Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I cannot believe November is already behind us! Between Veterans Day, Native American Heritage Month and Thanksgiving, we had a lot to celebrate and reflect upon as we begin to wrap up the year. I am deeply grateful for the countless constituents, businesses and community groups hard at work in House District 10 who have made the past 11 months in office so memorable and humbling. It’s an honor to serve you as your state representative, and my wish for you this holiday season is to be surrounded by those you love most.
As we get into the winter months, my office and I continue to work tirelessly to help our most vulnerable residents while the temperatures drop. We will continue to share resources and provide opportunities for assistance after a difficult year. If you or someone you know needs help staying in their home or keeping their heat on, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
As your state representative, I am the most effective when acting on your input. Not only can you reach out to my office for help, but if you’d like to highlight a small business, community activist or just an incredible resident of HD10, I would love to feature them in our e-news, Community Conversation, social media pages and more!
House District 10 (Redford Township and NW Detroit)
December Community Conversation
Our next Community Conversation will be live on Facebook on Monday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m.!
Please mark your calendars for every fourth Monday from 6-7 p.m. to attend our House District 10 Community Conversations! These monthly live streams are great opportunities to check in with me about what is going on in Lansing and ask your questions about the Legislature. I hope you can join us!
House Democrats, Gov. Whitmer Deliver Historic Investments in Child Care
On Nov. 8, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the launch of the Child Care Stabilization Grant, which will distribute $350 million in grants to give every full-time child care professional a $1,000 bonus and keep child care programs open and serving our children.
I was proud to vote YES on the historic, bipartisan budget that made a $1.5 billion investment to expand child care access and opportunities for Michigan families. We know that for our economy to continue its rebound, Michigan families need reliable access to quality and affordable child care.
The Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now open. Licensed child care providers are eligible to apply and should visit www.Michigan.gov/childcare. Child care professionals will be awarded bonuses directly from their employer and do not need to apply. This is a non-competitive grant. Every eligible child care provider that submits a complete application will receive a grant award.
I will continue to work alongside the House Democrats to ensure quality care for our kids, better wages for frontline heroes like our dedicated child care providers and the stability all Michigan families deserve.
House Unanimously Votes Out Bipartisan Tax Package
Earlier today, the Michigan House voted out the “One and Done” bill package, comprised of House Bills 5502-5506. This package streamlines the filing process for exempt manufacturing personal property, simplifying the process for manufacturers and removing an administrative burden on local governments.
I am proud to be one of the five sponsors on this bipartisan package promoting good governance. My bill, HB 5505, works with the other four bills in the package introduced by Reps. Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak), Julie Calley (R-Portland), Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) and Diana Farrington (R-Utica), to enact the will of voters. In 2014, a statewide ballot proposal passed with overwhelming support to make certain manufacturing equipment exempt from personal property tax. The proposal also ensured that local governments would be reimbursed for the revenue lost as a result of the exemption.
These bills create a clear and easy pathway for manufacturers to claim this exemption, saving companies and local governments time by removing burdensome paperwork. I was proud to secure support from the Michigan Manufacturers Association and the Michigan Department of Treasury on my bill.
House Judiciary Committee Advances Bill Addressing Unlawful Dumping
A bill that cracks down on illegal dumping was favorably voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 9, moving it one step closer to a vote on the House floor. I proudly co-sponsored HB 4084, introduced by my colleague from the Detroit Caucus, Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit), because we must hold dumpers accountable for the harm they cause in our neighborhoods.
The bill adopts misdemeanor penalties for litter of 3 cubic feet or more and allows for enhanced fines for repeat violations. It also requires the offender to remove the litter and remediate any damage and offers reimbursement to the local authority for the costs of cleanup and repair of property damage.
I have heard from constituents across House District 10 about the negative effects that dumping has had on our communities, and I am eager to help push a bill that takes a decisive step toward curbing illegal dumping in our neighborhoods. I will continue to work with local and state officials to make our community a cleaner, safer and more beautiful place to live and work.
House Dems Prevented From Voting on Bill Banning the Teaching of Racial Injustice
For the first time in my service as a state representative, my vote on a bill on the House floor was recorded as “did not vote.” I take my duties as a representative very seriously and would never voluntarily pass on a vote unless something prevented me from being able to vote.
On Nov. 2, Republican leadership added an item to the agenda, HB 5097, which bans K-12 schools from teaching something that isn’t even being taught in our schools, often referred to as critical race theory. Beyond banning the teaching of something that K-12 students aren’t learning, it does nothing to solve the actual problems our children and educators face today.
