Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Happy Black History Month! Throughout the month of February, we share stories of the many great figures among our families, friends and history who have shaped our lives and the world around us. My hope for you is to learn about one more new figure, one new connection between your life and Black history. There have been troubling attacks on the honesty of our historical narrative and the role of Black history in our state and across the country, and there will be more. When we commit ourselves to learn and share Black history, we establish a powerful connection to our past as we recognize the legacy we carry.
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 & NW Detroit)
TONIGHT: February Community Conversation
Join me at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Feb. 28, on Facebook or Zoom for this month’s Community Conversation! We’re in for another month of legislative updates, community resources and helpful information to keep you in the loop with all things HD 10! Don’t miss out on this chance to make your voice heard.
TODAY: Final Stop on Veterans’ Listening Tour
The final stop on the Veterans’ Issues Listening Tour is today at 1 p.m.! I’ll be joined by my special guest state Rep. Julie Rogers, several other legislators from across Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, and some of our state’s top veterans affairs workers. We want to hear directly from the brave men and women who have served our country about the issues that matter most to them and their families so we can best serve you. To join the listening session, register here.
ARPA Funds Appropriated for Business Relief; Public Health Initiatives
On Feb. 16, Gov. Whitmer signed into law a supplemental appropriation funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). I delivered my YES vote on HB 5523, which divided $1.2 billion between numerous programs aimed at growing our state’s capacity for treating sick patients, expanding COVID-19 testing and research capacity, and securing treatments and essential equipment to treat COVID-19.
The bill earmarked funding for several programs, including:
Back in November, I was honored to partner with the Mobile Health Unit team at WSU to bring essential health care to residents at O’Hair Park for free, with no insurance required. The Mobile Health Unit Team is an excellent example of what accessible health care can look like in our communities, and I will continue to break down barriers that make it difficult for people to access reliable, affordable care. I’m glad to see this important project receive additional funding, and as we gear up for budget season, I’m looking forward to fighting for more programs like these.
Labor Caucus Introduces 34-Bill Package
Since taking office, I have been an active member of the Michigan Legislative Labor Caucus, joining workers on the picket lines during strikes, touring facilities where our impressive workers train, and championing the rights of unions in our Legislature. This week, I’m proud to share that the caucus introduced a 34-bill package that puts workers first, drawing ideas from conversations we’ve had with workers across Michigan.
The package strengthens and protects collective bargaining rights, provides protections for workers to exercise those rights, and enables workers to succeed at a new level. My bill, HB 5822, ensures that workers injured by the actions of an employer’s private security force are eligible for workman’s compensation. Employers often hire private security forces that have a reputation of violence to deter strikes and unionization. Employers should be held accountable for the violence of these “rent-a-cops.” It’s an honor to be joining with so many of my colleagues from the House and Senate to keep our workers in strong negotiating positions.
Gov. Whitmer Announces Budget
In early February, Gov. Whitmer announced her plan for the 2022-2023 budget for the state of Michigan. While the budget negotiation process is complex and long, there is a lot to be excited about in the ambitious plan. I’m proud to be fighting for enhancements to education, investment in our workforce and economy, improvements to our public health, advancements in our infrastructure, and the promotion of public safety.
A few items I am excited to share and bring back for the people of Redford and Detroit:
For Our Schools
For Our Economy
For Our Health
For Our Infrastructure
For Public Safety
House Passes Bill to Curb Illegal Dumping
The legislature took a big step forward towards curbing illegal dumping this month when we passed HB 4084. I proudly delivered my YES vote on this bill, introduced by my colleague from Detroit, state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson. The bill increases fines and charges for anyone who leaves behind large amounts of waste that can’t be disposed of in the regular trash collection.
The special removal of illegally dumped items is expensive and difficult, a burden which often falls on municipal authorities or neighbors. The waste stays on residential streets for weeks, damaging the beauty of our communities and quality of the environment our children live and play in. Our current laws do not do enough to discourage illegal dumping of large items.
The bill creates a tiered system for fining and charging violators based on the amount of waste dumped illegally, with increased penalties for repeat offenders. It also makes sure that if a local authority had to see to the removal of the waste, the dumper was held accountable for that cost. I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Senate will act urgently by giving these bills a hearing to disincentivize the harmful practice of illegal dumping.
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 I on the streets! We are going door-to-door for check-ins, resources, and to hear straight from HD10 on priorities and what our community needs. In addition, 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 and look out for the next newsletter coming out next month! Again, feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of any assistance.
From my family to yours,
Rep. Mary Cavanagh