Friends and Neighbors,
Here’s a look at what I’ve been doing at the Capitol and in the community.
Some information was inadvertently left out of last week’s discussion of proposed kinship caregiver legislation.
Earlier this month, I co-sponsored two kinship caregiver bills. House Bill 5443 would create the Kinship Caregiver Advisory Council, which would bring together kinship caregivers, providers and government officials to advocate for reforms in the child welfare system to make it more accommodating of kinship caregiver cases. House Bill 5444 would establish the Kinship Caregiver Navigation Program, which would connect caregivers with community resources and provide peer-to-peer support, information and casework management services.
Last Friday, I toured the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University. This museum has the country’s largest public collection of racist artifacts. It offers a comprehensive and eye-opening look at the hardships experienced by African-Americans in the Jim Crow United States that are still being felt today. The museum’s goal is to use objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.
On Wednesday, I introduced House Resolution 236, which declared March 2020 as Women’s History Month in the state of Michigan. As I said in my floor speech, I look forward to the day when women’s history is part of the broader story of the achievement and advancement of humankind. When it is not remarkable because of the gender of the person responsible for the achievement but because of the scope and significance of those achievements, and the magnitude of the contribution. I look forward to a day when there are no more “female firsts.” However, we are not there yet. In the meantime, we observe and celebrate the contributions of the innumerable Michigan women who came before us.
I met with advocates yesterday from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Two of these advocates were high school students passionate about stopping this preventable epidemic. They had some practical ideas about how to reduce suicides, particularly among their peers. More than 1,500 Michigan residents died of suicide in 2018. Suicide is the leading cause of death for youths and teens ages 10 to 19. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can reach out to the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
I had some great classroom visits this week to kick off March is reading Month. This month is a great time to encourage our children to expand their minds and get excited about reading. Thank you to the 3rd graders at Webberville Elementary and Leslie’s Woodworth Elementary for letting me stop by their classrooms to read Grace Goes to Washington!
On Tuesday, I went to the re-opening of the Women’s Health Center in the Ingham County Human Services building, 5303 S. Cedar St., in Lansing. This facility is the only Title X provider in Ingham County, serving approximately 1,800 Title X clients annually. The Women’s Health Center is also one of two OB-GYN providers in Ingham County that accept Medicaid.
Please join me on Monday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Sam Corey Senior Center, 2108 Cedar St., in Holt for coffee and conversation. I will provide a legislative update and answer questions. This event is free and open to the public, so please stop by!
I am hosting an Agriculture Town Hall on Monday, March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Webberville High School, 309 East Grand River Road, in Webberville. Dinner will be provided by the Webberville Future Farmers of America at 6 p.m., and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. There will be speakers from the Michigan Agri-Business Association, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Milk Producers and MSU Extension’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute. You can find more information about the town hall and RSVP here.
We are still taking submissions for our 67th House District Awards!
If you know of a young person in the district who deserves to be recognized for going the extra mile to make our community a better place, please nominate them using the form here.
If you own or know of a business in the 67th House District that deserves to be recognized for making our community a better place, please nominate them for recognition here.
Tax season has arrived! If you would like a copy of the State of Michigan’s Taxpayer’s Guide for the 2019 Tax Year or the Top 10 Questions to Ask a Tax Preparer, you can find them at government buildings throughout the district. I would also be happy to mail the booklets to you, or you can stop by in person during business hours and pick the publications up.
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