It is an honor to continue to serve as your representative. Thank you for the opportunity to share highlights of Lansing and District 28 happenings. I am eager to continue to work to enact policies that deliver the necessary support for our public schools, provide a world-class education to every child, rebuild our economy and continue COVID-19 community support. Included in this e-newsletter are constituent state resources and highlights for the month of September.
If you find you need additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my staff. You can visit my website at stone.housedems.com for many more resources, events and recent efforts in Lansing. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1772 or email at LoriStone@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 28th House District
In this issue:
Upcoming Community Conversation Summer Picnics
As your state legislator, I cherish your input on how to make our community and state better. That’s why I am looking forward to my upcoming community conversations, which provide me with an opportunity to meet with residents and discuss current happenings.
Feel free to share this information with anyone in the 28th District that may be interested in attending. You can also find more information and a link to join on my Facebook Page or stone.housedems.com.
We hope to see you there! Link to join LIVE Facebook during event
Save the date for future Community Conversations:
Saturday, Nov. at 11 am on Zoom:Meeting ID: 889 8860 4857 Passcode: 660102
ACE & Resiliency Virtual Town Hall
You are invited to attend or share my next town hall information with someone that would be interested in attending. I will be providing information and resources in District 28 on the topic of ACE & Resiliency on Thursday, Sept. 30, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. over Zoom. The focus of the virtual town hall is to share information to our community on ACES & the Resiliency Model, which encourages children to understand and foster their self-esteem, a sense of being loved and belonging, the feeling of being safe and the access to meet physiological needs.Click here to attend the ACE & Resiliency virtual town hall.
Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)
The spread of the delta variant has led to a rise in cases as many Americans are just getting back on their feet from the economic downturn, and millions remain at risk of eviction. With lives on the line, it is imperative that we act at all levels of government to keep people from losing their homes and prevent a surge in COVID-19, as well as the long-term economic scarring and poor health consequences that come with eviction.
The Treasury Department is partnering with state and local governments to get Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds out the door and into the hands of renters and landlords simplify application processes, and accelerate the delivery of assistance.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has required public housing authorities and properties receiving federal project-based rental assistance to offer protections that will provide tenants with a fair chance to receive emergency rent relief and to take other steps to help prevent evictions.
To help spread important information about the available assistance, the following is a toolkit with resources:
Recorded Virtual Town Hall Addressing Anti-Asian Racism in Schools
As a member of the Education Committee, I had the opportunity to participate as a panelist on a virtual town hall addressing anti-Asian racism in schools. Guest speakers included: Dr. Michael F. Rice, Ph.D., state superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education; Maykao Lytongpao, a teacher from Detroit Public Schools Community District; Chandra Madaferri, vice president at Michigan Education Association; Meenakshi Mukherjee, the leadership development and internal organizing coordinator at American Federation of Teachers Michigan; and Neeraja Aravamudan, a parent volunteer with the Asian Pacific Islander South Asian/American Parent Advisory Group for Ann Arbor Public Schools.
This virtual panel discussion, held by the Michigan Asian American Affairs Commission, shared personal perspectives and advocated for curriculum and support in school to end bullying, harassment and violence. Speakers touched on the challenges that students currently face in school, what their needs are, and ways to collaborate to address Asian racism in schools. You can view the virtual town hall here.
Hispanic Heritage Month
This September, we celebrate Michigan’s Hispanic population by proclaiming September 2021 as Hispanic Heritage Month. The month of September recognizes and celebrates the contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in Michigan and the United States. Michigan’s Hispanic and Latino population has grown from 2010 to 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Hispanics and Latinos make up 5.6% of the state’s residents, up from 4.4% in 2010.
National Hunger Action Month
September is National Hunger Action Month. While hunger impacts every community, the past year caused even more families to struggle to put food on their tables. If you know someone struggling with hunger, we have a great homegrown program in Michigan called Double Up Food Bucks. Double Up helps families in need bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables. And by promoting farmers markets and locally grown produce, Double Up is also a win for Michigan farmers. Double Up is in more than 250 farmers markets and grocery stores across our state. Learn how it works and find a participating location near you at DoubleUpFoodBucks.org/action.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Visit at Van Dyke Public Schools
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and I, along with other distinguished guests, parents and teachers met with Van Dyke Public Schools educators to hear about experiences teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This important roundtable discussion at Lincoln High School provided an opportunity to listen to the challenges that students and staff have faced during the pandemic. We listened as they shared stories about how the pandemic impacted the district and how educators reacted to it.
I continue to appreciate the opportunity to listen so I can better understand your concerns. I will continue to support and learn from my constituents on the frontlines.
Recent House Legislation
I re-introduced recent house legislation, House Bill 5049, which aims to suspend the ban on social promotions of third-graders who did not score proficient on the M-STEP literacy test. In light of the disruptions and delays in instruction due to COVID- 19, our students need support and interventions, not shame. I introduced this bill as part of a Democratic package of bills that would suspend school accountability measures in the 2020-21 school year. The objective is to suspend, during the 2020-21 school year, a law that prohibits advancing a third-grader who has not attained basic reading competency to the next grade, with several exceptions and alternatives. This bill is currently referred to the House Education Committee.