In This Newsletter:
- HB 4375 Land Bank Bill Signing
- Grant Secures Historic Funding for Grand Rapids
- HB 4475 Hate Crimes Floor Speech
- Grant Sponsors Child Marriage Ban Bill
- Grant Celebrates Passing of CROWN Act
- Celebrating Juneteenth
- Grant Attends Grand Rapids Pride and Roundtable
- Community Conversations!
July is here!
The budget wrapped up just two weeks ago, and I am back in the district making sure we work with the community to see the results of all the positive work we’ve done in Lansing. Here is a quick recap of the work we’ve been doing!
Whitmer Signs Rep. Grant’s City Land Bank Bill HB 4375
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4375 into law last week. The passage of my bill is a huge win for the city of Grand Rapids and for several other cities and townships across the state, including Kentwood, Wyoming, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Warren and Ann Arbor. The city of Grand Rapids will now have the authority to create a land bank that manages tax-foreclosed and vacant properties to get back in use for the community. I have worked closely with the city to talk about how we will use this tool to give citizens more ownership opportunities and continue investing to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. This will be used as a tool for major economic growth. Land banks prevent blight, raise property values and allow for more valuable land to be utilized. In our current housing crisis situation, no inch of land can go to waste. This bill is personal to me, and I am so proud of what this will do for our city and community.
Grant Secures Historic Funding for Grand Rapids
The House passed a historic budget last month that addresses the needs of Michiganders, including those in Southeast Grand Rapids! In the past, we have been left out, but I am so excited to see what a budget that puts people first looks like. Over $54 million were secured specifically for Southeast Grand Rapids. We will use this funding to reinvest in economic development, safety, education, our children, urban agriculture and our community!
When you send a Democratic majority and me to the Capitol, we deliver! We passed a bipartisan budget that reinvests in what matters most — the people of Michigan.
HB 4475 Hate Crimes Floor Speech
Last month, I was proud to speak on the House floor in support of my bill, HB 4475, a companion bill to Rep. Noah Arbit’s bill, HB 4474. These bills would strengthen our laws against hate crimes in Michigan.
Currently, there is no definition for hate crime in Michigan law, making the crimes difficult to identify and prosecute. With our legislation, we are clearly defining what a hate crime is and making sure it is possible to deliver real justice for victims. So many across Michigan have faced discrimination and vitriol that could not be easily prosecuted under current law. With our bills, the people who commit these awful acts will be brought to justice more quickly and effectively.
In 2021, African Americans were the target of 43% of all reported hate crimes or bias-based incidents in Michigan. Our district is incredibly diverse, with a large African American population, so this hits home for me. I am honored to stand with Reps. Arbit and Ranjeev Puri in leading on legislation that seeks to protect my constituents, my community, my family and so many others across Michigan.
Grant Sponsors Child Marriage Ban Bill
Last month, I was proud to sponsor a bill in the child marriage ban package. This bill package prohibits marriage in the state of Michigan before the age of 18 and removes marriage as a factor for emancipation. Each year, thousands of children below the age of 18 get married, and, unfortunately, it is often teenage girls marrying older men. Marriage is a choice that no child should be able to participate in, nor is it a choice that they can make for themselves. I was honored to be a part of legislation that prevents this from happening. As your state representative, it is my obligation and role to protect the children of this state, and I promise that I will continue to do so.
Grant Celebrates Passing of CROWN Act
This June, Michigan became the 23rd state to enact the CROWN Act. I was so honored to stand in support and solidarity with state Sen. Sarah Anthony’s CROWN Act. This law prohibits discrimination against one’s natural hairstyle, an issue that targets Black Americans, and predominantly Black women.
The CROWN Act removes barriers for Black Americans socially, economically and professionally. It is our right to express ourselves by proudly wearing our natural hair. Black men and women in Michigan can no longer be fired because someone does not like our braids, our curls or our volume. As said by Sen. Anthony, the CROWN Act is the floor. The ceiling is where we must create space so all Black Americans will always have a seat at the table.
The CROWN Act is grounded and centered around Black women. This is one step forward in the right direction to make Michigan a better state and safer community for Black women. By supporting the CROWN Act, I want to let our children know that they are beautiful and loved exactly the way they are.
June 19 is a federally recognized holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Just recently, the Michigan Legislature voted to recognize Juneteenth as a public state holiday. Juneteenth is the celebration of the day the last known enslaved Black people were found. Union troops brought the news to over 250,000 people in Texas that they had been free for almost two whole years. This story is heartbreaking; yet, it is a testament to the resiliency of my people. I promise to continue to elevate Black voices and Black experiences, and on June 19, we honor those who were wrongly enslaved in this country.
Grant Attends Grand Rapids Pride and Roundtable
June is Pride Month, where we honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan and the perseverance and existence of the LGBTQ+ community. I had a blast at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival, where I enjoyed celebrating with my amazing community, and I was honored to be a part of a roundtable with Sen. Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and Congresswoman Hillary Scholten to discuss the issues that have the biggest impact on our LGBTQ+ communities.
We celebrate Pride because whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, it is important to be proud of who you are, and you should feel proud to express every aspect of your identity. As your state representative, I will always protect your right to love whom you love, be who you are and identify with who you are.
Each month, I meet with residents in the district to discuss issues that are important to you and to keep my community informed about what is happening in Lansing that directly affects House District 82. These community conversation events allow for a great opportunity for me to connect directly with my community and for you to bring any questions or concerns to me. I always look forward to meeting with you and keeping my community informed.
Please join me for our next community conversation event on Tuesday, July 25, at 9 a.m. at Last Mile Cafe, located at 1006 Hall St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507.