NOTE FROM ERIKA
Greetings Friends and Neighbors!
As summer comes to a close, I want to wish all of Michigan’s hardworking and dedicated students, teachers and parents a happy school year!
If there’s anything I can do to help you and your family, please feel free to reach out to me and my office. If we cannot help you, we will direct you to the appropriate department or resources that can. You can contact me toll-free at (855) 847-8001, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website online at senatedems.com/geiss.
State Senator – 1st District
In this Edition
- BACK TO SCHOOL
- Important Reminders
- Investing in Education
- WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY
- SEVERE WEATHER RESOURCES
- UIA OFFERS NEW COACHING SESSIONS FOR FIRST-TIME FILERS
- COMMUNITY UPDATE
- Labor Day Parade & Picnic
- Labor Day in the D
- Legislative Update with Me
- Detroit Alerts 365
- Gordie Howe Bridge Update
BACK TO SCHOOL
Another school year is here and as our children and youth are getting back into the classrooms, it is important to prepare them for success. Parents and guardians: be sure to check schedules, provide school supplies and fill out required forms. Important back-to-school reminders include:
- SCHOOL BUSES: Be aware of the buses that are back on the roads and be sure to follow the guidelines below.
- VACCINATIONS: Immunization is crucial to a healthy school year. As we prepare for the year ahead, stay up-to-date on vaccinations, especially since children’s vaccination rates are declining.
- For additional vaccination information and questions visit: Home – I Vaccinate
- Vaccination rates by school: Michigan’s vaccination rates are down, see how your school grades out.
- Recommended immunizations for children: 2023 Recommended Immunizations for Children from Birth Through 6 Years Old
- Recommended immunizations for adolescents: 2023 Recommended Immunizations for Children 7–18 Years Old
In June, the Michigan legislature passed its 2024 state budget and in July, Governor Whitmer signed this historic investment in eduction. This budget reflects the needs and interests of residents across the state. I am looking forward to watching these positive impacts unfold throughout this school year.
- Investments from the FY ‘24 budget in education (the School Aid Fund) include:
- Universal school meals for breakfast and lunch
- Fully funded special education
- Expanding Great Start Readiness Programs and access for early learners
- Largest foundation allowance increase in state history
- Student teacher stipends for K-12
- A pilot program to attract music teachers for grades K-5 in the school districts without elementary music education
- Historic investments in community colleges and public universities
- Student financial aid and support resources
With the new Democratic Majority, my colleagues and I prioritized the input of residents, communities and organizations from around the state. We listened to those unique perspectives to craft this budget. It’s clear there is a continuous, overwhelming need to invest in Michigan schools to ensure students are given a high-quality education as well as the support they need to stay successful through the school year and beyond.
Wishing everyone a jubilant school year!
WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY
Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day — commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants women the right to vote. Since then, various legislative actions, such as the 1965 Voting Rights Act, have also been adopted to ensure all women can use their voice at the ballot box and in their daily lives. However, the fight for gender equality is far from over.
The Michigan Senate sees more women than ever in top leadership positions. To celebrate this progress in state government, take a moment to peruse the work the Michigan Capitol Commission is doing to preserve women’s history in our state. There are more than 200 women who have served in the Michigan House and Senate throughout history. This ongoing project will tell their stories to the next generation of leaders.
For more information about Women’s Equality Day and its historical significance, click here.
SEVERE WEATHER RESOURCES
In response to recent severe weather events across the state, our first responders and officials are working hard to ensure there is a swift delivery of resources to affected areas. We applaud our dedicated first responders who have been working tirelessly around the clock. Please continue to exercise caution as some areas are still being cleared and assessed for damage. If you need help or see something to report, use the following links.
To report downed power lines:
🔌 Consumers Energy: Call 1-888-535-9003
To report flooding or flood damage, visit Michigan.gov/difs/consumers/disaster-prep/flood.
For additional safety tips, visit Michigan.gov/miready.
UIA OFFERS NEW COACHING SESSIONS FOR FIRST-TIME FILERS
Workers in Michigan applying for jobless benefits can now receive online guidance from trained instructors at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). These coaching sessions can be accessed through the UIA website. Participating in an orientation session is not mandatory to qualify for benefits.
During these sessions, UIA staff will provide guidance on the online Claimant Roadmap, a new, user-friendly tool designed to simplify the application process and communicate benefits. Here’s the specific information you need to know:
- Sessions are available on specific days and times:
- 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays
- 3-5 p.m. Wednesdays
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays
- 1-3 p.m. Fridays
- After signing up, users will receive an email with a link to use during their selected session.
- Reminder emails will be sent one day and one hour before the session begins.
- These sessions are not for individuals with current claims.
- Those with current claims can seek assistance through other channels:
- Call UIA’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017
- Visit Michigan.gov/UIA to schedule an in-person, phone or virtual appointment
- Use the website’s Ask Ava chat feature for answers to questions
Detroit Labor Day Parade and Picnic
Join your fellow workers from across the guilds and Metro Detroit in a show of solidarity and strength! This year’s Labor Day Parade, hosted by the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, will take place Monday, September 4, 2023. The theme is “Labor United Stronger than Ever!” The march will begin promptly at 9 a.m. EST and will end with a program at Roosevelt Park.
WHO: UAW Members, UAW Activists And Union Supporters
WHAT: 2023 Michigan Labor Day Parade
WHEN: Monday, September 4, 2023 Staging at 8 a.m. — Parade begins at 9 a.m.
WHERE: UAW Staging Trumbull; Abbott To Bagley Ave. Detroit, MI
Labor Day in the D
Another celebration in honor of Labor Day 2023, visit Spirit Plaza for Labor Day in the D. There will be a DJ battle, food trucks, vendors and more! All activities are free of charge.
WHEN: Monday, September 4, from 2-6 p.m.
WHERE: Spirit Plaza, 2 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48226
Community Conversation & Legislative Update
Chat with me on Zoom every second Wednesday of the month for a legislative update! This month, we will be meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 6 p.m. You can register to attend here.
DEAL Racial Equity Fellowship
Detroit Equity Action Lab’s (DEAL) Racial Equity Fellowship is a free leadership development program with mandatory monthly full-day sessions across 12 months, convening primarily in-person and occasionally virtually. Fellows will participate in high-quality skill building with other Detroit-area racial equity leaders, deepen relationships and join a multiracial and multigenerational network dedicated to ending structural racism in Detroit.
Application closes Friday, September 29, 2023.
Detroit Alerts 365
Know when there’s an emergency impacting your area.
Detroit Alerts 365 is a new notification system that sends Detroit-specific emergency notifications through the CodeRED emergency notification system — a system used by emergency services teams and municipalities nationwide. This free system enables you to choose how you would like to receive alerts — via telephone, text message and/or email.
Benefits: During a crisis, real-time updates can provide life-saving instructions and information.
- Notifications are on the go with you. You can receive important alerts and non-emergency notifications, based on your address directly to your cell phone, home phone, text or email.
- You will receive notifications targeted to residents in a specific area experiencing emergency conditions.
- Your personal data is secure in the CodeRED system.
Gordie Howe Bridge Update
Check out the new video here featuring the Gordie Howe Bridge project components from April 2022 to July 2023. Watch the bridge along with the Canadian and U.S. Ports of Entry take shape in this time-lapse of our progress.