Black History Month ended with a bang as the nation saw the first Black woman be nominated to the United States Supreme Court. This will be the first time the court could actually become more representative of all the people in this country. As we begin to exit winter and welcome spring, there is much work to do, including keeping fair and transparent elections, keeping all history in our schools, eliminating the retirement tax and on and on. As always, I’m just a phone call or email away — and never forget, we are stronger together!


Rep. Steph


‘Community Conversations’ Topic: Housing Security


With the winter weather at its coldest, keeping people in their homes and off the streets is a necessity. For our February Community Conversation, we heard from the Detroit Community Health Corps (CHC) team as they outlined wraparound services provided by the Emergency Housing and Disaster Relief Program. If you are facing eviction, have been burned, have a delinquent landlord or are living in a Detroit Landbank-owned home with no utilities, you can contact the CHC at (866) 313-2820 or for help.

We also heard from District 8’s own Jim Dwight and Soummer Crawford from Detroit Eviction Defense, a coalition of tenants, homeowners, union members, community advocates and allies fighting against foreclosure and eviction. They discussed the “Right to Counsel” ordinance the city council is debating that will protect Detroiters facing eviction. Those accused of crimes get a free attorney to defend them; however, those in jeopardy of losing their homes are left to fend for themselves. This should not be so. To learn more or to get help, contact Detroit Eviction Defense at (313) 530-0216 or

It was a great discussion and I encourage you to check it out on my Facebook page if you missed it.

My March Community Conversation will be on Monday, March 14, at 10 a.m. We will be discussing the services provided by the Detroit Area Agency on Aging with special guest, president and CEO Ronald S. Taylor. Did you know they offer services for persons 18 and older with disabilities? This will be a conversation you won’t want to miss!

You can join via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 851 0005 8148

Passcode: 149353

You can call in at (312) 626-6799.

You can also watch live on my Facebook page.

Join me for a Public Safety Roundtable



Have you ever wondered how the different law enforcement agencies work and how their priorities overlap and intersect? If you have, this roundtable is for you! Living in a community where the residents feel safe matters to all of us. Please join me as I host a virtual Public Safety Roundtable on Monday, March 14, from 5-6:30 p.m.


Our confirmed panelists are Col. Joseph Gasper, the director of the Michigan State Police; Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington; Detroit Police Department 1st Assistant Chief Todd Bettison; and Myra Gracey, citizens radio patrol coordinator for the City of Detroit. There may also be other special guests.


Some of the topics we will be discussing include facial recognition, the Michigan State Police report on racial disparities in traffic stops and the role everyday citizens play in keeping our community safe. There will be a time for questions from the audience, so come prepared to get your questions answered!

Click the link below to join the webinar:


To phone in call, (312) 626-6799

Webinar ID: 859 6482 8042

I Stand Against Discrimination and Unfair Labor Practices in the Workplace

United Six

I joined with members of the Michigan House Democratic Caucus and a coalition of labor voices in downtown Lansing in support of the United Six — a group of electricians formerly employed by United Electric Contractors. In a lawsuit filed in January, the group alleges that UEC maintained a retaliatory and hostile work environment where racial slurs and discrimination against Black and brown workers were commonplace.


I also joined workers on strike against Great Lakes Coffee. They want to unionize in response to poor working conditions and wages.

Every person deserves to be treated fairly, without discrimination and earn a living wage. I will always stand in solidarity with these and other workers like them for better protections and wages for workers across the state.

Neighbors Oppose Planned Asphalt Plant


Asphalt Plant

In early February, I held a press conference with residents from across District 8 and others in opposition to a planned asphalt plant at 12155 Southfield Service Drive. I’m grateful to Macedonia Baptist Church for opening its doors to us when the weather became too inclement to hold it outdoors as planned. I joined with the more than 1,000 residents who signed an online petition in opposition of the proposed 24-acre plant planned site.

The Building Safety Engineering and Environmental Department already denied the company’s request, but they have decided to ignore the community’s will and the decision of BSEED and appeal their denial. They are awaiting a hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals after a February hearing was postponed because the petitioner has a new attorney. The potential pollution, negative health repercussions and traffic congestion that are bound to accompany the plant are not things we are willing to risk.

Bill Package Restores Workers’ Rights

Workers First

I joined with the Michigan Labor Caucus in supporting a bicameral, 34-bill package of bills known as the “Workers First” package that would strengthen organizing, collective bargaining and workers’ rights.

Our friends in labor from the Michigan Education Association (MEA), Michigan AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 517M joined us in unveiling the Workers First package.

Highlights of the package include repealing a provision that prohibits the contracting out of non-instructional services from being a subject of bargaining, allowing school districts to collect union dues or fees via payroll deduction, allowing state employees to use binding arbitration, and many more.

My bill requires restaurants and bars to post information explaining that tipped employees have the right to receive the standard minimum wage when their wages and tips are lower than the standard minimum wage level. Many in this field don’t know their rights, and if my bill passes, they will be able to get every dime of their hard-earned money.

School FACT Act Increases Transparency


The growth of for-profit management companies operating charter schools has led to some shady financial practices that steer money away from students and into the pockets of private business, according to a 2019 study by the National Education Policy Center.

I was among the bill sponsors of a bicameral, 22-bill package known collectively as the School FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Choice and Transparency) Act, which will shed some light on these accounting practices. There are rules in place to hold traditional and charter schools accountable, but there are no systems in place to demand accountability from the for-profit educational management organizations that run charter schools or the authorizing organizations that oversee them. These bills would empower parents to make fully informed decisions about the best places to send their kids to school. My bill in the package will require schools to post annual student recruitment costs, whether it’s for academic purposes or athletic purposes. These dollars could best be spent in the classroom.

A growing list of supporting stakeholder organizations include the Michigan Education Association (MEA), Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA), Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan and Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA).

Governor Presents Budget to Legislature


In early February, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her priorities for the fiscal year 2023 state budget. In a presentation to both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the state budget director outlined the governor’s plans on a number of critical issues, including significant investments in the economy, infrastructure, education, health care and public safety.

To address Michigan’s infrastructure, the governor proposed $1 billion for Michigan’s transportation budget, $66 million for reliable generator backup in 164 state-owned highway pumping stations and $34 million in high-water infrastructure grants for local governments. Whitmer also proposed a 5 percent increase for per-pupil funding and a four-year, $2.3 billion educator retention plan to help retain and recruit educators.

Bills funding various state departments have been submitted to the various Appropriations subcommittees for hearings. The full Appropriations Committee will then hold hearings on the individual bills and report them to the full House for approval before sending them to the governor for her approval or veto before the Oct. 1 deadline.

Farewell Black History Month 2022

Black History Month
Black History Month

Every Wednesday in the Michigan House of Representatives, Black legislators wore African attire and accessories in recognition of Black History Month. The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus hosted its annual Black History Month program, and, for the first time, it was held in the city of Detroit instead of at the Capitol. During the program, we received word of history in the making: The first Black Female nominee to the United States Supreme Court was announced — Ketanji Brown Jackson. It was a great way to end the month!

Black History Month
Black History Month

Tribute Request

We all know there are individuals and organizations that deserve special recognition for the tremendous work they do to serve the people of our communities and state. If you know an individual or organization that has truly gone above and beyond for their neighbors, fill out the form on this page to request an official state tribute so we can show our full appreciation for their efforts.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to call me at (517) 373-3815 or email me at

In service,

Rep. Steph


State Representative

8th District

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