I hope that everyone is staying cool and enjoying the beautiful Michigan summer weather! Over the weekend, we recognized Women Veterans Appreciation Day on June 12 to honor women veterans for their military service and recognize the growing presence of women in the United States Armed Forces and National Guard. June 12 marks the day the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 was signed into law, which allowed women to serve as permanent members of the military.
This week, June 13-19, the week leading up to Father’s Day, is also National Men’s Health Week. The week is all about healthy bodies, hard exercise, good diet and regular visits to the doctor. It’s part of National Men’s Health Month, a monthlong recognition of men’s health with activities and events to remind men to take care of their bodies. This is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately, focus on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it. So whether you are a man or just love them, take some time this week to check up on your health and wellbeing.
As always, if our office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.
State Representative, 21st District
Proudly serving Belleville, Canton and Van Buren Township
In this Edition:
- Upcoming Time with Ranjeev
- Legislative Update
- What We’ve Been Up To
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
Change of plans! Our next coffee hour will be rescheduled from June 16.
Community Coffee Hour
We have decided to wait until the state budget is wrapped up for our next coffee hour to be able to give a full briefing prior to our summer in-district work period. A new date and time will be announced shortly.
Asian American and Pacific Islander History in Schools
As the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated anti-Asian hate and discrimination, conversations I have had with Asian American parents, teachers, students and professors highlight the need for children to learn comprehensive Asian American history in schools. As a result, I recently introduced House Bill 6166 to require public schools to include one unit of instruction on Asian American and Pacific Islander history in the curriculum beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
The instruction must cover, at minimum, the contributions made by individual Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in government, the arts, humanities, and sciences and the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States. It would also cover the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in this state and the Midwest, including coverage of past policies that were discriminatory toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders toward advancing civil rights.
Culturally responsive, diverse materials tell a richer, more accurate story that helps all students feel seen and included in their learning. Experts have indicated that cross-cultural understanding can boost students’ academic performance and attendance leading to higher graduation rates and improved critical thinking skills while helping students develop a better understanding of race, identity and equity.
As your state representative, I strive for our community to include and value every culture and identity. I believe that our schools should teach honest and inclusive curricula that accurately reflect our nation’s history. Instead of focusing on legislation that would sharply limit Michigan classroom discussions of how race and racism have shaped American history, we should instead be fighting to create a more just and equitable society for all Michiganders.
Empathy comes from understanding, and we cannot do better unless we know better. This legislation is just one singular step toward a more equitable and inclusive educational system. That is why I am also supportive of efforts by my Democratic colleagues to require instruction on African-American, Latin American, Hispanic American, Caribbean American, Native American, and Arab-American and Chaldean-American history.
Childcare Expansion Passes Michigan Legislature
On Wednesday, June 8, my House Bill 5044 passed the Senate, along with others in a bipartisan bill package that would expand child care options in the state. This is my first bill to pass through both the House and Senate, so I am very excited to see Gov. Whitmer hopefully sign it into law soon.
As a member of the minority party in the state Legislature, it can often be very difficult to get bills passed, so I am glad to see Republicans and Democrats willing to come together on this issue in order to improve child care services for Michigan’s children and parents.
The bill package, HB 5041–48, will assist Michigan’s current child care facilities and providers while expanding assistance for emerging caregivers. These bills were introduced by myself and my fellow members of Gov. Whitmer’s bipartisan Task Force on Child Care.
The passage of this child care package is a win for families all across Michigan. Providing affordable child care that allows parents to work — especially working mothers who have been unable to return to the workforce following the pandemic, and fairly compensates hard-working child care providers — is essential. HB 5044 would create an infant-toddler contract model that incentivizes increased wages and quality improvements in care. As the father to two small boys, I know firsthand how expensive child care is, and the financial impact it has on Michigan families. This package is a step in the right direction in making childcare more accessible and affordable for our working families, and I am excited to continue the work that lies ahead.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Indian American Legislative Day
I had a great time last week at the third annual Indian American Legislative Day. It was a pleasure to join my colleagues in the Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, as well as former House Democratic Leader Sam Singh, to celebrate the leadership of Indian American trailblazers. This year we also honored Indian Americans who have made significant contributions to health care during the pandemic. Thank you to all who made it such a successful event!
March for Our Lives
In light of the recent shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo and Southern California, among others, March For Our Lives hosted a national call to action, with protests in D.C. and across the country on June 11. I had the honor of speaking at the Ann Arbor rally. I was joined by activists, students and colleagues to advocate for policy changes to end gun violence.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Our office is always here to answer any questions or concerns and listen to any thoughts you have on any particular issue. The best way to reach us is by email at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov. Our team is working hard to respond to every email and voicemail left with our office in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience as we experience increased communications!
We also hope you will join us for upcoming coffee hours so that we can meet and I can hear what is on your mind.