This e-newsletter aims to keep you updated on the previous month’s activities in the Michigan House of Representatives. It’s an honor to be serving as your new state representative for the 15th House District, which includes the west end of Dearborn to Dearborn Heights. If you should ever need to contact me, don’t hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0847 or email me at email@example.com.
Michigan’s 15th District
Representative Byrnes’ Voting Rights Legislation Signed into Law
Sept. 26, 2023
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bipartisan legislation expanding voting rights. The bills implement Ballot Proposal 22-2, which was passed overwhelmingly by Michiganders last November. The new laws make it easier to vote in a secure way, ensuring Michiganders can make their voices heard in every election.
Public Act 86 of 2023, sponsored by state Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), makes it so voters can fill out a single application to vote by mail and have a ballot mailed to them in all future elections without going through the hassle of extra paperwork, saving them time and money.
“The implementation of Proposal 2 will create generational change for Michigan voters at a critical moment in our democracy,” Byrnes said. “House Bill 4699 will establish a permanent absentee voter list, easing access to the ballot and empowering voters with the option to vote by mail indefinitely. I am thrilled to be part of this process, and excited to see Michigan leading the way on voting rights.”
Byrnes Stands Against Banning Books
Sept. 26, 2023
As school districts and libraries are continually under pressure to remove books from their shelves, Rep. Byrnes introduced a commemorative resolution to bring recognition to Banned Books Week in Michigan, Oct. 1-7. This is a national initiative by the American Library Association that highlights the need for access to books and freedom of expression in the United States. The resolution acknowledges the central role books play in democratic and civil discourse and the importance of reading materials that promote diverse identities and lived experiences.
“It was once said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This important sentiment stands true to this day. Banning books is simply another step toward oppression. It is the responsibility of educators to broaden children’s minds, and censorship runs directly contrary to that,” Byrnes said. “From providing insight into different cultures and beliefs to informing us about the history of the world and so much more, books provide us with knowledge that we might not be able to obtain otherwise. Banning books takes away someone’s right and ability to seek out knowledge and expand their worldview.”
News and Publications
Byrnes Stands in Support of Michigan Workers
Sept. 18, 2023
The United Auto Workers (UAW) officially went on strike last week. With a lack of consensus on negotiations, this is the first time UAW workers have struck simultaneously at all Big Three automakers — about 300,000 Michigan workers are hourly workers connected to the auto industry. The union has been in contract negotiations with the automobile companies fighting for fair pay and better benefits. This strike comes on the heels of others this week, including striking workers at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Ascension Health. State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn) issued the following statement in support of the efforts by Michigan workers:
“I stand with Michigan workers as they advocate for better pay and working conditions. Michigan workers are some of the best in the country; it’s time they are recognized and rewarded for their hard work. While these companies are making record-breaking profits year after year, workers are having trouble putting food on their tables. These companies should share the wealth with their employees who are the backbone of their operations, and support them with better pay and working conditions.”
House Democrats have a long history of firmly standing in support of hardworking Michigan families, and since gaining majority this year, the lawmakers have made historic strides to uplift the workers who keep Michigan running by repealing anti-worker “right-to-work” laws, re-establishing prevailing wage, restoring collective bargaining rights and helping to keep more money in Michiganders’ pockets.
The Appointments Division
Gov. Whitmer is committed to a cabinet and executive office that is representative of Michigan. That commitment applies as well to the governor’s 240 appointments to the various boards and commissions that serve the state. The Appointments Division is responsible for seeking qualified candidates to fulfill these responsibilities.
As your state representative, I believe you would be great in being an active part of our democracy by leaving a legacy of our vision and values through an appointment. I encourage you to apply for an appointment by visiting michigan.gov/appointments.
Community Conversations and Town Halls
Coffee hours and town halls are a chance to discuss the issues facing our state with your legislator. Here are Representative Byrnes’ upcoming constituent events:
Community Conversation with Representative Erin Byrnes
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 23, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Caroline Kennedy Library of Dearborn Heights, 24590 George Ave., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127