Dear Neighbors and Friends,
HAPPY JULY! July is one of my favorite months out of the year not only because it is my birthday month, but because it is a month full of barbecuing, swimming and family-filled fun! Although, this July, we have also experienced some devastating flooding and rainfall throughout our area that has damaged property, homes and livelihoods. I hope I can provide you and your family with some updates, resources and helpful community information to both assist and help turnaround a few rainy weeks.
As your state representative, I am the 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. Not only can you reach out to my office for help, but if you’d like to highlight a small business, community activist or just an incredible resident of HD10, I would love to feature them in our E-News, Community Conversation, social media pages and more!
You can contact me by phone at (517) 373-0857, by email at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov or by visiting my website.
House District 10 (Redford Twp. & NW Detroit)
Please join me at my next virtual Community Conversation for an opportunity to hear special guests, resources, legislative updates, upcoming community and volunteer opportunities, and the chance to ask me questions and share how I can best represent you in Lansing.
When: Monday, July 26, from 6-7 p.m.
Where: Zoom and Facebook Live.
You can register here: https://bit.ly/3xJNCsy
We are moving our monthly Community Conversations from the 3rd Monday to the 4th Monday of the month, so please mark your calendars for every fourth Monday from 6-7 p.m., as I host HD10’s Community Conversations to check-in with me about what is going on in Lansing. The NEXT Cavanagh Community Conversation will be on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.!
COMING UP SOON! Expungement Fairs, Community Garden Tours, Volunteer Opportunities, Walking Events and our HD10 Guardians are coming up in the next following months. Don’t want to miss it? Like my Facebook page for updates and more!
I recently co-sponsored two bills that will address lingering issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first bill I co-sponsored was introduced by Rep. John Damoose and would amend the Michigan Unemployment Security Act.
If passed, this bipartisan bill will allow claimants who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) between March 12, 2020, and July 1, 2021, who were asked to repay their benefits as the result of an error to have their repayment requirement waived. The recent discovery of a mistake in the criteria for PUA impacted nearly 700,000 residents who were informed they must recertify their eligibility for unemployment benefits or repay the assistance they received. If passed, this bill will prevent Michiganders who needed unemployment benefits during the pandemic from paying them back to the state.
My second co-sponsorship was a bill introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud. The bill requires insurance companies to provide all enrollees with an optional nonopioid directive form, in addition to requiring the display of the form on insurers’ and hospitals’ websites.
Over the last year and a half since the pandemic began, the U.S. has witnessed a surge in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. In order to prevent addiction from occurring in the first place, especially for those who are vulnerable, it is important that we take measures to help residents protect and advocate for themselves in a medical setting. This bill would enable Michigan residents to increase their autonomy in their medical decisions and alert new enrollees of the option to elect an opioid-free treatment plan.
HYBRID MODEL COMING TO MI SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICES
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has been working closely with legislators to finalize SB 507-509, a bipartisan compromise that modernizes Michiganders’ visits to SOS offices. The package, which was passed by the House on June 30 with overwhelming support, establishes a hybrid model of service at SOS branch offices.
Residents will be able to schedule an appointment in advance OR walk up to an office for service. This new model of service at SOS branch offices provides a more efficient and convenient experience for residents and demonstrates an application of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
GOVERNOR TO SIGN SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS: FY 2020-2021
On June 30, I voted YES on SB 27, which has since been passed by the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by the governor within the next few weeks. SB 27 uses federal coronavirus relief funds to make payments to hospitals and long-term care facilities, and to support Secondary Road Patrol. These supplemental appropriations will provide healthcare systems and other critical programs with much needed relief after 16 months of crisis.
SB 27 appropriates supplemental funds to the following areas for the 2020-2021 fiscal year:
REPEAL OF THE EMERGENCY POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR ACT
On July 21, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to repeal the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act (1945 PA 302). This initiative was introduced by Unlock Michigan and received 60 yea votes and 48 nay votes. I voted NO on this partisan political power grab.
The act was intended to be used during extraordinary circumstances, like a public health crisis, and I witnessed its effectiveness through Gov. Whitmer’s tremendous efforts to protect Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislature has the ability to amend sections of the law which were ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court without erasing the entire law and leaving our leaders with their hands tied in times of crisis. We saw firsthand how many lives could have been lost if this Emergency Powers of the Governor Act was not available during our time of crisis. Unfortunately, due to the signature collection and passing through both the House and Senate, this will go into effect without the requirement of the governor’s approval.
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COVID-19 Vaccine? Please find your shot at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine
STATE OF EMERGENCY: WAYNE COUNTY FLOODING
On July 15, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Michigan, triggering the release of federal funds to help individuals recover from severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred on June 25-26.
If you are in need of help you may apply for IHP assistance or check their application status online at www.disasterassistance.gov. Disaster survivors may also access FEMA via smartphone by downloading the application from www.fema.gov or through their mobile provider’s application store. You may also call FEMA toll-free at (800) 621-3362 (TTY: (800) 462-7585) to register for assistance or check their application status.
As Detroit and all of Southeast Michigan deals with the heavy rains and flooding, please know my office is available for anything you may need: cleanout, qualifying for claims and additional flood resources (drinking water testing, relocation services, or insurance) at (517) 373-0857 or MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov.
For more information about local resources, please dial 2-1-1.
BASEMENT CLEANING & SANITIZING: DETROIT
The city of Detroit is assisting with cleaning basements and sanitizing for most vulnerable households. Residents who have the ability to clean their basements should have done so already or do it immediately.
