Note From Erika 

Greeting Constituents of Senate District 1,

With the increased power outages across our district and the state I wanted to provide useful information including safety tips and where to report power outages.  

Stay up to date on where power outages are and how to keep yourself and your family protected 

Power Outages |   

Report Power Outages  

  • DTE  
    • To report a power outage or a downed power line, contact (800) 477-4747  
  • Consumers  
    • Emergency 24/7, call (800) 477-5050  
    • General: Mon – Fri (7am – 6pm), Sat (8am – 2pm), call (800) 477-5050
Able and Available Issue Form

Erika Geiss
State Senator – 1st District
(517) 373-7800


In this Edition: 

  • Legislative Updates 
  • District Updates 
  • Tips for Coping with Grief after Tragedy
  • Winter Driving Safety Tips
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Information 



Protecting Michiganders from Gun Violence  

Gun violence is a leading cause of early death in this country, killing tens of thousands a year, and it is the Number One cause of death for American youth. From the mass shooting at Oxford High School in 2021 to the shooting at Michigan State University, there have been 34 mass shootings in Michigan that have injured or killed at least four people. The reality is that the omnipresent danger gun violence poses to our society and our fellow Michiganders is not going to change until we change our policies. 

Michigan Democrats have introduced widely embraced common-sense gun legislation that will save lives from being lost to mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and accidents. These proposals have been developed with input from state and national experts, public safety officials, parent advocacy groups and responsible gun owners. Together, these bills will help keep our fellow Michiganders from harming themselves or others, intentionally or accidentally, while also respecting Michigan’s hunting, farming, and sporting traditions. 

This common-sense gun legislation has been proven effective at saving lives and is supported by Michiganders across the state: 

  • Universal background checks save lives by ensuring people convicted of violent crimes like domestic violence cannot purchase guns and cause more harm. 
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order laws, also known as “red flag” laws, will save lives by giving families and law enforcement the tools needed to temporarily remove guns from the hands of people who have threatened to hurt themselves or others. 
  • Safe storage laws will save lives by ensuring responsible gun owners keep their firearms secure from children and prevent their firearms from falling into the wrong hands and being used to commit a crime. 
District 1

Rail Safety Legislation 

This week, I introduced two new Senate Bills in response to the recent rail related tragedies. We saw the devastating effects coming out of East Palestine, Ohio, in addition to the two derailments we saw in Detroit and Van Buren Township and long term ongoing issues with rail in our district. It is important that we take the proper action to ensure these tragedies and the persistent issues with rail do not repeat in our district and throughout the state.  

Hence, the same month and after working with rail workers, I introduced the following legislation: 

  • Senate Bill 100 would require at least two crew members working on every train for safety. 
  • Senate Bill 139 would limit class one trains to 7,500 ft. to ensure safety and avoid blocking crossings. 
  • Senate Resolution 16 would urge the Federal Railroad Administration and the United States Congress to enact policies, such as the Railway Safety Act of 2023, to prevent further accidents like train derailments occurring across the nation since the beginning of this year. 

As Chair of the Committee on Transportation, I will continue to advocate for legislation that protects rail workers and citizens. 



March Is Reading Month 

This month is Reading Month, when we will come together to celebrate and promote the joy and importance of reading in Michigan. Reading plays a crucial role in our lives, expands our knowledge of the world and each other, and helps us grow our imagination and build empathy. That’s why, this year’s budget, Gov. Whitmer proposed increased investments in literacy grants and coaches for children and adults, so Michiganders of all ages can experience the joy of reading.   

Make the most out of this month by reading something new, returning to an old favorite, or writing a story of your own! Whether you have a short story that you’ve written or are inspired to write one for the first time, you are encouraged to send it to Gov. Whitmer. During Reading Month, she will be sharing some of your stories on her social media to celebrate your talents and bring people together.    

