For the last two weeks, all of us in the Legislature have been working hard in our districts, attending events and getting the chance to meet with families of our communities. By the time March is Reading Month ended, I visited more than 16 elementary schools across Troy and Clawson, read to hundreds of students and shared my love of reading with the community. I also introduced my first resolution recently to declare March 22 as “Michigan Water Day.”
As Michiganders, we know better than anyone the importance of water and the crucial role it plays in our lives. With over 90 percent of the nation’s freshwater supply right in our backyards, it is up to us to lead the fight for the responsible, sustainable management of our most precious natural resource. As Americans and Michiganders, we shouldn’t ever have to worry that we don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. In March, I also sent out my first newsletter, appearing as inserts in two local publications.
We also sent out our first mailer, which appeared as inserts in the Troy Times and the Royal Oak Review. Looking forward, we return to session next week, and we are working on legislation on equal pay and police scholarships. You can find more information on these in my Legislative Update section, below.
As always, I am here to serve you, so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and comments on any issues that impact you or our community. The office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-1783, by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov, or by attending one of my in-district events. Upcoming district hours and events are listed below – I would love to see you there!
April 2 was Equal Pay Day. Along with Senator Erika Geiss and a number of our colleagues in the Progressive Women’s Caucus, I am working on a bill package designed to close the gender pay gap in Michigan. On the federal level, both the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, were instrumental in reducing the pay gap in the United States. Unfortunately, current data shows that we cannot achieve pay equity without further legislative action. Women still make 78 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts. As more women today are serving as the primary breadwinners to their households, closing the pay gap will lead to stronger families with greater purchasing power and a more productive workforce.
I am also proud to be partnering with Sen. Winnie Brinks on legislation to help police departments recruit candidates that are more reflective of their communities. We are still finalizing the details of our bill, so please stayed tuned for future updates.
Throughout the month of April, my office, along with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is sponsoring a Redlining Exhibit in Lansing to recognize Fair Housing Month. Redlining was a process created with the cooperation of federal mortgage institutions, banks, insurance agencies and other government and non-governmental entities to systematically deny families of color the opportunity to secure mortgages. Though this process was made illegal during the 1960s and 70s through a series of state and federal court rulings, the massive impacts of this system can still be felt today. An entire generation of families were robbed of the opportunity not only to buy homes but to build wealth and equity to pass onto their children, stunting communities across the state.
The events will feature panels from the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion’s educational display on redlining in Detroit. This exhaustive educational tool features a total of 30 display items exploring the history of battling against the impacts of redlining in the city of Detroit.
Upcoming Time with Padma
In District Coffee Hours with special guest Sen. Mallory McMorrow
Saturday, April 6, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
22 S Main St. in Clawson
Saturday, April 13, from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Blair Memorial Library
416 N Main St. in Clawson
Saturday, April 22, from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Troy Public Library
510 W Big Beaver Rd. in Troy
Senior Coffee Hours
Monday, April 29, from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Senior Citizens Center
509 Fisher Ct. in Clawson
My office gave our first update at Clawson City Council meeting. You can find the video of the meeting, here.
You will find the legislative update around the one hour 18-minute mark. Be sure to also watch Michael Frink from the Clawson Board of Education give his update immediately after. The big news from the meeting was the confirmation of Erin Irwin as City Manager. He will begin serving the city of Clawson on April 22.
Building authentic relationships between local and state government is vital to building a strong foundation for Michigan.
We will be at the April 8 and May 20 Troy Council meetings to hear what’s going on in the city and to deliver our legislative report.
What to Do in 41
We are celebrating National Library Week April 7-13 at both Blair Memorial Library in Clawson and at Troy Public Library. The Friends of the Clawson Library are highlighting the importance of public libraries through a series of video messages; watch one and you might find a familiar face!
Be sure to check out Stage Nature Center programs. In particular, our office recommends the Owl Tours. You will have a chance to visit the five rehabilitated owls that call the Stage Nature Center home. The Owl Tours also offer the opportunity to learn more about the different owl species, explore their different personalities and get your owl questions answered.
Special Shoutout to Boy Scout Wyatt Lucas, who raised over $10,000 for the Owl Fund at the Stage Nature Center.
SMART Bus Service – April Service Changes & May Fee Changes
Please note that starting April 1st, a number of Smart Bus routes will be changed. You can find the complete list by clicking here.
Detroit New Americans Campaign is partnering with the Troy School District to put on a free Citizenship Workshop on Saturday, April 13th.The workshop will have attorneys offering their services for free to help people fill out their citizenship applications, apply for the fee waiver and more.