Dear Neighbor, 

April offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. Whether it’s a walk in the park, going fishing, a hike through the trails, or a barbecue in your backyard, I hope you are taking time to soak up the sunshine and make the most of this spring season. 

As always, I hope this newsletter informs you of all the exciting things happening in the Legislature and District 27. If you or someone you know would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can contact me at 517-373-0142 (Lansing office), 810-233-9788 (District office), or via email at 


John Cherry
State Senator
District 27

Featured in this Newsletter  

  • In Recent News  
  • Legislative Update  
  • Community Events  
  • Resources  

In Recent News 

Ten Year Anniversary of Flint Water Crisis 

Ten years later, the Flint Water Crisis and its impact remain etched in our collective memory. The crisis exposed deep-rooted systemic injustice steeped in racism and elitism, which contributed to it going unchecked for as long as it did. While legislative efforts will never fully erase the harm inflicted on the Flint community, I have made it a priority to champion initiatives such as ‘Filter First’ legislation, universal lead testing, and the Rx Kids program. In doing this, I hope we can continue to pave the way to a more inclusive and equitable society, recognizing that environmental injustice is a pressing issue that concerns all of us. 


Communities First Inc. Awarded $400K Grant 

As a proud representative of Flint, I’m thrilled to announce that Communities First, Inc. will receive both state and federal funding to propel the development of Foodie Commons, a groundbreaking food truck park set to revolutionize Genesee County’s culinary landscape. The vision for Foodie Commons goes beyond just a gathering place; it’s about fostering economic empowerment and community growth. With the generous support of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and myself, we are poised to transform downtown Flint into a vibrant hub for local entrepreneurs — particularly for women and minority-owned businesses — providing them with the resources they need to thrive. 

I’m particularly proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, as Foodie Commons will prioritize opportunities for underrepresented entrepreneurs. This aligns perfectly with our belief that inclusive investments are key to Flint’s economic revitalization. The funding — which includes a $400,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that I helped secure and $1 million secured by Senator Stabenow — will not only fuel the construction of Foodie Commons but also support the renovation of existing spaces and the activation of abandoned lots.  

Together, we are laying the foundation for a stronger, more vibrant community, and I’m excited to see the positive impact Foodie Commons will have on Flint and Genesee Counties. The grant will provide much-needed resources and support to local entrepreneurs and will help create new jobs and boost the local economy here in District 27. 


Senate Democrats Recognize Workers’ Memorial Day  

Michigan Senate Democrats passed Senate Resolution 111, recognizing April 28, 2024, as Workers’ Memorial Day. On this day every year, communities and worksites around the world and across the state honor friends, family members and colleagues who have been killed or injured on the job.  

Workers’ Memorial Day honors the integrity of Michigan’s workforce and honors the memory of the courageous and dedicated members of Michigan’s labor force who have been injured or disabled or have died as a result of workplace accidents. 

In 2022, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in Michigan, 139 workers were lost through fatal workplace accidents and 5,486 workers were killed by traumatic injuries on the job across the nation — on average, a worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury. 

Senate Democrats remain dedicated in our effort to seek stronger workplace safety and health protections, better standards and enforcement, and fair and just compensation — continuing to fight to improve both safety and health in every workplace. 


Legislative Update 

Initial Budgets Passed to Protect Michigan’s Natural Resources  

As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR), I am proud to have worked with my Senate colleagues to craft initial budget proposals to protect and restore the environment in which we live, work and play. Senate Bills 758 and 759 were reported favorably by the full Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this week and will now head to the Senate floor for consideration.    

In the appropriations bill for MDARD, Senate Bill 758, our subcommittee allocated $6 million to continue the important work of Michigan’s conservation districts and $2 million for a Farm to Family Program. Among other items, it also includes support for soil and health workshops and education and building off last year’s budget  this proposal continues to recommend resources for minority-owned food and agriculture businesses in the state.  

Included in the recommendation for the DNR, Senate Bill 759, is a proposal of $17.19 million for changing the process to acquire a state park recreation passport from an opt-in to an opt-out system, while also providing for a veteran’s exemption. This bill also bolsters our wetland conservation efforts with a proposed allocation of $2 million for wetland restoration efforts in addition to funding for an innovative pilot initiative to reduce the cost of flood insurance by using wetlands and their restoration activities. Additionally, proposed investments were also passed for America 250 commemoration activities as well as for the nonprofit Sportsmen Against Hunger, which channels wild game donations to those who are facing hard times.  

As the Senate, the House and governor’s office work to finalize the budget, I will continue to promote the use of state dollars for the conservation of Michigan’s natural resources, ensuring our forests, farms and everywhere in between are clean and healthy for the ways of life they sustain. 


Community Events 

Join Team Cherry as we work to improve and connect with our community at one of the following May events.  

Flint River Watershed Annual Stewardship Day

Conservation is more than a policy passion  Team Cherry strives to be stewards of our environment right in our own backyards. Join us on Saturday, May 4, as we participate in the Flint River Watershed’s annual Stewardship Day. Register as a volunteer today, and we look forward to seeing you out there! 

Grand Blanc Community Conversation 

WHEN: Monday, May 13, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 
WHERE: Grand Blanc Senior Center, 12632 Pagels Drive, Grand Blanc, MI 48439 

Your participation is essential as we tackle our community’s challenges and opportunities. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events! 


Virtual Resource Fair for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs 

The Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Michigan Family to Family, and Michigan Family Voices are teaming up for a Virtual Resource Fair on May 7, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Microsoft Teams.  

This event is meant to inform individuals with disabilities and their families, caregivers, youth, providers and community support about the variety of services and resources available in Michigan for children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs, as well as their families.  

Register here. 

Tips to Help You Safely Navigate Road Construction 

With the warmer weather finally here, that means our unofficial state flower — the beloved traffic cone — will be popping up across Michigan. Between state, county and local projects, there will be several work zones throughout our community this year. During this time, make sure to remain alert and practice caution to keep yourself and road workers free from harm. To help keep the roads as safe as possible, make sure to practice these driving tips: 

  • Plan ahead: Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.  
  • Obey road crews and signs: When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.  
  • Slow down: Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.  
  • Move over: Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.  
  • Avoid distractions: Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times.  
  • Watch for sudden stoppages: Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. 

     Working to Keep Michigan Roads Safe: Senate Democrats Recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

    Distracted driving accounts for about 25% of all crash fatalities, and in 2021, there were 6,543 motor vehicle crashes here in Michigan involving a distracted driver.  

    To help rectify this issue and keep our roads safe for Michiganders driving to work, school, or anywhere in between, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues last year to update our distracted driving laws. Before, texting while driving was a ticketable offense, but things like scrolling social media or taking a video were not. Senate Bills 239241 made a much-needed update to our laws to ensure Michigan is truly a hands-free state and encourage people to focus on the most important task on the road: driving safely. These bills were signed into law and took effect on June 30, 2023.   

    As a result, you cannot manually do any of the following on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving: 

    • Make or answer a telephone or video call. 
    • Send or read a text or email message. 
    • Watch, record, or send a video. 
    • Access, read, or post to social media. 
    • Browse or use the Internet. 
    • Enter information into GPS or a navigation system. 

    As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take a moment to learn more about these laws and how you can play your part in keeping our roads safe for yourself and your fellow Michiganders. To find more information, visit the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety website at