It is truly an honor to serve as your State Representative in the Michigan Legislature. As I complete my first month in office, I am looking forward to working with you to meet the needs of our community. My team and I have hit the ground running. We’ve been focused on ensuring access to healthcare, helping individuals with unemployment issues and working on solutions to combat the lead-based paint issue in our community. We’ve also been providing resources to businesses in need of ongoing support in these challenging times and advocating for a return to in-person learning when it is safe to do so.
If my office can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov or at (517) 373-1785. I truly appreciate this opportunity to serve you and be a strong voice for the cities of Kalamazoo, Portage and Kalamazoo Township.
State Representative Julie M. Rogers
In this e-newsletter:
Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts
As our state continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that your health and safety will continue to be my top priority. I will continue to fight for increased COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Currently, the federal government is distributing a limited supply of the vaccine to each state. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for prioritization of distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. MDHHS is also using the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (CDC SVI) for targeting distribution of supplies by geography within a phase of vaccination.
It is important to note that the MDHHS does not stockpile vaccine allocations and they are distributing directly to vaccine distribution sites. It is also important to note that vaccination in one phase may not be complete before vaccination in another phase begins. There may be vaccination of individuals in different phases that occurs simultaneously. To date, Michigan has administered over 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations. However, some communities are still experiencing delays as they wait for additional allocations from the federal government. For the most up-to-date vaccination information in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
The Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department has launched online COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Waitlist Forms and a database for our community. To access this resource, please click here.
February is Black History Month
The month of February is Black History Month – a time to highlight the people, special places, historic moments and personal journeys that contribute to conversations about Black representation, identity and diversity in our nation’s history, and today.
As we wrapped up the first week of the month, I was proud to co-sponsor House Resolution 28, introduced by Rep. Amos O’Neal, which declares February 2021 as Black History Month in the state of Michigan. As we honor and recognize the significant contributions of African Americans throughout the centuries, we also must continue the legacy of impactful change today and for future generations.
Thank you to the more than 60 individuals who registered and attended my first coffee hour last month. The turnout was incredible, and I truly appreciated all of your thoughtful questions and suggestions. Your feedback will help me best represent you and address the needs of our communities.
My next coffee hour will be on Friday, Feb. 19, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. To attend the coffee hour, individuals should register by 10 a.m. on Feb. 18. Individuals who register will receive a link to attend the coffee hour later that afternoon.
Residents of House District 60 should register for the Feb. 19 coffee hour by following the link below or by sending us an email:
Keeping Our Capitol Safe
I am pleased to have co-sponsored House Bills 4023 and 4024 which were introduced in January to prohibit the possession of firearms in and around the Capitol. The Capitol belongs to the people of Michigan and no one should have to enter this building with the fear of gun violence looming over them.
Unfortunately, the armed protests that occurred at the Michigan Capitol last year were a precursor to the assault on the U.S. Capitol in January. In recent weeks, the Michigan Legislature has been forced to abruptly cancel session or close the Capitol and surrounding office buildings due to credible threats of explosives and armed violence — preventing critical work from taking place to meet the immediate needs of Michigan families and small businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Capitol and 32 states prohibit firearms from their state capitols altogether. For the 18 states that allow at least some firearms to enter the capitol building, many have rules prohibiting firearms in certain areas, such as legislative galleries and chambers. Prior to the Michigan State Capitol Commission’s recent change in policy to ban the open carry of firearms, Michigan was one of only three states that lacked gun-related security measures of any kind.
We owe it to all Michiganders to ensure that their Capitol is a safe and secure place for them to visit, and for their legislators to carry out the people’s work.
Signing in support of Rep. Brixie’s bills to prohibit firearms in and around the Capitol
In January, I introduced House Resolution 19 to recognize the 48th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. The Roe decision enshrined protections nationwide for an individual’s freedom to make their own medical decisions about their body and health, without intrusion from the government.
Roe v. Wade was the culmination of the work of generations of individuals from all walks of life fighting for bodily autonomy. No two pregnancies are the same and no one needs or wants politicians making medical decisions for them. Forty-eight years later, we are still fighting to protect the fundamental American value that the government should not interfere in decisions best made between individuals, their families and their health care providers.
While the right to have an abortion is the law of the land, it remains a right in name only for millions of Americans. State abortion restrictions, exacerbated by federal policies like the Hyde Amendment, have the greatest impact on communities already facing systemic barriers to health care, including for people of color, individuals with low-incomes and those living in rural areas.
Turning in my Resolution recognizing the 48th anniversary of Roe V. Wade
Appointed to Serve as Assistant Democratic Floor Leader and Other Committee Assignments
I am honored to have been appointed to serve as an Assistant Democratic Floor Leader for the 2021-22 legislative term. I look forward to assisting the legislative process on the House Floor and working for the people of Michigan.
I am also grateful to be selected to serve on the House Democratic Caucus Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Fostering an inclusive environment in the Michigan House of Representatives that values all experiences and perspectives is crucial as we craft legislation for all Michiganders.
House policy committees were also announced last month, and I will be serving on the House Committees on Financial Services and the House Committee on Military and Veterans, and Homeland Security.
As we continue to navigate the world of COVID-9, I am looking forward to serving on the Financial Services Committee in order to help ensure that the people of Michigan and our small businesses have access to the important resources they need to stay afloat. I am also the daughter of a veteran and I am appreciative of the opportunity to work on the committee that addresses many of the issues facing the brave men and women who have served our country.