It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up another year. While 2021 has had its fair share of hardships and challenges, the strength of our community has never wavered.
Last week, the Legislature ended on a high note, passing bills to attract new businesses to our region, support struggling small businesses, and allocate substantial funding for COVID-19 testing and rental assistance. This legislation will make a real difference for our state, and I hope next year we will see the same level of urgency and bipartisan collaboration on some other pressing issues on my mind — including gun violence, worker shortages, and deteriorating roads and infrastructure.
In the meantime, we want to hear from you. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing you and your neighbors? Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey to help inform my legislative agenda for the upcoming year. I am lucky to represent such a well-informed, engaged district, and I am always grateful to hear your opinion. Thank you for your ongoing involvement — it goes a long way as my team and I work hard to address the issues that matter most to you and your family.
My office will be closed from Dec. 22-Jan. 3 with limited staff capacity to give us the opportunity to spend time in the community and connect with family for the holidays. If you need assistance, please leave a voicemail or email my district inbox, and someone will get back with you as soon as we are available. For urgent human services needs, remember you can always call 2-1-1 to connect with nonprofits and local resources.
As always, it remains a distinct honor to serve you in the Michigan House of Representatives. We wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to continuing our work together in the new year.
I am proud to serve the people of Lansing and fight for our shared priorities each and every day. Below is a snapshot of what my team and I have accomplished over the last year. If you would like more information about anything I worked on, check out www.legislature.mi.gov or email my office.
In light of the recent increase of gun violence, I grow increasingly worried about the physical safety and emotional well-being of kids in Lansing. Whether the root cause is easy access to guns, unsafe gun storage, underlying social tensions in our community, or some combination, it is clear our community has reached a breaking point. We must come together now to address this crisis and ensure everyone feels at-home in our city.
In the last few weeks, I have doubled down on my commitment to passing laws that support and protect Michigan’s children. I introduced House Bill 5497, allowing students up to five excused absences for mental health purposes, and House Bill 5630 to ensure teachers are trained in bullying prevention. I also introduced a resolution declaring youth violence as a public health epidemic. Whether we are talking about bullying or shootings, there is a clear undercurrent of violence threatening the lives and well-being of our children every day. I refuse to sit by and do nothing.
I am also excited to report progress on two of my previously introduced bills. The House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance held a hearing on my legislation to prohibit the use of restrictive covenants in Michigan housing deeds. Together with the Michigan Association of Registers of Deeds (including our local register of deeds, Derrick Quinney) and the Greater Lansing ACLU, I spoke about what it would mean for Lansing residents to have a simple process to remove discriminatory, hateful language from their housing deeds. Most of you know this is an issue near and dear to my heart, and I am optimistic the committee will vote the bills out of committee early in 2022.
House Bill 5417 also received a committee hearing, along with nine other bills in a package to prevent lead poisoning across the state. My bill would update state law to reflect the federal CDC guidelines on the definition of “elevated blood lead levels.” We know that even trace amounts of lead in the bloodstream can have devastating effects on a child — whether the source is contaminated paint, dust or water. It’s important we do everything we can as a state to ensure objective standards are in place to avoid this illness. For more information, click here.