State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) was in his district Monday to listen to how middle-class families have been impacted by Republican tax increases and education cuts in Michigan. The event, held at Finlandia University’s Jutila Center in Hancock, is one of the House Democrats’ Listening Tour stops, in a series across the state. Joining Dianda at the event was House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills).

“What the families and seniors have to say up here in the U.P. is what drives my decisions back in Lansing,” Dianda said. “I thank the leader, Tim Greimel, for making the stop here in Hancock because it shows just how dedicated we Democrats are to fighting for our middle-class families. We are here for the people.”

Gov. Rick Snyder claimed Michigan is on the right track when he gave his State of the State address. House Republicans also offered an “Action Plan” to try and convince citizens of their intention to work for the people. However, said Greimel, “What the Republicans are doing policy-wise and what they are saying are completely different. All signs point to a continued agenda that puts corporations before the people and we’re here to combat that.”

In response, House Democrats announced they would be conducting town hall-style events where average working Michiganders could express how two years of misguided policies have hurt them. Residents can also go to for information and to speak out. Taxes on seniors and families have increased, school funding has seen a massive disinvestment, unemployment remains stubbornly high and women are being denied access to legal health care.

“I do have the largest district in the state, but the one thing that is consistent, from Copper Harbor to Crystal Falls, from Ishpeming Township to Ironwood, is that the Republican policies of the last two years are not working for families here in the U.P.” continued Dianda.

For the last two years, Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans have ignored the will of Michiganders. In the last legislative session, the majority enacted laws that are out of touch with what middle-class families want. Even after the 2012 election, when voters soundly rejected those policies, more divisive and harmful bills were passed during the lame duck session: personal property tax reform, which shifts the tax burden from corporations to local communities; a reprise of the emergency financial manager law, which voters repealed at the polls; and a so-called “right-to-work” package, which attacks collective bargaining rights and will lower wages across the state. When people came to Lansing to express their outrage, they were forcibly removed from the Capitol and shut out of the legislative process.

“When the people’s voices were silenced, it was like adding fuel to a fire for my Democratic colleagues and me,” said Greimel. “This stop on our Listening Tour was particularly important because, after two years of not being well-represented in Lansing, the people in the 110th District can know that we are working for them in Lansing.”