One Democratic representative, Cynthia A. Johnson, a Black woman from Detroit, was denied the opportunity to speak on the bill, and the bill was put up for a vote. This bill was controversial and will negatively affect how teachers navigate conversations about racism and other difficult topics in our classrooms. There was no excuse for denying Rep. Johnson her chance to speak on such a high-stakes bill, so my Democratic colleagues and I withheld our votes, demanding the Speaker give everyone a chance to provide input on the bill before the vote.
Instead of allowing our voices to be heard, Republican leaders closed the board for voting and the bill was passed 55-0, with all of the Democrats being recorded as “passes,” meaning we chose not to exercise our right to vote on the bill. We did not “pass”: we were denied the opportunity to express our opinions, in both floor speeches and votes.
I am incredibly disappointed by this move by the House Republicans. This bill aims to restrict what can and cannot be taught in schools. Every child has a right to a well-rounded education, which includes a full view of our history: the good, the bad and the ugly. By refusing to allow a Black representative to express her perspective on this bill, Republicans demonstrated just how far they will go to silence voices that speak the uncomfortable truths about systematic racism in our country.
O’Hair Park Community Association’s Small Business Appreciation Day
I had the privilege to work with the O’Hair Park Community Association this month as they highlighted small businesses that make a difference in our community. I was honored to draft a special legislative tribute to show my appreciation to Grandy’s Coney Island, a great example of a business that brings value and vibrance to House District 10. O’Hair Park Community Association does amazing work in the community, and I am so happy that I get to partner with them as we recognize our local businesses!
Olde Fashion Holidays Redford Township Festival
Township Festivals are returning to the Redford Marquee with the Olde Fashioned Holidays 2021! Local vendors, holiday cheer and more will take over the Marquee at 15150 Norborne on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. You don’t want to miss this family friendly event. I hope to see you there!
Fall Into Wellness Recap
Thank you to everyone who joined me at O’Hair Park for our Fall Into Wellness Community Health Fair! This event, which delivered health care and resources to people without transportation or insurance, is a model for the future I’m working to build here in HD10 and across Michigan. Thanks to the hardworking team from Wayne State University’s Mobile Health Units, we were able to give several HD10 residents COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, health checks, and information about staying healthy.
I want to give a special shoutout to all of our community partners who came out to provide resources: Wayne State University Mobile Health Units, Team Wellness Center, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, TBI Solutions, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, Molina Healthcare, Michigan United and Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
– Coretta Scott King
Repayment Requirements Waived
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced over the summer that anyone who applied in good faith to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will not have to repay their benefits.
Status Update on Protest Process
If you protested a decision made by the UIA about receiving benefits, the agency has estimated that the protest process will take several months. While you await the results of the protest, be sure to assemble as much additional documentation as possible. At this time, protests are being handled in the order they were received and cannot be expedited or flagged.
Customer Service Availability
Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) offices are open to appointments. Each appointment slot is 15 minutes and may be scheduled up to a week in advance. Appointments are available from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. To schedule an in-person appointment, visit Michigan.gov/uia and click on Schedule an Appointment.
Still need a COVID-19 Vaccine? Please find your shot at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory on Nov. 19, which recommended everyone wear masks while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 transmission, prevention and vaccines, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus.
Children ages 5-11 are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine! For more information on the vaccine and a list of pediatric appointments available in your area, visit the Wayne County Health Department Website at https://www.wayne-health.org/coronavirus.
The Wayne County Health Department is now offering the booster shot to those who are 65 years or older and those who are 18 and older who work or live in high risk settings or have qualifying health conditions. See if you’re eligible and find a vaccination site near you at https://www.wayne-health.org/coronavirus.
Detroit residents: The city of Detroit is offering booster shots to ALL Detroit residents who are 18 and older. Find a vaccination site near you: https://www.vaccinatedetroit.com/.
Resources for Residents Facing Eviction
The federal moratorium on evictions has ended. There are several resources that can help you wherever you are in the eviction process. You are not alone!
If you or someone you know is without access to shelter or heat during the colder months, visit https://www.dwihn.org/warming-centers-Wayne-County for an updated list of warming centers across Wayne County.
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! My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have.
Please look out for my team and me on the streets! We are going door-to-door for check-ins, to offer resources, and to hear straight from HD10 on your needs and priorities. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach me via email at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov.
You can also stay up to date about what’s going on in Lansing and find community events by following me on social media. You can “like” my Facebook page here.
I hope you found this information useful. Be sure to look out for the next newsletter coming out next month!