It’s an honor to represent you in Lansing. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-2577 or at YousefRabhi@house.mi.gov to let me know about the issues that are important to you or to ask for help accessing state services.
Representative, 53rd District (Ann Arbor)
Yousef and You Discussion Schedule:
I host regular Yousef and You forums for constituents to get updates and discuss legislative issues. Typically, discussions are held via Zoom at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month and in person at 10 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month. The next two coffee hours will be:
Saturday, June 25, at 10 a.m. outside at Roosroast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood St. in Ann Arbor.
Monday, July 11, at 6 p.m via Zoom. Register here if you have not done so already.
I hope to see many of you there!
Auto No-Fault Town Hall
I am hosting a town hall about the tragic situation brought on by the changes made to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance in 2019. These changes cut insurance coverage to the bone for survivors, which has resulted in death, misery and the closing of many health care providers.
The town hall will be a panel discussion hosted by myself with survivors, advocates and providers to talk about the changes made to the law and possible solutions going forward. We will also be joined by special guest Rep. Julie Rogers, who has worked with me and other legislators to introduce legislation to protect crash survivors. The town hall will be Thursday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Ann Arbor’s Island Park, Shelter B (new shelter), and I look forward to seeing you there.
Gun Safety Legislation
Our nation has been horrified by an ever-growing number of mass shootings. Every year, there are more families in mourning, more children shot, simply because of a lack of political will to enact common-sense gun measures. But there is legislation the Michigan House could pass right now to address gun violence.
The bills are currently in the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security, where the chair will decide if they get a hearing and move forward in the legislative process. I believe we need to enact these measures, and more, to ensure basic public safety in our state, in our communities and at our schools.
I am also working with colleagues to draft legislation that would require liability insurance for firearms.
Legislation to Cut Corporate Welfare
I recently introduced House Bill 6145 to end the flow of hundreds of millions of public dollars to some of the wealthiest people in our state. My bill would end the Transformational Brownfield Program, which gave away millions of School Aid dollars in the form of sales and use tax exemptions to wealthy developers. The tax break also entitles those same developers to capture the income taxes of all the workers who build their projects. And, on top of all that, they also get to capture all the income taxes of anyone who lives in the development or works in a store or office in the development for many years after the project is completed. This is a version of modern-day feudalism, where residents are paying tribute directly to their landlord.
The Transformational Brownfield Program is just flat wrong, and it’s incompatible with our democracy. I voted against it in my first term when it was initially proposed, I voted against the recent extension of the program, and I am now introducing this bill to put an end to it. Nobody should pay taxes to billionaires. Our tax dollars should go to public goods that benefit us all, like our schools, our roads and our parks.
Children Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine Protection, Ages 6 Months and Up!
Children ages 6 months and older are now eligible to get their COVID shots. Right now, both Moderna (two shots, six weeks to full effectiveness) and Pfizer (three shots, 13 weeks to full effectiveness) are available for kids 6 months to 5 years. FDA and CDC are expected to authorize and recommend Moderna for older kids later this month. Pfizer is already authorized with a two-dose primary series for children 5 years and older. MDHHS is recommending all kids ages 6 months and older be vaccinated, though they have not issued a COVID vaccine requirement for school enrollment.
COVID vaccines for kids are still free of charge, but finding a provider can be more challenging than it is for adults. Many large public vaccine clinics are no longer operating, children under age 3 are too young to be vaccinated in retail pharmacies, and some pediatricians are only vaccinating their own established patients. In our area, the Washtenaw Health Department and The Corner Health Center are some of the few local providers who are currently ready to vaccinate kids from the age of 6 months. CVS Minute Clinic is scheduling appointments to vaccinate children 18 months and older. Michigan Medicine, IHA, Packard Health, and many pediatricians and drug stores plan to offer the shots but have not yet opened for scheduling. You can also search for providers using Vaccines.gov. However, many providers have yet to be added to the system, so check back again later if you don’t see a listed provider that has available appointments.
Foster Grandparent Program:
Washtenaw County’s Foster Grandparent Program is a great opportunity to get involved in our community. Income-eligible seniors (age 55+) can sign up and be compensated to be “role models, mentors and friends” to young people in schools and daycares. Foster grandparents spend 15 to 20 hours each week giving one-on-one attention to children with exceptional needs. Volunteers may rock babies, color with preschoolers, listen to school-age children read or assist teenage parents with completing school successfully. In all cases, the relationship that grows between the foster grandparent and the child makes a tremendous difference in the lives of both.
For more information, please go to the Washtenaw County Foster Grandparent website here.
Free COVID Rapid Tests Available
In May, the federal government made available another round of free at-home COVID antigen tests. Households can order eight tests, in addition to the eight that were previously available. COVID tests are a great way to protect yourself and your loved ones if you suspect exposure to COVID-19. You can order tests to be delivered to your home by U.S. Mail here. If you need tests that are accessible to those who are blind or low-vision, use this link.