Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
Please join me for our next Coffee Hour with special guest state Sen. Jeremy Moss on Monday, Nov. 15, at Lathrup Village City Hall, located at 27400 Southfield Road in Lathrup Village, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Incentivizing Economic Growth in Downtown
I am pleased to report that my bill, HB 5062, was unanimously passed through the House Committee on Regulatory Reform! This bill would make some minor changes to the Michigan liquor control code to clarify the definition of “redevelopment” to incentivize economic growth in our downtown development districts.
Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month
Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations
On Sept. 22, the House approved critical funding for the fiscal 2022 state budget that will support local infrastructure, public safety, community health, and parks and recreation projects. I am pleased to announce that my office was able to secure $200,000 for infrastructure grants for the city of Lathrup Village and $200,000 for sewer repairs in the village of Franklin.
Allowing Survivors to Remain Anonymous
On Sept. 21, I gave testimony before the House Committee on Judiciary on HB 4856, which would allow the identity of a survivor of sexual misconduct who files a civil action to remain anonymous, no matter the verdict. This bipartisan legislation contributes to common-sense policy changes that ensure survivors in our state are protected and able to have their unique and individual needs met.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
Places that offer the vaccine in the Southfield area:
CVS Pharmacy, Beaumont Health, Kroger Pharmacy, Meijer Pharmacy and Walgreens
Southfield Fire Ops
I had the distinct privilege to join the OAKWAY Fire Chiefs, along with the International Association of Fire Fighters, for Fire Ops 101. The work firefighters do to keep our communities safe is extremely difficult and can be very dangerous. I had the opportunity to suit up in protective clothing and take part in a simulated environment to see and feel what firefighters deal with on a daily basis. I am extremely grateful for all of the work that Southfield’s firefighters do to protect our community!
State Resources Available to Help Jobless Find Work
There are numerous free resources and programs available to support individuals in taking their next steps. Whether they want to conduct a job search, explore new career pathways or discover educational or training programs, there are many opportunities they can pursue.
UIA Virtual Appointments Offer More Accessibility for Michiganders
Closed caption option available for deaf and hard of hearing customers
The Unemployment Insurance Agency has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing utilizing voice-to-text closed captioning.
In addition to phone and in-person appointments, customers can now also schedule virtual appointments. Virtual appointments provide personal contact with a customer service agent with the convenience of a remote connection.
The 20-minute virtual appointments can be scheduled online up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia. Click on “Schedule an Appointment.” The UIA expects to schedule up to 340 virtual appointments per day.
“We’re excited to expand the ways that customers can get one-on-one service if they need assistance with their claim,” said Liza Estlund Olson, former acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “Offering virtual appointments also helps us to be more responsive to our customers who are Deaf or hard of hearing.”
“The UIA’s efforts to implement a virtual meeting platform option and enhance service accessibility to the public, particularly at this time, are excellent,” said the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “The platform’s real-time captioning and chat features may provide those with disabilities, such as deafness or hearing loss, a readily available accommodation so they can engage UIA and receive their services.”
Once the virtual appointment is scheduled, customers will receive an email with a link to join the appointment via Google Meet at the appointed day and time. Customers will need to have a Gmail account to join from a mobile device. They do not need to have a Gmail account to join from a computer.
Hours of operation for virtual appointments are:
In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, Customers may contact UIA by:
Customers in need of other special accommodations to participate in a virtual meeting should request the accommodation when initially scheduling their appointment.
So far, the Agency has held more than 12,000 virtual appointments, including 212 which utilized the closed captioning feature.
This video explains how to set up an appointment for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. For hours of operation and office locations, visit the UIA website at michigan.gov/uia. View the full press release here.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month is held throughout the month of October and was originally created to bring advocates across the nation together to end violence against women and children. Communities around the country will celebrate the tremendous progress victims and advocates have made over the years, mourn those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, and connect with one another in a true sense of unity to end domestic violence for good.
Domestic Violence can affect anyone, at any time, and in any relationship. If you feel like you are experiencing abuse, call (800) 799-SAFE or (800) 787-3224 TTY.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month occurs every October and aims to bring awareness and insight to breast cancer, which is the most common form of cancer among women of all races. The intention of this month is to increase research and knowledge about prevention, causes, diagnoses, treatment, survivorship and cure. It is also imperative that we acknowledge the stark disparities in terms of breast cancer mortality rates among black women. According to the CDC, white women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, however black and Latinx women are more likely to die from it. Mammograms are an important tool to ensure early diagnosis and treatment. Please contact your health care provider or visit the CDC website with any further questions about prevention, diagnosis or screenings.
National First Responders Day
National First Responders Day is on Oct. 28. It was created to recognize the heroic men and women who make it their business to take immediate action when disaster strikes. It honors the firefighters, police officers, EMTs and all those who are first on the scene in stressful situations. On that day, we express our gratitude and thanks for those who always show up first to help others.