Small businesses are the backbone of our community. They provide services and goods that are unique to the special needs of Detroiters. That’s why, this week, I sat down with Victoria Washington who owns Detroit Dough, an edible cookie dough company.
Washington is a single mom who managed to launch a business from her own backyard with minimal debt. In this episode of my #WeCanDoBetter podcast, Washington talks about what it’s like to start a Black-owned company in Detroit, surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to start and run a food-based business in Michigan.
Small Business Resource Webinar
WHERE: Online, but more details to come
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.
MAKE SURE YOU VOTE
The City of Detroit has made absentee and early voting easier than ever. If you haven’t already, you can return your absentee ballot to one of Detroit’s many drop boxes. If you aren’t registered to vote, you can register at one of several satellite voting centers around the city. While you can register to vote up to Election Day, there are fewer chances for problems to arise if you register now. This Monday, Oct. 19 is the last day to register to vote in any manner other than in-person with your local clerk. After that, you will have to register in-person.
Have you made your plan to return your completed ballot yet, or do you have a plan to vote? Given the expectations on turnout this year, here’s a recommended timeline for voting early:
You can find your voter information, register to vote, find absentee voting information and so much more at Michigan.gov/Vote.
BENGALI BALLOT LANGUAGE TRANSLATION NOW AVAILABLE IN HAMTRAMCK
The Wayne County Clerk’s Office has made ballots available in Bengali for Hamtramck voters. As of Wednesday, Hamtramck voters can request an absentee ballot in Bengali, or vote with a Bengali ballot on Election Day.
>> Read more here.
WHITMER SIGNS BIPARTISAN ‘CLEAN SLATE’ CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM BILLS
On Monday, Oct. 12, Gov. Whitmer signed bipartisan House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 reforming Michigan’s criminal expungement laws making it easier for people who have committed certain felonies and misdemeanors to have their record expunged. Changes in the bills include allowing a person to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after December 6, 2018 when recreational marijuana use by adults became legal in Michigan.
Research conducted by the University of Michigan law school, which was recently published by the Harvard Law Review, found that people who receive expungements see a 23% increase in income within a year. This means more resources for families and communities, and a broader tax base, without any negative impact on public safety.
The changes include the following:
EVENT RECAP: MARCH 4 HOPE
Sunday, I spoke at Focus: HOPE’s annual Heroes for HOPE. Instead of gathering for an in-person march for justice and equity, Focus: HOPE moved their annual march online. People could march any route they wanted and were free to join the virtual event. The annual March 4 HOPE builds a metropolitan community where all people may live in freedom, harmony, trust and affection. I was honored to be invited to speak, which you can watch online.
STOP WATER SHUTOFFS
After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that a 1945 emergency powers law was unconstitutional, Gov. Whitmer lost some of her authority to enact executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. These orders were designed to protect people and keep us safe, including her executive order to protect Michiganders against water shutoffs. During the height of the pandemic, water providers were required to restore water services in instances where services had been shut off due to non-payment.
These protections are no longer in place, meaning that now — more than ever — we must pass Senate Bill 241, which would create the Water Shutoff Protection Act.
This issue is important to me, which is why I’ve been working closely with Sen. Stephanie Chang, another senator from Detroit, who has been a leader on this same topic. I have also requested to be added as a cosponsor to this bill, as I was away on military duty when the bill was first introduced.
At the local level, I have been having conversations with the Mayor of Detroit and the Detroit Health Department to restore shutoff protections in the City of Detroit. I am also working with the Wayne County Health Department to push water shutoff protections county-wide.
It’s imperative that we take Legislative action on Senate Bill 241 and preserve access to clean, safe, and affordable water for all Michiganders.
Resources for residents to keep their water on
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