As the kids head back to school and the 100th Legislature heads back to Lansing, I’d like to share some memories from two years ago…
I was heading back to school in the fall of 2017 — and I was also considering whether I should run for office. My kids were both in college, and I decided to pursue a master’s degree part-time in theological studies. I wanted to understand how to better approach interfaith work and facilitate dialogue across stark differences to achieve common ground. I had experienced first-hand the paralyzing polarization in the religious sphere. So later that fall, as I wrote my reflection on the specific religious text I was assigned. I decided the ideas presented there — treating one’s neighbor as you’d like to be treated, and treating everyone fairly — were pointing me to seek this role. I wanted to bring my “both/and” approach — and a concept known as pluralism — to politics.
As always, we are here to serve you, so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and comments on any issues that impact you or our community. Your opinion and voice matters. The office is reachable by phone at (517) 373-1783, by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov, or by attending one of our in-district events. Upcoming district hours and events are listed below — we would love to see you there!
41st House District
The office has seen changes this summer! Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed new members to our team: recent MSU graduate Maddy Abernathy and recent Cooley Law School graduate Ashley Cecil! Maddy joined the office to manage and provide services to our community members from the 41st House District, while Ashley will be managing our policy initiatives. Both bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, and have already been great additions to our team in Lansing!
We are back in session and waiting for a budget from Legislative leadership that both fixes our roads and funds our schools. So stay tuned as more headlines come out of Lansing — and come to events in the district so we can give you the latest news!
We had our first major event as a new team holding a Care Town Hall in Clawson, my third town hall this year. We explored the connections between different aspects of care, from child care to elder care, and brought together experts, elected officials and community members from across Michigan to share their experiences and discuss their needs. By fostering dialogue on how to best work together to provide greater care to the state’s most vulnerable residents, we realized there are many areas where we can advocate for care across generations and begin to address the looming personal care worker shortage in our state. All aspects of care, from child care to end of life care, are vital to ensuring our community members are able to lead long, happy and healthy lives.
Time with Padma
Please join me for upcoming events I’m hosting in our community. These events provide an opportunity for us to chat in an informal setting so that I can hear about the issues impacting you and your family. I hope to see you soon!
In District Hours
When: Friday, Sept. 13 from 3-4:30 p.m.
Where: The Dairy-O, 208 S. Main St. in Clawson
When: Monday, Sept. 23 from 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
When: Monday, Oct. 28 from 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
Pints with Padma
When: Monday, Oct. 14 from 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: The Renshaw Lounge, 210 E. 14 Mile Road in Clawson
The Troy Historic Village is a great spot to visit in our district. It’s considered a mini-Greenfield Village and is supported by the Troy Historical Society, boasting a number of activities suitable for people of all ages and interests. The Village includes 10 fully restored historic buildings from Troy and the surrounding area with extensive artifact and archival collections. It provides engaging education and enrichment programs for nearly 30,000 visitors each year, including 15,000 students, chaperones and teachers from schools across southeast Michigan. The Troy Historical Society is committed to expanding awareness of the Village as an outstanding center for history, arts, and culture in the seven-county region.
I fell in love with the Village nearly 20 years ago after taking my children there, particularly Poppleton School, the one-room schoolhouse. I am thankful to now serve as President of the Historical Society Board to ensure our community’s rich history can be shared with many generations to come. Find out more information about its programs, how to get involved, the hours of operation and more at the Troy Historic Village website, by calling (248) 524-3570 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
REAL ID Update
Beginning October 1, 2020, new federal REAL ID guidelines will go into effect regarding state drivers’ licenses and other forms of state identification. These new IDs have stronger security measures and will be necessary for future plane travel and entrance to some federal facilities. In anticipation of this, the Secretary of State’s office has asked us to spread the word about this change. If you are renewing your license this year, or want to know what to expect early next year, please visit the REAL ID website to understand what documents you may need to bring with you to get a compliant license.
I had the opportunity this month to visit the Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, the largest free health care clinic in the state, in my colleague Rep. Brenda Carter’s district. Dr. Gary Burnstein’s dream of providing free medical care for those in need began in a closet at a Pontiac shelter, grew to a small rented facility in Pontiac and is currently in a state-of-the-art facility on Woodward Avenue in Pontiac.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has drastically reduced the number of people without health insurance, free clinics continue to be needed to provide care to the uninsured and to help patients navigate through policy and coverage changes. Dental care and prescription assistance remained a vitally important need only serviced by free clinics. Did you know that 58 percent of the people in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties live at or below the poverty line? The GBCHC is well-positioned to care for community members across the region — and across the state — for whom the ACA does not offer a viable solution. To become a patient of the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic you must be:
- 19 – 64 years old
- At or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level
- A Michigan Resident
Find out more about the services they provide, how to make an appointment, or how to get involved at their website or by calling (248) 309-3752.