Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is hard to believe we are already nearing the end of this year. Before we part ways with 2023, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible effort we have all put into building up District 27. I know it has not been easy, but we have remained steadfast and dedicated to our goals.
It is heartening to see the positive results of our work, like Gov. Whitmer’s signing of a clean energy bill package and the push for more transparency in financial disclosures. Without your support, none of this would have been possible — so let us keep supporting each other and pushing forward as we approach the end of this year.
Due to the holiday season, my office will be closed from December 22 to 25 and December 29 to January 1. However, I want to assure you I will continue to address all concerns related to District 27. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-0142 (Lansing office), 810-233-9788 (District office), or SenJCherry@senate.michigan.gov if you have any questions or issues to discuss.
Thank you, and please accept my sincere wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.
Working for you,
Featured in this newsletter:
- Community Updates
- Legislative Updates
- Upcoming Events
- Helpful Resources
Serving Senate District 27
I’m thrilled to announce the expansion of our Senate District 27 team with the addition of Legislative Director Nick Haas and District Manager Myron Henderson.
Nick, a New York native now rooted in Michigan, brings valuable public service experience from his role as legislative director for New York State Senators. His expertise in workforce development, childcare, emergency services, and local government initiatives is a great asset. In 2022, Nick earned an MPA from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, specializing in public budgeting and policy analysis.
Myron Henderson, a lifelong Flint resident, is no stranger to community engagement and grassroots organizing. His recent role as a scheduling and advance associate intern for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has further sharpened his skills. Myron, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan-Flint, is now pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.
Nick and Myron join our existing team:
- Nicole Derusha-Mackey, chief of staff, oversees the overall operation of the office and strategic planning.
- Qiana Towns Williams, district director, coordinates outreach efforts and ensures the concerns of District 27 community members are heard.
- Jade Koehn, scheduler and administrative assistant, plays a crucial role in maintaining the office’s day-to-day operations.
I’m confident that this strengthened team will effectively address the needs of our community and work towards positive change for the residents of Flint and Genesee County.
United Against Hate
On December 15, I had the honor of attending a United Against Hate event. I would like to express my gratitude to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, the FBI, and the Michigan Office of Civil Rights for providing me with invaluable insights on how to identify and respond to hate crimes. The acts of hate have a far-reaching impact, not only on the immediate victim but also on other people who are similar. Regardless of perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability, every individual deserves to live in a world free of hate.
To help close the books on the 2023 fiscal year and position Michigan for future success, the Legislature passed a budget supplemental — House Bill 4292 and Senate Bill 174. This fiscally responsible supplemental will help communities across Michigan invest in students — to ensure students have access to clean drinking water at school; put more money into classrooms; and fund critical projects at public universities and community colleges to build a pipeline for more high-skilled talent, among other priorities.
I secured $42.5 million for the University of Michigan-Flint and C.S. Mott Community College through this supplemental budget. This funding will be used to create physical spaces and academic programs that focus on high-growth areas in occupations such as technology, energy, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing. The University of Michigan-Flint has been granted $30 million to expand its state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Complex. This expansion will provide an additional 50,000 square feet of academic space, fostering innovation, creativity, and learning among the students. Additionally, C.S. Mott Community College will receive $12.5 million to breathe new life into the Prahl College Center (PCC), which has served as a beacon of education for generations. These much-needed renovations will ensure that the center continues to inspire and empower students for many more years to come. Both investments will generate positive changes for Genesee County.
The budget also invests in clean water, Michigan’s roads, and more. To read more about the investments being made throughout the state, click here.
Commercial Guiding Package
I am thrilled to share a significant achievement with you — Gov. Whitmer has recently signed a package of bills that Sens. Kevin Daley, Sean McCann and I worked on tirelessly to turn into law. Senate Bills 103, 104 and 105 are all about ensuring your guided fishing and hunting adventures in Michigan are safe, enjoyable and professional. Recognizing a gap in the rules for fishing and hunting guides in our beautiful state, we set out to fill those voids. Our goal is straightforward: Keep you safe, protect our wildlife and ensure the folks guiding you on your outdoor adventures are top-notch.
These new rules empower authorities to intervene when things go wrong. We want to guarantee that commercial fishing and hunting guides meet specific standards, including certification and adequate first aid training. It’s not just about paperwork; it’s about ensuring the people guiding you know what they’re doing. We’ve also made it crystal clear that having a license doesn’t grant guides a free pass to do whatever they want on certain lands. Breaking these rules comes with fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. We believe these consequences will maintain fairness and accountability.
Most importantly, these rules are for you — the people of Michigan. We want to make sure you can continue enjoying the great outdoors without worries. Michigan’s hunting and fishing traditions are at the heart of our state’s identity. As your State Senator, I am committed to uplifting the hunting and fishing industry while safeguarding our natural resources.
I am delighted to announce my collaboration with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and State Representative Phil Green to jointly sponsor Student Days at the Sloan Museum. Scheduled for December 21 and 28, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Student Days present a special opportunity for students in Genesee County to enjoy free admission to the Real Bodies Exhibit. The exhibit features preserved human bodies and over 200 anatomical specimens, offering a unique and educational experience that allows students to gain a deeper understanding of life.
For more information, please click here.
Community Conversations have returned! Let us kick off the new year with some great conversations and positive energy. These discussions are a chance for you to engage with me and ask questions about what is happening in the district, while I provide updates from the legislature. Our first community conversations of 2024 will take place in Burton and Mount Morris; details below:
WHEN: Friday, January 19, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Burton Senior Center, 3410 S Grand Traverse St, Burton, MI 48529
WHEN: Friday, February 16, 2024, at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Krapohl Senior Center, 5473 Bicentennial Dr, Mount Morris, MI 48458
Health Career Scholarship Contest
The Genesee Health Plan has announced its seventh Annual Health Career Scholarship Contest. All high school seniors in Genesee County who intend to pursue a career in the healthcare field are eligible to participate. To enter, students must type a 1,000-word essay, explaining why they have chosen their desired field and the impact they hope to make. The contest will award two $1,500 scholarships, and the deadline for submission is February 22, 2024, and must be emailed to email@example.com.
DNR Wetland Restoration Opportunities
Join the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for a special webinar on Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. Landowners in the Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay watersheds are invited to contribute to the restoration of vital wetlands, combating harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.
The DNR is actively seeking private and municipal property owners interested in this crucial initiative to restore wetlands, acting as the “kidneys of our environment” to filter out harmful pollutants. Make a positive impact on water quality and be part of the movement to protect and preserve our environment. Click here to attend the webinar.