page.
Our morning conversations are in-person and held at the Motor City Java House, 17336 Lahser Road, just north of Grand River in the Old Redford community. Our virtual evening conversations are held on the last Friday of the month at 5:30 p.m. and will resume in September.
Our August topics will include a presentation from the city of Detroit on digital wayfinding kiosks that are being proposed for Detroit. These wayfinding kiosks are visual maps presented in attractive, interactive and customizable digital formats designed to direct residents to the places in certain areas they are interested in visiting, with no hassle or wasted time. We will also have representatives help us prepare for back to school time. In this age of COVID-19, returning to school has never been more daunting, but we hope to take some of the anxiety away with tips for how to best prepare.
Please lock in the following dates and times:
- Monday, Aug. 9 10-11:30 a.m.
- Monday, Sept. 13 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
As many of you know, helping our friends and neighbors who were recently affected by the severe flooding remains one of my top priorities. I was proud to vote to yes for $10 million in relief for flood victims.
If you were affected by the flooding and are looking to receive FEMA assistance, you can do so by reaching out in a number of ways prior to visiting the recovery center:
- Online at DisasterAsssistance.gov.
- Using the FEMA app.
- Calling (800) 621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. TTY users can call (800) 462-7585, and anyone requiring a reasonable accommodation (ASL interpreting, Braille, large print, etc.) may call (800) 621-3362 to request assistance in advance or ask the staff at the center for assistance.
While this is only a start to the recovery efforts, I look forward to continuing to work with both the federal and state government to bring aid to those who need it most.
Drive-by Shootings Bill Package Introduced
I am part of a bipartisan bill package that addresses the dangers of drive-by shootings. Several tragic deaths have resulted from this type of senseless violence in Flint, Detroit and across the state. State Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), began work on this package last session, and I am grateful to have been able to join her and our colleagues Reps. Graham Filler (R-DeWitt) and Mike Mueller (R-Linden) to introduce this legislation. My bill, House Bill 5030, increases the penalty for intentionally discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle or home, especially if a child is known to be there.
The legislation has the support of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Deputy Sheriffs Association and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which Rep. Filler chairs. It’s time to put an end to drive-by shootings and get the violent perpetrators off our streets to make our communities safer.
Child Tax Credit – NEED GRAPHIC
Raising kids is expensive, and the Child Tax Credit is here to help. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan increased the amount of the 2021 Child Tax Credit to support families. The full benefit of the Child Tax Credit is now $300 per month per child under the age of 6 and $250 for each child ages 6-17.
If you filed your 2020 taxes this year, filed your 2019 taxes last year or used the IRS “Non-Filer Portal” to get a stimulus check last year, you don’t need to do anything. The IRS will automatically send you a monthly payment by direct deposit or check.
If you didn’t file taxes in the last two years, visit www.childtaxcredit.gov for more information and to complete a form to determine your eligibility.
Secretary of State Tours Branch Offices
I joined with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for a tour of the Secretary of State branch office located on West 7 Mile Road and the branch office on West Grand Boulevard. We spoke to customers and staff and heard first-hand how they believe the office is running more efficiently with the appointment system.
Many of you may have seen me on the news during the press conference that discussed the vision for the SOS and our goal of getting out of the backlog created due to COVID-19. I introduced House Bill 4946, which would provide overtime funding to allow the Secretary of State to extend hours of operation at all 130 branch locations, providing 210,000 new appointments between now and Sept. 30. My goal was to help level-set the branch services as quickly as possible by helping the Secretary of State provide more access and more appointments through increased funding, but the chair of the House Oversight Committee refused to take the bill up for a vote, and it died in committee.
Justice for All Plan Addresses Police Accountability
I joined the chair of the Detroit Caucus, fellow state Rep. Tenisha Yancey, other House Democrats and the family of Breonna Taylor for a press conference to announce a sweeping legislative package of 16 bills to bring transformational change to policing in Michigan. The Justice for All plan aims to improve safety and restore public trust through increased accountability measures and banning archaic and dangerous police procedures, including no-knock warrants and chokeholds. The plan would require law enforcement to report uses of force, misconduct complaints and the results of any investigation of misconduct complaints to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). It would also make that data available to the public.
