Fall is here, and for some Michiganders, it’s their favorite time of the year. Apple cider, donuts, pumpkin lattes and hayrides — It’s also Fire Prevention Month. House fires can grow quickly and produce extreme heat and deadly smoke that limits the time occupants have to escape to less than three minutes. In order to potentially help save lives, I’ve made fire prevention information and resources the topic of my October Community Conversation. 

Rep. Steph

‘Community Conversations’ Smoke Detector Giveaway

Community Conversation

We had a lively discussion during my September Community Conversation regarding foster care. As a member of the bipartisan Adoption and Foster Care Task Force, we crafted legislation to improve the system, but much work still needs to be done. My guests were Starkisha Jenkins, the director of licensing for Methodist Children’s Home Society (MCHS) Family of Services in Redford Township and Saba Gebrai, the program director for the Park West Foundation.

As always, you can watch my virtual meetings in their entirety on my Facebook page.

My October Community Conversation will mark Fire Prevention Month and our guest will be Detroit Fire Department Chief James C. Harris. He will be giving away free smoke detectors. So far this year, 90 people have died in 75 fires in Michigan, up 8 percent from last year. This will be our last in-person conversation until next spring.

I hope to see you on Monday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. at the Motor City Java House, 17336 Lahser Road in the Old Redford neighborhood of Detroit.

Foster Care Bill Passes Senate Unanimously 

Foster Care Bill

My bill, House Bill 5980, looks to streamline the foster home licensure process and reduce paperwork for high-quality caregivers was approved by the full Senate last month by a vote of 36-0. The bill is part of a bipartisan package that came out of the House Adoption and Foster Care Task Force I served on. Foster Care is an issue I have taken to heart, and I have been working with stakeholders to also address the education of children in foster care which is in need of a total overhaul.

The final hurdle before HB 5980 becomes Michigan law is the governor’s signature. This bill will make for my second enacted piece of legislation to be signed into law during my freshman term!

Congratulations to the Wayne County CASA 

I attended a press conference with some of my Detroit colleagues for the announcement that the Wayne County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program will transition from a court-based program into a stand-alone nonprofit. The Wayne County CASA program advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court proceedings by providing trained community volunteers.

Wayne County is part of the larger Michigan CASA Inc., dedicated to changing the lives of abused and neglected children by advocating for their best interests through establishing, supporting, and expanding quality CASA programs throughout the state of Michigan.

Auto Show has Successful Return 

Auto Show

After a short hiatus, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Charity Preview Gala returned, switching from January to September. The switch appeared to be a tremendous success. I am grateful for the funds raised to support amazing organizations like Detroit PAL, Boys and Girls Clubs of SE Michigan, Children’s Center and several others.

The warm weather allowed the public show to expand beyond Huntington Place outside to nearby Hart Plaza with a cool display of monster trucks!

Auto Show 2

First Black Owned TV Station Celebrated

WGPR was our nation’s first black-owned and operated television station uniquely positioned in Detroit. The WGPR Historical Society hosted its first annual Enduring Legacy Gala at The ICON building along Detroit’s riverfront near Belle Isle. The event was a celebration of the legacy of Black people in broadcast media.

The event raised funds for the expansion of the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum and Media Center, on Jefferson Avenue named after its founder. It featured special guest Stephen A. Smith, ESPN sports commentator and media personality. The society presented its inaugural Enduring Legacy Awards to four advocates who have promoted diversity, equity and inclusion in their careers: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; Arn Tellem, vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons; Greg Kelser, former NBA player and current Detroit Pistons TV commentator; and Amyre Makupson, former WGPR, WKBD, and WWJ anchor.

Tribute Requests

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 our 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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