I hope you and your family are staying safe. My team and I remain committed to helping constituents with their questions and issues, keeping residents up to date on new developments related to the pandemic, and providing useful resources. Please contact us at (517) 373-0822 or at RachelHood@house.mi.gov if we can be of assistance.
Mark your calendar for our upcoming coffee hour on Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live for a discussion about issues affecting our community and an update from the Capitol. Click here at that time to join – I hope to see you there!
Find more information about resources, our activities and legislative initiatives below.
Michigan Enters Phase 1B of Vaccination Process
Local health departments in West Michigan are currently authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to people in both Phase 1A and 1B of the phased vaccination plan. Click here to review the criteria to see if you currently are eligible to receive the vaccine.
Vaccine supplies are still extremely limited, and by appointment only. Local providers are working diligently to obtain vaccines and make more appointments available. To be notified when you are eligible to make an appointment, complete the survey on this page. As doses become available, eligible individuals will be contacted by the provider to make an appointment.
For more information, visit the links below:
DeVos Place Vaccination Center Tour
On Feb. 1, I visited the DeVos Place convention center in Downtown Grand Rapids for a tour of the vaccination clinic currently operating there. Kent County, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health, in collaboration with Vaccinate West Michigan have come together to create a COVID-19 vaccination clinic that allows large numbers of residents to be vaccinated at this one central location.
While the expense of DeVos Place is a point of controversy, I was impressed that this is the best possible location to scale up vaccinations for the region. Here is why:
I support all efforts to negotiate the best possible rates with public dollars. But that said, we are lucky to have a location that provides so much space for volunteers, health care workers and patients to safely vaccinate thousands against COVID-19 daily, with the support of our top-notch healthcare system technology and emergency response capacities. We continue to be humbled and watch in awe as our frontline health care workers and volunteers innovate and work tirelessly to help our community respond to this pandemic.
Click here for more information.
As the new term begins to come into full swing, I wanted to outline just a few of my legislative goals for the year as we continue to battle the pandemic:
COVID-19 Response: Property Tax Relief & Broadband
COVID-19 has had drastic effects on so many throughout our state, and we need to continue doing all we can to support the families, students, teachers, employees and small businesses who have been most affected.
One way I am looking to do this is by sponsoring bicameral legislation with Senator Brinks for property tax relief for businesses impacted by the pandemic. So many businesses throughout our communities have been operating in a limited capacity, if not closed entirely, for the better part of the last year. Because of that, these businesses have not seen the revenues they are normally accustomed to. Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economies, and property tax relief is one small way we can ease some of their financial stress as tax season approaches.
Another way we can help is by supporting policies that strengthen broadband infrastructure throughout the state, and help deliver reliable, affordable high-speed internet to homes and schools in our communities. The pandemic has highlighted many deficiencies with our broadband infrastructure, particularly impacting K-12 students as many have transitioned to some level of online learning. Everyone deserves access to a good education, and their internet strength should not serve as a barrier to that. Our office is crafting legislation and working with our rural partners to lay the groundwork to ensure reliable internet access for everyone in Michigan.
Our Local Economy
COVID-19 has devastated local economies all over the country, and here in Kent County. We must provide to the businesses and employees the financial security they deserve through this crisis. We also need to look to the future and explore ways to build our communities beyond the current crisis. We can do this by attracting investments that bring permanent, stable, good paying jobs right here to Grand Rapids. Health care, green tech, waste management and energy efficiency are fast growing industries. I was proud to celebrate new ‘earn as you learn’ jobs at American Medical Response this month. We need to do all we can to ensure employers like AMR are supported in their efforts to contribute to a thriving community that provides living wage jobs with real benefits.
If you are running into issues with your unemployment or need any assistance, please reach out to my office and we will do all we can to help get your problem resolved. We’ve helped hundreds of families navigate their UIA claims and we’re ready to help you too. For assistance, please click here and fill out the form you will find on this page.