Dear Neighbor,

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.

Rep. Hope Testifies on Anti-SLAPP Legislation

Last week, I testified on behalf of my bill (House Bill 5788) to allow a court to dismiss strategic lawsuits against public participation (also known as SLAPP lawsuits). SLAPP suits are retaliatory lawsuits intended to silence, intimidate or punish an individual who speaks out on an issue of public interest. They have been used against environmentalists, scientists, citizen activists and sexual assault survivors. Michigan is one of only 17 states that has not enacted an anti-SLAPP law. Individuals should be able to exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of being sued and buried in legal fees.

Insurer Accepting Applications for Advancing Maternal Health Equity Grant Program

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is currently accepting applications for the Advancing Maternal Health Equity Grant program. Grants will help address disparities and improve maternal health equity as well as reduce the risk of maternal death.

Michigan-based nonprofits and Michigan Regional Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives may apply. Award winners will receive up to $50,000 for 12 months.

Applicants must apply by Wednesday, July 10. For more information about the Advancing Maternal Health Grant program, visit the website here.

Keep Your Animals Cool as Temperatures Rise

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is reminding owners to keep their animals safe from the heat this summer. Keep your animals cool with these helpful tips:

  • Provide plenty of fresh, cool water.
  • Know your animal’s limits regarding high temperatures. An animal’s age, breed and health history determine their ability to tolerate the heat. Move your animal to a cooler place if they are displaying signs of heat stress — like increased drooling or panting and lethargy.
  • Hot surfaces like asphalt, concrete and sand can burn your animal’s paws. Test these surfaces by touching it with the palm of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, consider taking a different route or wait until temperatures cool in the evening.
  • To prevent illness, keep animals away from harmful algal blooms in water. HABs are naturally found in lakes, rivers and ponds. Rinse animals off after contact with any lake water and bring fresh water for them to drink.
  • Do not leave pets in parked vehicles.
  • Ensure your animals have access to shade, misters, fans, cooling mats and air-conditioned spaces to keep them cool.

Wednesday is Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, nearly two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free by Union troops. This day became known as Juneteenth and is now a state and federal holiday. This Juneteenth, let’s take time to celebrate, reflect on the past and look forward to a more equitable future.

My office will be closed on Wednesday in observance of the holiday. If you need emergency food, housing or utility assistance this time, please call 2-1-1. They may be able to help.


Kara Hope

State Representative

In Case You Missed It…

MDHHS’ Kinship Advisory Council Seeking Applicants

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is seeking new applicants, including professionals and individuals with kinship care experience, for its Kinship Advisory Council.

Kinship care is the full-time care of children by family members or other important adults in the child’s life. This could include grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings or family friends. Kinship care can occur when a child is placed through the MDHHS foster care system or through an arrangement between the parent and the kinship caregiver.

Council members will advocate on behalf of the needs of kinship caregivers and the children in their care. Applications must be submitted by Friday, June 28, at If you are interested in being considered for the Kinship Advisory Council or if you have questions about the application process, email Jessica Bodell at

On a personal note, my husband and I were kinship caregivers to our niece and nephew, who are now adults. Caring for them was the most rewarding experience of my life, but it was also one of the most challenging experiences. When the kids moved in with us (at ages 8 and 3 years old), I could have used some outside support. That’s why I was happy to support the legislation that created this council as well as legislation that eliminates some of the red tape for prospective kinship caregivers.

Arthritis Foundation Presents ‘Walk with Ease’ Program for Seniors

Get moving with the Arthritis Foundation’s free, six-week “Walk with Ease” program. Walk with Ease is an exercise program that focuses on reducing pain and improving overall health. Participants will commit to walking three times per week for 6 weeks and weekly check-ins. Optional group walks will also be offered every Thursday from July 18 through Aug. 22, at Sam Corey Senior Center, 2108 Cedar Street, Holt. To register, contact the Tri-County Office on Aging at (517) 887-1465 or

Save Money on Groceries with Double Up Food Bucks

I know groceries are expensive right now, especially for our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. Double Up Food Bucks is here to help. Those who shop for groceries with a Michigan Bridge Card can double their benefits to purchase fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and veggies using Double Up Food Bucks. The program is available at 230+ participating farmers markets, farm stands and grocery stores across Michigan. With farmers market season around the corner, it’s a great time to use the program! Learn how it works and find a participating location near you at