I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Halloween last weekend! With it now being November, I can’t believe how close we are to the end of my first year in office.
As we quickly approach the end of 2021, and with the holidays coming up, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office for assistance if you need it. My office is working hard to ensure every constituent request, email and phone call is returned in a timely manner so that we may all enjoy the rest of this year. Our team will be holding our final coffee hour of 2021 in December, and we hope that you will mark your calendars to join us one last time before 2022.
If we can ever assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact our office. My office is reachable by phone at (517) 373-2575 and by email at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 21st District
Proudly serving Belleville, Canton and Van Buren Township
In This Edition:
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
December Coffee Hour
Monday, Dec. 13, from noon to 1 p.m.
Belleville Library, 167 Fourth St. in Belleville
Bill Banning Race & Gender Stereotyping & Implicit Bias Training Passes House 55-0
Last week, Michigan House Democrats refused to vote when House Republicans refused to let my colleague from Detroit, state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson, speak to House Bill 5097 — a bill to prohibit race or gender stereotypes from being taught in our public schools. The legislation passed the House 55-0, with Republicans voting yes and every Democrat refusing to vote.
The GOP claims this bill takes aim at critical race theory (CRT), something that is not even taught in K-12 schools. While the bill doesn’t cite critical race theory by name, the bill’s language reiterates concepts that Republicans have mistakenly associated with CRT.
Many of my Republican colleagues who spoke to the bill last Tuesday said they are trying to protect students from feeling uncomfortable about certain lessons and to prohibit teaching that one racial group is the “oppressor” and everyone else the “victim.”
But that’s not what critical race theory says or implicit bias training does. This legislation is part of a narrative being used in this country by certain individuals that hijacks the phrase CRT as a scare tactic to try to control how race and gender are taught in schools.
In reality, House Bill 5097 dramatically misses the mark. This bill ties the hands of our teachers. It prevents our educators from having frank and honest discussions about any number of historically important events and issues.
Let me be clear: We collectively lose when we fail to teach the complete, complex history of our country — the good, the bad and the ugly. While the reality of certain aspects of American history can be difficult to accept, any attempt to obscure the realities of slavery and institutional racism would be a disservice to our students.
Instead of focusing on legislation that would sharply limit Michigan classroom discussions of how race and racism have shaped American history, we need to be focusing on policy that better supports teachers, educators and students.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Eliminating Tampon Tax
Last week, Gov. Whitmer signed legislation eliminating the “tampon tax.” The legislation would lift the state’s 6 percent sales and use tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.
Over the course of a lifetime, the average menstruating Michigander will use 17,000 tampons. That’s 456 periods, costing $7 to $10 a month. Many women have no choice but to buy menstrual products, and it is a tax burden that falls most heavily on lower-income women.
Michigan now joins 20 other states that don’t tax feminine hygiene products. I was proud to vote YES on this legislation when it came before me in the House, and I applaud a number of my colleagues who have been fighting for this change for years.
If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office using this form.
State Resources for Job Search
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.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas to everyone celebrating locally in House District 21 and all over the world! Let us remember the significance of this day to fight for good over evil, right over wrong and light over darkness. These lessons are now more important than ever. Wishing you and your family lots of love, joy and prosperity!
Canton’s Be a #ModelMan
I spent some time recently with the Canton Leisure Services BLOCK Youth & Teen Center Model Man Program.
We had a fun conversation about Halloween costume ideas, new video games and the importance of being civically engaged.
We also talked about how leaders must remember to lead with:
It is always a joy to sit down with our community’s youth and learn from their perspective. I can’t wait to do it again!
Visit to University of Michigan
As a member of the Council of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Transportation Committee, I recently received an invitation, along with a few of my colleagues, to tour the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus to see a few of the things they are working on.
There is world-leading research and development happening in our own backyard. We heard of exciting innovative solutions being worked on by start-ups through U-M innovation programs. I finally got a chance to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle at MCity and learn about the research happening in the Battery Lab and University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute
With all of the change happening in the automotive industry, Michigan must prioritize and focus on ensuring we remain at its center well into the future. That starts with the work being done in Ann Arbor and all across the state. Thank you for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
October Coffee Hour
Thank you to all who made it out to our recent coffee hour at the Belleville Library! It was wonderful to see so many people and answer all of your engaging questions.
Also, a special thank you to the Belleville Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the event with food from Firebird Foods!
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
During this challenging time, it is more important than ever to stay in touch. I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have. Please, reach out to me at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
Communications from my office will be available via biweekly email updates or social media. With that said my office is always open — do not hesitate to reach out should you ever find yourself needing assistance.