Prison Reform Advocates Rally in Lansing
I was honored to speak to families on the Open MI Door campaign’s legislative day to end solitary confinement. They are part of Citizens for Prison Reform, a grass-roots, family-led initiative that engages, educates and empowers families and those affected by crime and punishment to advance their constitutional, civil and human rights. Since I took office, I have had the privilege of working with wrongly convicted and imprisoned men. I introduced House Bill 4617 to give inmates access to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. This access can help those wrongfully convicted search their records and find evidence to clear their names before having to serve decades of their lives behind bars for something they didn’t do.
Lawmakers Tour Residential Treatment Facility
As a member of the bipartisan Adoption and Foster Care Task Force, I joined a delegation of child welfare advocates and my House colleagues to tour Wolverine Human Services residential treatment facility in Vassar. Their programs help adolescents suffering from abuse and neglect and work to improve their overall health and well-being.
They are doing good work, but they could use some help. The young ladies, particularly, our beautiful Black girls, could use some TLC. There are no Black hair stylists in Vassar. Getting your hair done is a small thing that can do wonders for one’s self-esteem and general disposition. Be on the lookout for a planning meeting soon to address this deficiency in the system.
Fighting for Catastrophically Injured Michiganders
More than 70 current and former lawmakers came together to announce a bipartisan, bicameral effort to help protect the rehab and in-home attendant care coverage for survivors of catastrophic auto accidents.
We all signed onto a memo that was part of a bipartisan amicus brief filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals by state Reps. Julie Brixie and Andrea Schroeder to make it clear that the legislature did not intend for two provisions in the 2019 auto-no fault insurance reform to be retroactive. Many catastrophically injured patients who have been receiving attendant care for their critically important and life-saving daily care have lost this benefit. Sadly, it’s been reported that one patient who used to receive 24-hour in-home care has died after being placed in a nursing home. How many more loved ones have to lose their lives because of this? I won’t stop fighting until this travesty is corrected!
Rosedale Park Inaugural Bike Ride Is a Success
There is no better way to check out your surroundings, get to know your neighbors and get some exercise than a bike ride.
The inaugural bike ride of the Rosedale Park Improvement Association was a huge success! The rain held off and allowed us to see historic Rosedale Park and North Rosedale Park up close with a fun, five-mile ride through the neighborhood. Thanks to all who participated in and helped plan the event. I’m looking forward to our next ride through the parks!
Rosedale Park Remembers COVID-19 Victims
With more than 610,000 Americans dying from COVID-19, every community in America has lost someone. Rosedale Park is no different.
I was honored to offer remarks and the benediction at the Rosedale Park COVID-19 Memorial Dedication in Rosemont Acacia Park for six of our neighbors who passed away from COVID-19. Gone too soon, but never forgotten.
Inauguration of Bishop William Murphy Jr.
I was honored to participate in the Pastoral Inauguration of Bishop William Murphy Jr. at Greater Ebenezer Ministries. It was an event filled with high praise. I was grateful to worship with the congregation and for the opportunity to acknowledge this occasion with a legislative tribute. The event was a who’s who of local clergy and elected officials. I’m looking forward to working with the new bishop and his team to improve the quality of life of his members and the surrounding community.
Tribute and Certificate Requests
It has been a true blessing to honor graduates, businesses and organizations with certificates and tributes from my office on behalf of the state of Michigan. If you would like for me to recognize the accomplishment of an individual or organization from District 8, please complete the form by clicking this link.
Please allow 2-4 weeks for tributes. Certificates can usually be done within a week. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to call me at (517) 373-3815 or email me at email@example.com.
Rep. Stephanie A. Young
8th House District
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- City of Detroit – http://www.detroitmi.gov