Welcome to our October e-newsletter!
Included in this edition are some important legislative updates, community events and other resources I hope will prove helpful.
Additionally, the Michigan Legislature will be entering a communications blackout period beginning this Saturday, Oct. 8. This means my legislative colleagues and I will be stepping back from our official social media accounts and halting most other virtual communications through Election Day on Nov. 8.
While I will not be posting legislative updates or live streaming our coffee hours over the next 30 days, providing uninterrupted constituent services is incredibly important to me and my team. Please rest assured that the blackout period will not affect my team’s ability to respond to constituent inquiries in a timely manner, and I encourage you to email my office at FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov if you need my assistance or have any other questions or concerns during this time.
State Representative, 55th House District
Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Auto Crash Survivors
The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that the 2019 changes to personal injury auto insurance coverage do not apply retroactively to auto crash survivors who were injured before the law was passed. This ruling is a huge win for thousands of Michigan auto crash survivors who were illegally denied care by their insurers following the auto no-fault law changes. While the court’s decision to protect these survivors is a huge step in the right direction, there is more work to be done to ensure that every auto crash survivor receives the care and support they are entitled to. We must continue fighting to restore personal injury protection for all Michiganders, regardless of the date they were injured.
SOAR Legislation Signed Into Law
Supplemental legislation to invest millions of dollars into Michigan’s Strategic Outreach Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund was signed into law earlier this week. The SOAR fund was created last December to help invest in state industries and attract new businesses to our state. While I did vote in favor of this legislation to help bring more jobs to Michigan, I strongly support direct investment into Michigan communities and their residents. Especially during a time when Michigan families are struggling to pay their bills or put food on the dinner table, I will continue fighting for more funding to be granted to the Michiganders who need it the most.
NEW Announces Center Redesign
Last month, Ann Arbor-based Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) announced its plans for a highly anticipated, multimillion-dollar expansion and redesign of its center. Ann Arbor is, unfortunately, one of the most economically segregated metropolitan areas in the country, and NEW’s expansion seeks to address that issue. Through honoring and uplifting the traditions and practices of care that Black and Indigenous people have offered in Washtenaw County for centuries, the NEW Center will become a haven for change to bring together our entire community and diverse nonprofit leaders. I was proud to help retain a $650,000 grant for the NEW Center in the fiscal year 2023 budget earlier this year, and I am incredibly thrilled to know those funds are being used to prioritize community development and make a positive impact in our district.
Free Food Assistance with FoodFinder
FoodFinder is a free app and website that helps to locate food banks, food pantries and other food resources near you. The site was developed by a University of Michigan student just before the pandemic began to fight against hunger and food insecurity. Over the past two and half years, FoodFinder has connected over 100,000 people to accessible food in their communities. Visit FoodFinder.us to learn more.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (10/10)
Next Monday, Oct. 10, is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As we honor the traditions and contributions of Indigenous Peoples throughout Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor has announced that all municipal offices will be closed for the holiday. Most other local and all state offices will remain open.
Ann Arbor’s Trick-or-Treater Parade will be held downtown on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Costumed kids will gather at the corner of South Main Street and East Williams Street between 11-11:30 a.m. before the parade begins. Children and their parents will be led down Main Street where businesses have invited all costumed characters to trick-or-treat. Look for black and orange balloons in store fronts to see who’s participating! Additionally, make sure to stop by Literati Bookstore (124 E. Washington St.) for a spooky kid’s books display, adult and children’s costume contest, and a haunted children’s floor.
Ann Arbor District Library will be hosting their annual free costume contest on Sunday, Oct., 30 from noon to 3 p.m. Gift cards will be awarded for the Best Overall Kids Costume, Best Overall Teen Costume, Best Overall Adult Costume and Best Overall Family Costume. To enter the contest, you must be seen by the judges between 12:30-2 p.m., and the award ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m.
Trunk-or-Treat is back in full swing in Washtenaw County! Throw on your costume and head to Washtenaw County Community Mental Health (2140 E. Ellsworth Road) on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1-3 p.m. and Westside United Methodist Church (900 S. 7th St.) on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 5-7 p.m. for two free Trunk-or-Treat events.