Summer has officially arrived in Macomb County, and I look forward to all the activities our community will host over the coming months, taking advantage of our parks and other recreational services. I wanted to give you the locations of this month’s coffee hours, as well as some information on cleanup opportunities in our area. Additionally, I have included some updates on state and federal issues. I have appreciated all the calls and messages I have received this term, and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to keep our community great. Remember, there is no reason too small to call my office. My staff and I are here to serve YOU.
Protecting Lake St. Clair
When I first ran to represent our community, I campaigned on a promise to work for a better environment, and I continue to keep that in mind both as a legislator and a citizen. In addition to working on bills and resolutions to help our environment, I have been a part of multiple water infrastructure projects — these go hand-in-hand to protect our water, our state’s most precious resource. But I would like to make you aware of the many waterfront cleanup opportunities occurring this year in our community. If you are looking for an excuse to roll up your sleeves and get involved in improving our waterways and coastline, as well as meeting new friends and environmental advocates in our area: these are great events.
This year, I participated in the Nautical Coast Cleanup at Blossom Heath Park. This is an event I look forward to every year. I enjoy the opportunity to work with activists and friends who are willing to do the dirty work of cleaning up Lake St. Clair’s shores. Without a group of dedicated, concerned citizens, we would not be able to enjoy Lake St. Clair for boating and fishing as we do today.
St. Clair Shores Waterfront Environmental Committee Sponsored Clean-Up Opportunities
- July 30, Aug. 27 & Sept. 24 (Saturday 10 a.m.- noon) BIOSWALE MAINTENANCE – Meet at Kyte Monroe
- July 17 & Sept. 11 (Sunday 10 a.m.- noon) MINI BEACH CLEANUP – Meet at Blossom Heath Pier
- Aug. 14 (Sunday 10 a.m-noon) RAIN GARDEN PROJECT – Meet at Kyte Monroe (32701 Harper Ave.)
- Sept. 24 (Sunday 10 a.m.-noon) STORM DRAIN STENCILING – Contact Cori (313) 433-2078 for the meet up location.
- These are just a few of the many wonderful events sponsored by the St. Clair Shores Waterfront Environmental Committee. These well-organized events are a great way to assist in keeping Lake St. Clair and waterways safe from obstructions and clean of plastics and litter to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy Lake St. Clair for years to come. My family and I enjoy these opportunities to help clean up our community and its many natural resources, and it’s also a chance to meet neighbors and friends.
The summer in St. Clair Shores allows us to enjoy many outdoor events. I would encourage you to check out city websites and Facebook pages for more information on upcoming experiences!
UPDATE: Wyatt’s Law Ceremonial Signing
On Tuesday, June 14, I was privileged to host Wyatt Rewoldt, his mother, Erica Hammel, and Christyne Kadlitz in a ceremonial bill signing at the Capitol. Wyatt’s family and Christyne’s children attended in support, and it was truly an amazing experience to see these two mothers who have faced many obstacles championing this legislation finally see this bill signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. For those who may not have been following the progress of Wyatt’s Law, this bill is named after Wyatt Rewoldt, who fell victim to predators with a previous history of child abuse. This bipartisan package establishes a statewide child abuse registry in Michigan that will let us accurately track confirmed cases of those abusing or neglecting children. I was truly honored to see that Wyatt’s Law was signed into statute by the governor on May 5, and when she offered the option of a ceremonial signing, I was honored to accept.
This legislation was a bipartisan effort, and I was proud to work across the aisle to get this done for our kids, parents and families. This is an issue that transcends politics, and it is my sincere hope is that this law will keep serial abusers away from our children by making information regarding those convicted of child abuse available to parents. I would like to thank the many people who have worked tirelessly to make this possible, especially Wyatt’s mother, Erica Hammel. Ms. Hammel never gave up in her fight so families will be spared the loss she felt.
Roe v Wade & Reproductive Freedom Update:
As you know, on June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. I believe Michigan’s Legislature must act now to protect the rights of women, which are now in jeopardy.
On June 15, members of the House Democratic Caucus announced their intention to bring a bill to the floor that would repeal the state’s outdated and draconian law from 1931 that bans nearly all abortions in Michigan. House Bill 5289, sponsored by state Rep. Kyra Bolden, has been languishing in the House Health Policy Committee since last September without a hearing.
I am a proud co-sponsor of this bill, and this announcement came in the aftermath of the recent and wrongly decided Dobbs decision, which threatens to undo the decades of progress we have made in Michigan unless we take action. I firmly believe that reproductive health decisions should be made between people and their doctor, not by legislators in Lansing, and I am a proud supporter of HB 5289, which will repeal the outdated and draconian law from 1931 that bans nearly all abortion in Michigan. You can follow the progress of this bill here.
Beyond repealing the 1931 ban, I am also a strong supporter of the Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All initiative, which would enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the Michigan Constitution, an action that is long overdue. This initiative will put the right to choose on the ballot this November, and I have complete faith that the people of Michigan will resoundingly support protecting the bodily autonomy of women in our state.
Budget Update and Resources for Macomb County
In the early hours of July 1, I voted in support of the state budget, and although there is still much work to be done, I was very pleased with the funds directed to Macomb County in order to help address some major issues in our community. Within this budget are several key items that I was excited to support.
- Eastpointe Fire & Rescue will receive $600,000 for a much-needed new fire engine.
- $1.6 million has been set aside to repair the Lakeshore Road Seawall.
- $2 million has been allocated for the Selfridge Military Air Museum.
- $6.1 million to extend the runway at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
- $25 million will go to providing much needed support to Macomb County Mental Health.
- $32 million is going to the Innovate Mound Road Project.
The Legislature has chronically underfunded infrastructure projects, and this has led to unnecessary crises throughout the state. The Mound Road innovation will reconstruct approximately nine miles of Mound Road between I-696 and M-59 and greatly improve this roadway. There are 37,420 jobs within this corridor that directly impact an additional 98,064 jobs. The total impact of Mound Road on jobs in the state of Michigan is 135,484, and I am proud to have the opportunity to support this and the other infrastructure projects within Macomb County. For more information and to view a timeline of this project, please go to https://innovatemound.org/.
This budget makes historic investments in critical areas across Macomb County. These funds will help families across our community by investing in our public schools, infrastructure and mental health services. Direct investments in the Mond Road Innovative Road Project, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and vital community services will strengthen our region. I am proud to work with my colleagues to bring these resources home.
My Upcoming District Events
Please join me at my coffee hours to ask questions about what is happening in Lansing, and let me know what you think about issues affecting our communities and our state. My coffee hours in July will be:
- First Friday: July, 10-11 a.m. at the Senior Activity Center: 20100 Stephens, St. Clair Shores
- Second Saturday: July 11 a.m. to noon at Eos Café & Coffee House: 30625 Jefferson Ave, St. Clair Shores