These last few weeks have been busy in Lansing, and I wanted to provide a quick update on a few important projects we’ve been working on:
Downriver Youth Advisory Council
Too often, I think getting involved in government feels inaccessible to young people, and I want to help change that in our community—that’s why we’re creating a new program called the Downriver Youth Advisory Council.
The Council will meet virtually once per month. Our goal is to create an environment where young leaders in our community can develop leadership skills, make connections, and present and discuss new ideas with my team and me and other local leaders.
This program is open to all 16 to 24-year-olds that live or attend school in HD 23 (Brownstown, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron Township, Woodhaven and Trenton), and applications will be accepted until next Thursday, March 16. The application can be completed online here.
Fighting for government transparency
I believe government should, above all else, be accountable to the people that it serves, but right now, Michigan ranks last in government transparency—and it’s time for that to change.
Last week, I introduced House Bill 4390 as part of a broader bipartisan open records package that would increase transparency and accountability by closing loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which currently exempts the governor and Legislature.
This package is an important step toward making our government more accountable, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle to finally make these important changes.
Reforming Michigan’s unemployment system
It’s no secret to anyone who has interacted with our state’s unemployment system over the past year that it needs immediate reform, with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the seriousness of these issues.
During the Snyder administration, which is when most of our current system was put in place, we saw a huge decrease in the number of people that could qualify for benefits, and the way they reconfigured the system made it harder for people to access them in general.
The point of the unemployment system is to catch you when you fall, but the unfortunate reality is that it doesn’t always provide the support it should. That’s why I was proud to introduce House Bill 4435 as part of a comprehensive reform package that would expand and improve our unemployment system, while allowing more Michiganders to access the benefits they need and deserve.
Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-0855 or emailing DarrinCamilleri@house.mi.gov.