This summer, my first as your state representative, I had the honor of meeting so many of you in person — whether it was gathering at the food trucks in downtown Pinckney on “Food Truck Fridays…”
Enjoying a cookies-and-cream ice cream cone at Dee’s Place as the July 4th fireworks illuminated Whitmore Lake…
Or meeting with some of our veterans at Vet Fest to celebrate the $5 million in state funding I secured to help develop the Freedom River recreation facility in Brighton.
And I am still eating melon ice cream from the Melon Fest in Howell!
And as I traveled through Livingston, Washtenaw and Jackson counties, I was struck yet again by the natural beauty of the 48th House District and how important it is that we protect our natural resources for generations to come. I know from the conversations I’ve had with constituents like you this summer that it’s a concern many of you share, particularly when it comes to the issues like PFAS and the flooding that affects much of the district and the rest of the state.
On Aug. 21, I hosted a PFAS town hall with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team. We had over 50 residents join us to learn about the scope of the PFAS problem in our state.
And a few weeks later, I visited a constituent’s home in Hamburg Township that had been severely flooded…
And then attended an EDF Action Climate event to discuss how we can best protect our rivers and lakes from contaminants.
There is much to be done, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and continue working with my colleagues on these issues. If you missed the PFAS town hall and would like to watch it, you can do so here.
The issue of mental health is also on a lot of your minds, and I was encouraged to see what our community is doing on this issue as I toured multiple organizations and facilities this summer that provide vital resources to the most vulnerable, including LACASA’s new 50,000-square-foot center for the victims and survivors of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
In addition, I visited the Oxford Center to learn more about the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which researchers are finding helps, among other health issues, those suffering from depression and PTSD.
I also got out into our community and knocked on doors to hear from you and your neighbors about the issues that matter most and how we can continue to move Michigan forward. I had great discussions with constituents on the environment, health care, education and the roads.
As summer comes to an end and Michigan students return to school, I want to highlight a few things to look forward to in schools across House District 48, based on actions taken before summer recess.
- Free breakfast and lunch will now be provided for every public school student, saving Michigan families an estimated $850 a year per child and helping kids focus on learning in class, not where their next meal will come from. In Livingston, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties, more than 42,000 more students will now not go hungry because of our investment in free breakfast and lunch.
- The state passed legislation that provided dedicated funding for mental health, school safety and tutoring to ensure students are safe, cared for and supported academically.
Among my proudest moments in Lansing this year was when I voted yes on the “Make it in Michigan” budget that includes an additional $57 million for students in HD 48, including $9 million for mental health support and school safety. I am pleased that our children will see the immediate benefits of that bipartisan budget this fall.
As always, it was great to meet and talk with many of you this summer, and I look forward to continuing those meaningful conversations in the weeks and months to come.
House District 48