City resources will be used to help the most vulnerable residents – households with a poverty tax exemption (HPTAP) and are over the age of 65, have a disability and/or children age 10 and under inside the home – can call (313) 267-8000 to request a city inspector come to their flooded home and begin the process for the cleaning and sanitizing.
If you have not yet reported your flood damage for the June 26 rain event, residents can call (313) 267-8000 or go to www.detroitmi.gov/waterdamageclaims. The representative will be able to verify your information, including if you have an approved poverty tax exemption. The work required in each home is different. Due to the volume and the level of work needed, it will take a minimum of three months for eligible basements to be cleaned and sanitized. AGAIN, please reach out to my office for any additional assistance with cleanout or sanitation needs.
In all cases, you should document your losses with photos of the flood damage and keep receipts related to cleaning out your basement and repairs. If you have insurance, you should file a claim with your insurance company immediately.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING/SPECIAL PROJECT NOTICE
The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department is pleased to announce the release of the July 2021 Affordable Housing Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Affordable housing developers and owners may apply to this NOFA for financial support for projects that will preserve, rehabilitate and/or develop new affordable housing units in the city.
Further information about the program, including the application package, is available HERE.
All developers applying through this NOFA, or who will be seeking support for a 9% LIHTC application, must schedule a pre-application review meeting before Aug. 20. To schedule a meeting, please email Denise Jackson at email@example.com and upload requested documents on this FORM.
Submissions will be accepted through Monday, Aug. 23.
These funds will ALSO support commercial and/or mixed-use projects in targeted neighborhoods in the city of Detroit.
Further information about the program, including the application package, is available HERE.
A pre-submission meeting will be held on Monday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. Please use the following link to join the Zoom Meeting: https://cityofdetroit.zoom.us/j/87442632711?pwd=RFR0c045WkhyNWZZWDBQZWhOSktKdz09 (Passcode: NOFA2021)
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. To be considered for this fiscal year, please submit by Friday, Aug. 6, at noon.
Project Clean Slate
On April 11, new legislation took effect that more than doubled the number of those eligible for expungement. Over 7,000 people have registered for the program since Jan. 1, which is more than the previous three years combined! Please call (313) 237-3024, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.detroitmi.gov/projectcleanslate to register.
A “complete” registration includes: Submission of identification/proof of residency (non-expired), no “open” segments on record (ICHAT) and no court costs or restitution owed. Also, please be on the lookout for a collaboration with the Detroit Caucus on hosting an Expungement Fair over the next few months.
UIA: Work Search Waiver
A waiver of the work search requirement may be granted due to certain COVID-19 related reasons. Claimants can apply for a waiver online by logging into their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) or by calling the UIA Customer Service line at (866) 500-0017. You must apply and be approved for the waiver before you certify for benefits for the bi-weekly certification period. You will be notified at the time of the request whether a waiver of the requirement is granted.
For more information on how to apply, waiver reminders, requirements and eligibility, please contact my office at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov or by phone (517) 373-0857.
Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Offices are OPEN to appointments.
Each appointment slot is 15 minutes and may be scheduled up to a week in advance. Appointments are available from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
UIA will be waiving the expected repayment of benefits for people who were unable to recertify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) after July 19 (the deadline for most of the 650,000 claimants affected by the recent changes in qualifications) because they did not qualify under the new guidelines or they did not complete the recertification in the 20-day window. No one will have to repay if they applied in good faith for unemployment benefits. UIA is beginning to send notifications letting people know where they stand with requalification for PUA beginning today, Monday, July 26. In the rare case that someone is still expected to repay the agency for overpaid benefits, they can still protest the decision and apply for a hardship waiver if repaying benefits would cause significant economic hardships.
Tuesday, July 13, was a great day in House District 10. In the morning, I presented the Redford Chamber of Commerce Scholarship winners with Tributes to recognize their hardwork and dedication. A round of applause and CONGRATULATIONS to Neriah Johnson, Mya Price, Abigail Smith and Sydney Payne. Keep up the good work!
In addition, I was also honored to be a part of the re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony at Western Golf & Country Club in Redford. It’s a beautiful course that is sure to challenge even the best golfers. When you have some time to stop by and play a couple holes, Tell them Rep. Cavanagh sent you!
On Monday, July 19, I was honored to award tributes to Bishop J. Drew Sheard and his father, Bishop John H. Sheard for their incredible service to our communities. Bishop J. Drew Sheard and Bishop John Henry Sheard are both leaders in the Church of God in Christ Inc. who have given more than 80 years of significant service through their ministries to their communities. Their leadership is a blessing, and I was grateful for the opportunity to offer these tributes for their outstanding service. Congratulations on being the first father-and-son duo to receive the Key to the City of Detroit!
Redford Farmers Market
Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., please stop by 15145 Beech Daly in Redford to support small and local businesses. They have amazing fresh fruit and vegetables plus a very friendly atmosphere, paw-friends included! You never know who you might see. For more information, follow them on Facebook @Redfordmarketatthemarquee.
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! My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have.
Please look out for my team and I on the streets in the months of July and August going door-to-door for check-ins, resources and to hear straight from HD10 on priorities and what our community needs! In addition, please don’t hesitate to reach me via email at MaryCavanagh@house.mi.gov.
You can also stay up-to-date about what’s going on in Lansing and find community events by following me on social media. You can ‘like’ my Facebook page here.
I hope you found this information useful and look out for our next e-news in August! Again, feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of any assistance.