LANSING – State Representative Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) was sworn in to office today as he starts his first term representing the residents of Madison Heights and Royal Oak in the 26th House District. The lawmaker said his top priority is creating a better climate for businesses to create jobs in Michigan and put people back to work.

“A better tomorrow for the people of Michigan starts with creating jobs and revitalizing our communities, and I’m excited to be a part of that,” said Townsend. “As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that our businesses face and I’m going to work hard every day to help our entrepreneurs succeed. I am excited to work with my colleagues in both parties to get Michigan back on track and people back to work.”

Townsend took the oath of office at the State Capitol along with the other 109 members of the Michigan House in a ceremony marking the beginning of the 96th Legislature. As a State Representative, Townsend will focus on helping small businesses thrive and create jobs; attracting emerging industries like renewable energy to Oakland County; ensuring our schools have the resources they need to prepare our children for 21st century jobs; and protecting our natural resources and the jobs they support in industries like tourism.

“Even during tough times we need to protect key priorities and industries that will lead Michigan’s economic resurgence,” Townsend said. “Investing in education and diversifying our economy will create jobs and ensure we maintain the highly skilled workforce necessary to attract job providers and investment to Oakland County. Growing industries like tourism and renewable energy will help create the good-paying jobs our hard-working residents deserve.”