Welcome to my latest e-newsletter. Spring has sprung and some welcomed warmth is finally here! This time of year always inspires me to reorganize and with the in-district work period coming to a close, I am energized to get back to House session and bring the input I have received during this time to Lansing. We have plenty to do with a budget to finish and pandemic recovery to address. Continue reading on for legislative updates and things to do this month, along with other community information.
As your state representative, I am most effective when acting on your input. I encourage you to reach out to my office with any concerns, questions or comments you may have for our community or legislation that will impact our state. You can contact me at (517) 373-0857, by email at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov, or by visiting my website.
House District 10 (Redford Twp & NW Detroit)
In this Edition:
- Upcoming Event
- Legislative Update
- Home Heating Credit
- Vaccine Update
- Community Update
Please join me at my next virtual Community Conversation for an opportunity to have a chat, ask me questions and share how I can best represent you in Lansing.
When: Friday, April 16, from 6-7 p.m.
How: Join via Zoom or Facebook Live. Please register here.
Every month, I host these Community Conversations, although, with the weather warming up, we will be moving the updates to every third Monday from 6-7 p.m. Please save the date for the 3rd Monday of the month to check-in with me about what is going on in Lansing. You can also ‘like’ my Facebook page for updates.
Women in the Workforce
Women in Michigan have made considerable advances in the workplace in recent years but still face many inequities. With March being Women’s History Month, it was important we evaluate how we are guaranteeing women access to quality, good-paying jobs, with opportunities for growth and advancement – especially during such unprecedented times.
I was excited to partner with my colleague, Rep. Padma Kuppa, to introduce HB 4597 & HB 4598 that would improve and better support efforts to promote women in the workforce in Michigan. My bill, HB 4598, would create better gender parity in the workplace by promoting the participation of job-seeking women within Michigan Works! service centers. This program within Michigan Works! would coordinate with local workforce development services to specifically assist women in the job-search process.
HB 4597, sponsored by Rep. Kuppa, would require corporations to report their female leadership data. If a corporation does not have adequate female representation on its executive board, the corporation must make a statement on any policies they have regarding female representation on the board and how they have made considerations to place women on the board.
Studies have shown that companies that employ more women are more profitable with higher employee morale, especially in executive leadership roles. Women hold just 19% of S&P 1500 board seats. Therefore, it’s important that we support women from the time they are attempting to secure employment to when they are looking to be leaders in their fields, as it will support the growth and health of Michigan’s economy and overall workforce.
Equal Pay Bills
In observance of Equal Pay Day on March 24, I was a part of a bicameral coalition of Democratic legislators in coordination with the Progressive Women’s Caucus (PWC) to unveil legislation aimed at closing the gender pay gap in Michigan. My bill in the package, HB 4581, would require employers to post and inform employees about wage discrimination laws. The package includes a range of reforms, from tackling wage discrimination and mandating wage disclosures to create a new commission on equal pay.
As it stands, for every $1 earned by men of all races, women of all races averaged just 82 cents. For many women of color, the disparity is even starker, with Black women earning $0.62, Latinas earning $0.54 and Indigenous women earning $0.57 for every dollar made by their White male counterparts. Equal Pay Day serves as an important reminder of the length of time it takes for women to catch up to earnings made by similarly situated male colleagues by the end of the previous year. I look forward to advancing this legislation and continuing fighting to end the gender pay gap in Michigan and ensure that equal work receives equal pay.
Michigan expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Michiganders ages 16 and up this week. This comes at a critical time as Michigan’s case numbers continue to trend upward. The state is aiming to get 70% of Michiganders 16 and older vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity.
There are several ways you can sign up:
- Schedule an appointment at Ford Field by calling (313) 230-0505. You can also check the website of the Wayne County Health Department or area hospital to book your shot.
- Vaccination sites are available at some local pharmacies like Meijer and Rite Aid. You should check their website or call in advance to check availability.
- If you don’t have access to the internet, you can call the state’s COVID-19 vaccine hotline at (888) 535-6136 and press 1, Monday through Friday. On weekends, you can call 2-1-1.
The City of Detroit is launching a weeklong campaign to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to neighborhoods to reach Detroiters where they live. From April 12 – 16, the City will offer eight new locations, open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., to help Detroiters get vaccinated in a convenient and familiar location close to home. The sites announced by Mayor Duggan are:
- Monday, April 12
- Henry Ford High School, 20000 Evergreen Road
- Western International High School, 1500 Scotten Ave.
- Tuesday, April 13
- Randolph Career Tech Center, 17101 Hubbell St.
- Wednesday, April 14
- Cass Tech High School, 2501 2nd Ave.
- Thursday, April 15
- Breithaupt Career Center, 9300 Hubbell Ave.
- Islamic Center of Detroit, 14350 Tireman Ave.
- Friday, April 16
- East English Village Preparatory Academy, 5020 Cadieux Road
During the week, one or two sites will operate each day and each City Council district will have at least one vaccination event. The sites will be operated in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Community District and the Islamic Center of Detroit. At these locations, individuals will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For an appointment, call (313) 230-0505.
Apply for the Home Heating Credit Today!
Michiganders who need help with their energy bills can now apply for the Home Heating Credit. Low-income, deaf, disabled or blind persons, disabled veterans and senior citizens may qualify for the Home Heating Credit. Applicants are not required to file a Michigan individual income tax return to receive the credit.Individuals can apply for the Home Heating Credit electronically through the e-File system.
Forms and instructional materials are available on the internet at Michigan.go v/IncomeTax or by calling (517) 636-4486. Forms are also available at many libraries, post offices, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) offices across the state.
All applications for the credit must be received by Sept. 30, 2021.
Additional information can be found on the Home Heating Credit website. For more information about resources available for heating assistance, go to Michigan.gov/HeatingAssistance.
Even though this year’s Reading Month looked a little different being virtual, I was still able to spend time reading to and answering the questions of over 500 students! It was great to connect with our young readers and share the experience of getting lost in a good book. I am appreciative to all the schools and teachers for taking the time out of their busy schedules. A big thank you to the following schools:
- Westfield Charter Academy
- Beech Elementary
- Vernor Elementary
- Bow Elementary
- Pembroke Academy
The Guardians are COMING
I am organizing a group called Guardians of HD10—to meet on a monthly basis to discuss legislation, district priorities and how we can work together to enrich our community.
This group is meant to be a roundtable of everyone that encompasses HD10 from
pastors, small business owners, realtors, residents, board members, high
schoolers, millennials and more.
- I would like this to be a space to discuss upcoming legislation that will be in both my committees and on the House floor, while also discussing priorities and legislation that could make our communities thrive.
- More info about the Guardians will be available closer to May, but if you are interested in participating, please reach out to my office.
A few weeks ago, I asked you to nominate Redford and Detroit educators for a recognition tribute, and you delivered!
Our featured educator of the month is Alyssa Anderson, a teacher in the Redford Union Oral Program for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing. While all teachers have faced the demanding task of adapting to a virtual learning environment, Alyssa has faced the additional challenge of doing so for a group of students with hearing impairments, speech delays and some with learning disabilities.
Admiration for Ms. Anderson is shared by her young students who adore Alyssa and are receptive to her teachings, even in a virtual environment. Redford Union Schools are so lucky to have Alyssa in the classroom. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!
I Want to Hear from You!
During this challenging time, it is more important than ever to stay in touch. I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov.
You can also stay up to date about what’s going on in Lansing and finding community events by following me on social media. You can ‘like’ my Facebook page here.
I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of any assistance.