Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few helpful resources. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about these or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines specifically in Oakland County, visit this website. This website also has resources for testing and frequently asked questions about COVID-19.
Oakland County Providing Veterans with Free Transportation
All military veterans who live in Oakland County now have access to door-to-door transportation services from their homes to Oakland County Veterans Services offices in Troy and Pontiac.
In partnership with SMART, free transportation is offered from any point of origin in Oakland County to a Veterans Services office and back home. All veterans who make an appointment with the Veterans Services team will receive contact information for SMART to arrange their transportation. ADA transportation is available and transportation arrangements should be made at least three days prior to the appointment.
Oakland County Veterans Services helps veterans and their dependents with disability compensation, pension, health care, burial benefits, education, life insurance, home loans and more. From applying for benefits to appealing a finding, the benefits counselors are available to help Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To book an appointment or learn more, visit oakgov.com/veterans or call (248) 858-0785 in Pontiac or (248) 655-1250 in Troy.
EV Charging Network Operator FLO Investing $3 Million, Creating 133 Jobs in Oakland County
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and FLO CEO Louis Tremblay announced a new electric vehicle charger manufacturing facility in Auburn Hills. This $3 million investment is FLO’s first-ever U.S. manufacturing facility and is expected to create 133 jobs in 2023, continuing Michigan’s momentum in leading EV-related investments, as the state prepares for an electric future.
FLO will receive an $800,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) grant for the project. The company expects to produce 250,000 EV chargers by 2028 for the U.S. market, and the Auburn Hills facility is expected to create a total of 730 direct, indirect and induced jobs by 2028.
MDHHS and GetSetUp Renew Partnership and Expand to Library of Michigan to Continue Reducing Isolation for Older Adults
GetSetUp, an interactive learning community where older adults better their lives through the pursuit of learning, has renewed its partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
The partnership with MDHHS’s Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration has been so effective that the state is expanding free access to the program through 2023 and increasing access through an agreement with the Library of Michigan and its 400 branches around the state. Library patrons can access GetSetUp from public access computers, or they can log on through their library’s website and direct questions to library staff.
GetSetUp’s initial partnership with MDHHS reduced isolation and loneliness by making its services available to the 2.4 million older adults in Michigan. That included reaching 108,000 older adult learners in the first year who enjoyed classes and discussions on a variety of topics such as healthy aging, fitness, photography, technology and mental wellbeing.
MDHHS Hosting Three, Free Virtual Baby Fairs for New or Expecting Families
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting three virtual baby fairs for new or expecting parents this month. At the virtual events, families will have an opportunity to learn about available resources, important health and safety information, and ask questions directly to program experts.
“MDHHS is excited to be able to offer a safe way for parents to get all the important information they need at this exciting time in their lives,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “We encourage Michigan families to attend one of the free events being offered to learn about immunizations, hearing screening, breastfeeding and other topics.”
The events are free of charge and occur on the following dates and times:
- Tuesday, June 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 15, from 9 to 11 a.m.
- Tuesday, June 28, from 9 to 11 a.m.
The following MDHHS programs are participating in the virtual baby fairs:
- Newborn screening.
- Michigan BioTrust for Health.
- Infant safe sleep.
- Women, Infants, & Children (WIC).
- Early hearing detection and intervention.
- Birth defects education and outreach.
- State breastfeeding initiative.
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
- Vital records.
- Michigan home visiting initiative.
- Maternal Infant Health Program.
- Children’s special health care services.
- Eat Safe Fish.
- Unintentional injury prevention.
Participants can register for one of these sessions online.
June is Pride Month. This month, we celebrate the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other LGBTQIA+ people have made to make Michigan the beautiful place we call home. We must also affirm our commitment to protecting their rights and standing up to hate. To learn more about the history of pride month, visit the Library of Congress’s website.
June 19 of each year is a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared an end to slavery in the United States. However, change was not instant after the proclamation due to the ongoing Civil War. Two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, the enslaved African-Americans of Galveston, Texas, received the news from the Union army troops that freedom had come at last. In 2021, President Biden signed a bill to make Juneteenth an official federal holiday. Juneteenth is not only a time for celebration, but also for reflection. We reflect on our nation’s history to understand the problems we face today and how to solve them to create a more just world for those who have been historically oppressed and marginalized.
Immigrant Heritage Month
Throughout the month of June, we get to celebrate the rich histories, countless contributions and unique cultural differences immigrants and their families bring to Michigan. We are a nation of immigrants and one of our country’s greatest strengths is its diversity and our ability to bring people from all over the world to achieve the American dream.