Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
Progressive Women’s Caucus Package Helps Women Get Back to Work
You have probably heard that the pandemic was especially hard on women who work. The problems they encountered in the workplace and at home before the pandemic worsened, and, as a result, women have not returned to work at the same rate as their male counterparts. Here are some startling numbers from a recent report on women in the Michigan workforce:
To help women get back to work and to make their experience at work fairer, the Progressive Women’s Caucus introduced its “Women in the Workforce” bill package last week. I am proud to have co-sponsored all of the bills in the package and to be lead sponsor of the Reproductive Health Coverage Information Act (HB 5345). This would require employers to inform prospective employees of reproductive health coverage offered by the employer and to notify current employees of any change in their reproductive health coverage 90 days before the change takes effect.
Other bills in the package would:
Mason Celebrates ‘Blue Ribbon’ School
I was happy to be part of Mason Public Schools’ celebration of Alaiedon Elementary School’s designation as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021. This award from the U.S. Department of Education reflects the school’s outstanding academic achievement. It is just one of 13 Michigan schools to receive this distinction this year. Congratulations to everyone who made this prestigious award possible! The entire community should be proud!
Monday’s celebration included speeches from administrators, teachers, parents and former students as well as performances by the Mason High School marching band and cheerleaders. State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. and I presented a legislative tribute in honor of this accomplishment to Superintendent Ron Drzewicki, Alaiedon Elementary Principal Shana Barnum and School Board President Kurt Creamer.
Delhi Township Unveils EV Charging Stations
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Delhi Township’s electronic vehicle charging stations. The new charging stations are located in the parking lot of Veterans Memorial Garden, 2074 Aurelius Road in Holt. They are a great addition to the community, and I thank the Delhi Township DDA, Consumers Energy and Future Energy for their investment and commitment to cleaner sources of energy.
Redistricting Commission Meeting at MSU This Week
In 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, which amended the state Constitution to create the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC). As the name suggests, Michigan citizens comprise the commission: four Democrats, four Republicans and five members who are unaffiliated with a political party. They are charged with using census data to draw new state and federal legislative districts. In the past, this task was completed by whichever party had a majority in the Michigan Legislature. Those who promoted Proposal 2 contended that redistricting performed by randomly selected citizens — instead of elected politicians — would inherently be fairer.
The constitutional amendment specifies what criteria the commission is to consider when creating new maps and how to prioritize these factors.
(13) The commission shall abide by the following criteria in proposing and adopting each plan, in order of priority:
Redistricting will affect every district for the state House of Representatives, state Senate and U.S. Congress. Census data requires that Michigan lose one congressional seat.
Over the past few months, the commission has held public meetings where citizens can submit public comments on the redistricting process, including comments on draft maps. The commission will meet in the Lake Huron room of the Michigan State University Union (49 Abbot Road in East Lansing) Oct. 6 and 8, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public comment can also be submitted online.
Upcoming Event: In-Person Coffee Hour
Please join me for an in-person coffee hour next Monday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co., 360 S. Jefferson St. in Mason. I will give a legislative update and answer any questions you may have. Please email KaraHope@house.mi.gov with any questions or topics you would like covered. I look forward to speaking with you all soon.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at KaraHope@house.mi.gov if we can help.