Jan 2023 - Present
State Rep HD 11
Elected in November 2022 to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives 102nd Legislature.
For the first time in 40 years, Democrats have majority representation in State government. I'm proud to be a part of that change, and to work with my colleagues on passing into law legislation that is fair, right, and just.
In 2023, I sponsored ten bills and co-sponsored 87 bills which were signed into law; held over 40 community conversations (coffee hours and "iced tea and talk") and participated in local events; and "brought home" $11 million to House District 11.
I serve on the committees for Agriculture (Majority Vice Chair), Local Government and Finance, Higher Education, and Natural Resources/Environment/Tourism/Outdoor Recreation.
I'm a member of the following Caucuses: Autism; Detroit; Disability; Environmental Justice; Firearms & Violence Prevention; Hispanic/Latino; Labor; Poverty & Homelessness; and Progressive Women.
Jan 2015 - Nov 2022
Harper Woods City Council
First appointed to City Council and elected later that year and re-elected in 2019.
Being on Harper Woods City Council gave me opportunities to have in-depth conversations with residents about their concerns and quality of life, and to act on the issues that are important to them as individuals and as a community.
Being on Council has also afforded me to be a part of the Michigan Municipal League's Elected Officials Academy - expanding my understanding of state issues that pertain to local issues in serving as an elected representative. I served on their Municipal Services Committee and Elections Sub-Committee. We reviewed proposed legislation related to general municipal services, administration and elections issues, and provided recommendations of support or opposition. Some of the proposed legislation addressed public safety, short-term rentals and housing, illegal dumping, property tax exemptions, and voting/elections. I classes and seminars in municipal finance and budgeting, taxation, diversity/inclusion and equity, and workshops about issues such as lobbying, zoning and city planning.
While on Council, I served on the Ordinance Committee and Beautification Committees.
And, I'm one of the original draft writers of the Council's Resolution of Transformative and Restorative Justice.
2008 - 2015
City of Harper Woods
I served on both our Library Board and our Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Those experiences gave me the opportunity to advocate and take action on our residents' behalf for strong literacy and education projects and services, and parks improvements and programming.
So Much More!
Member, Harper Woods Ordinance and Beautification Committees
Member, Michigan Municipal League's Municipal Services Committee and Elections Sub-Committee
Alternate Voting Delegate, SEMCOG (Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments)
Member, Harper Woods K-9 Program Fundraising Committee
Harper Woods Library Board Trustee 2012-2015 and Recreation Advisory Board member 2008-2015
Designed and implemented a cultural diversity teachers' workshop for the U-M Musical Society and a cultural education workshop for the Detroit Institute of Art
Focus: HOPE employee and volunteer 2002-2017
Former Director of Casa de Unidad cultural center in southwest Detroit, 2003 - 2007
Spirit of Detroit Award, 2004
New Detroit Inc. Cultural Exchange Network, former member
Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Wayne State University and New York University, and studies at Smithsonian Institute and in Mexico City
Harper Woods resident and homeowner, and wife of Alex Rogowski (jazz musician and retired pharmacist)
As Director of Casa de Unidad, I lead a small staff in providing and implementing cultural and literacy programs and resources to southwest Detroit residents and educating broader communities about Hispanic and Latino culture.
As a Focus: HOPE employee, I was a Community Arts Coordinator focused on working with youth in programming that reflected the Focus: HOPE mission (which reads in part: "pledge intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty, and injustice"). One of those programs was a pen pal literacy project for third graders in Detroit and the metro area; the children wrote to each other and finally met during the program and learned about each other's lives - families and interests. Also, as both an employee and later as a volunteer, I was one of a number of photographer/artist "mentors" in their annual Focus on the Mission program; mentors worked annually with over 50 high school students from Detroit and the tri-county area (such as inner city Detroit, Armada, Dearborn, and the Grosse Pointes) using photography to explore Detroit and learn about each other, culminating in a photography exhibit. (A moving and worthwhile program; kids talked about their friends who had passed, farm life, religious life, gender identification, and so much more about their personal lives.)