Dear Neighbor,

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:

  • Between February and December 2020, roughly 136,000 women left the labor force, registering a 5.8% decline. Comparatively, the male labor force has recovered from its early pandemic loss and was up nearly 18,000 during the same period (0.7%).
  • In Michigan, 57% of women work full-time, year-round compared to 71% of men.

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:

  • Amend Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit an employer from paying protected classes less for substantially similar work (HB 5349).
  • Provide paid medical leave for all employees who experience miscarriage firsthand or as partner or spouse (HB 5348).
  • Require employers to disclose family leave policies to current and prospective employees (HB 5344).
  • Require employers to provide break periods to employees based on a specified amount of hours worked (HB 5346).
  • Provide paid leave for new adoptive parents (HB 5347).
  • Require employers to provide paid parental leave (HB 5350).

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:

  • (a) Districts shall be of equal population as mandated by the United States constitution, and shall comply with the voting rights act and other federal laws.
  • (b) Districts shall be geographically contiguous. Island areas are considered to be contiguous by land to the county of which they are a part.
  • (c) Districts shall reflect the state’s diverse population and communities of interest. Communities of interest may include, but shall not be limited to, populations that share cultural or historical characteristics or economic interests. Communities of interest do not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.
  • (d) Districts shall not provide a disproportionate advantage to any political party. A disproportionate advantage to a political party shall be determined using accepted measures of partisan fairness.
  • (e) Districts shall not favor or disfavor an incumbent elected official or a candidate.
  • (f) Districts shall reflect consideration of county, city, and township boundaries.
  • (g) Districts shall be reasonably compact.

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 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 if we can help.


Kara Hope

State Representative