Walking the talk
I've been out talking to Detroit voters this afternoon. A couple remembered me from a few years ago when I fought (alongside others) to keep Poupard Elementary School open in Harper Woods! How awesome is that? Very. Poupard was the only Grosse Pointe Public School located in their district's part of Harper Woods. Racism and classism were a part of the closing of the school, and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights was called in for community talks and a final report. Poupard was closed anyway, leaving our kids assigned to two different Grosse Pointe Elementary schools, and parents scrambling for transportation, and difficulties in establishing close relationships with other kids and neighbors on their streets. As your State Representative, I promise to keep your and your children's best interests at the heart of education legislation. Of course, this is about more than legislation -- it's about equity and equality and you can count on me to fight for our schools.
Last Sunday morning I was thinking about housing. State and federal funded programs for building affordable housing are useful as a bandaid. However, we need to address the broader concern of how to keep current long term rental housing and new home purchases affordable, and help homeowners keep and maintain their homes. Michigan House Bill 4722 is waiting for Senate approval -- it favors short-term (less than 30 days) rentals and limits a city's capacity for regulating rental properties; the domino effect is increased competition for long-term housing and the price hikes that go along with it (and sometimes resulting homelessness). Targeted funding for home maintenance helps homeowners on fixed incomes stay in their homes and maintains neighborhood property values. Taxation recalculations can encourage homeownership without fear of overwhelming uncapped property taxes and prevent home foreclosures (no one should lose their home because of difficulty paying property taxes). According to the U.S. Census, approximately one-third of Detroit residents, 20% of Harper Woods residents, and 7% of St. Clair Shores residents live below the poverty line -- which leads to unstable and insecure housing. As your State Representative, I'll take action to prevent homelessness, make housing affordable, and safeguard home ownership.
Business, Jobs, and Low Impact Development
As a Harper Woods City Councilperson, I attended the July 7 groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Eastland Commerce Center, replacing Eastland Mall (Vernier and Beaconsfield/Kelly). I’m proud to be a part of this $94 million development which will bring about 500 jobs to Harper Woods and Detroit's east side. NorthPoint Development was impressive to work with, and they worked closely with the city’s Planning Commission and Council to address residents’ concerns, including ecology (300 new trees and bushes; electric car chargers), flooding (3 retention ponds), and recreation (biking/walking path from Beaconsfield to Kelly). As your State Representative, I will work to encourage and ensure low impact development that’s a win-win for communities and business and our environment.
U.S. Supreme Court and Abortion -- Our Bodies
Cruel and usual. This is what we’ve come to expect from radical rightwing extremists, now mirrored in the Supreme Court of the United States. The SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v Wade is a smite of American women and anyone with a uterus. It is the criminalization of hope. It is the criminalization of our bodies and our very selves. Know that as your State Representative, I will work for our rights to self-determination.