To submit your story:   

  1. Visit Gov. Whitmer’s website  
  2. Click “Contact the Governor”  
  3. Fill out the form and attach a copy of your story!  
  4. Please make sure to include your name, grade, and the city you live in   

Submissions will be accepted exclusively through the online system and must be received no later than Sunday, March 12, 2023.   

In addition, this month, on the first three Saturdays, I will be attending public libraries throughout our district to read children’s books for March Is Reading Month. Be sure to stop in to celebrate a month full of reading and education! 

Saturday, March 4, 2023
WHEN: 10:30 – 11:00 am
WHERE: Bowen Public Library. 3648 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48216 

WHEN: 11:30 am – 12 pm
WHERE: Campbell Public Library, 8733 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209 

Saturday, March 10, 2023
WHEN: 10:30 – 11 am
WHERE: Melvindale Public Library, 18650 Allen Rd, Melvindale, MI 48122 

WHEN: 11:30 am – 12 pm
WHERE: River Rouge Public Library, 221 Burke St, River Rouge, MI 48218  

Saturday, March 18, 2023
WHEN: 10:30 am – 1 pm
WHERE: Taylor Community Library, 12303 Pardee Rd, Taylor, MI 48180 



In the aftermath of tragedy, it is especially important to check in on yourself and your loved ones.  

There is no “correct way” to deal with a tragedy. Here are some tips that may help you in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred at Michigan State University or any tragedy you or a loved one may experience:  

  • Talk about it.  Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen. Michigan has numerous Hotlines available at no cost to help.  
  • Strive for balance. When a tragedy occurs, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and have a negative or pessimistic outlook. Balance that viewpoint by reminding yourself of people and events that are meaningful and encouraging.  
  • Turn it off and take a break. Limit the amount of news you take in. While getting the news informs you, being overexposed to it can increase stress.  
  • Honor your feelings. It is common to have a range of emotions after a traumatic incident.    
  • Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress.  
  • Be patient. Remember that grief is a long process. Give yourself time to experience your feelings and to recover.     

A licensed mental health professional can assist in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living.   

Additional resources are available to you:     


Winter weather can make driving commutes longer, and more treacherous. So, it is important for you to be safe on the roads.   

Taking time to clean the snow off your vehicle and tracking the distance between locations prior to traveling can help eliminate accidents. Also, remember to pack drinking water, extra snacks, scarves, and coats in your car in case of an emergency.   If you are ever stranded on the road and need roadside assistance, call AAA or 911. Remember to stay a few lengths away when driving behind other cars. Use this simple trick to stay safe while driving in snowy conditions: if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors or full headlights, the driver likely cannot see you. Now, if there are downed power lines, stay as far away from them as possible.   

For more winter driving safety tips, please click here



The expirationdate of many at-home COVID-19 tests have been extended. Typically, the tests have been extended 3-6 months depending on the manufacturer. Visit the FDA website to see details on your tests.  

Additionally, be sure to utilize your four free COVID-19 tests (per household) at

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The following information is provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 

  • Updated (bivalent) boosters became available on: 
    • September 2, 2022, for people aged 12 years and older 
    • October 12, 2022, for people aged 5–11 years 
    • December 9, 2022, for children aged 6 months–4 years who completed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine primary series 
  • Updated (bivalent) Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine also became available on December 9, 2022 for children aged 6 months–4 years to complete the primary series. 
  • CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group: 
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you have recovered from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19. 
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines
  • COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 data 

In-District COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Sites 

WCCCD – Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline Rd, Taylor, MI 48180  
  • Vaccinations
    Thursday, 9:00am – 3:00pm
    Saturday, 12:00pm – 6:00pm
International Gospel Center, 375 Salliotte Rd, Ecorse, MI 48229  
  • Testing
    Monday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Tuesday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Wednesday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Thursday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
  • Testing
    Wednesday, 10:00am – 6:00pm
For additional testing and vaccination sites visit the MDHHS website