Dear Neighbors:

My first year in the state Senate has been an exciting challenge with so many opportunities to make our community better. We have been working hard in Lansing to ensure we fight for the things that matter to people in our communities. Every letter, email and call to our office has helped me to better represent you, and I hope to continue hearing from you as we enter the New Year!

Last year, we hosted dozens of coffee hours all around the district and talked to people from all walks of life. I’m thankful to those of you who attended, and hope more of you can come speak with me and my staff in the future. Our state succeeds when everyone is involved.

If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know! You can reach me through email at, by phone at (517) 373-0990, or toll-free at (855) DIST003 (855-347-8003). I would love to hear from you!

Working for You,

Senator Santana Signature

Sylvia Santana
State Senator

Santana M.I.

Coffee & Conversation

I always enjoy the opportunity to hear directly from residents like you regarding the issues you care about! My favorite way to do that is to host coffee hours throughout the 3rd District.

Check my website for upcoming dates and times, sign up for my e-newsletter at, or call my office at (517) 373-0990 to learn about a future coffee hour near you!

Are you ready for REAL ID?

On Oct. 1, 2020, the federally mandated REAL ID law will go into full effect and, if you travel by air, this law will impact you. If you haven’t been paying attention to this issue, it’s time to get informed.

REAL ID is the post-9/11 federal requirement setting higher security standards for identification. Once in effect, standard state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be enough when boarding flights within the U.S. or entering certain federal facilities, such as military bases or nuclear power plants.

Some people already have a REAL ID document, such as a valid U.S. passport, a DHS Trusted Traveler Card or an enhanced driver’s license. A full list of acceptable REAL ID documents is available online at

To make a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State Office and bring the following documents with you:

• Your driver’s license or state ID card;
• Your certified birth certificate, with a raised seal or stamp issued by a governmental agency;
• Your valid, unexpired U.S. passport OR an approved citizenship or legal presence document (faxes and photocopies won’t be accepted); and,
• If your name differs from what is on your birth certificate, bring certified documents for every time your name has changed, such as marriage licenses or court orders.

There’s no additional fee to turn a license or state ID card into a standard REAL ID if it’s done during your normal renewal time. Otherwise, a duplicate card fee will be charged.

REAL ID goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020
For more information, visit

Be Counted: U.S. CENSUS 2020

Every 10 years, the U.S. government is constitutionally required to count the people living in our country. It doesn’t matter if you’re a natural-born citizen, a Green Card holder or an immigrant — every person living in our country matters.

The 2020 Census questionnaire will contain a short set of questions asking about the people living in your household. It’s critical that you fill out these forms and return them.

You should make sure you respond to the 2020 Census questionnaire because the results of it:

• Determine how much money our state and our community receive from the federal government;
• Determine the number of Congressional seats Michigan receives;
• Provide local government officials with data to ensure public safety, and plan schools and build hospitals; and,
• Provide data so businesses can find communities where they can create jobs.

BY APRIL 1, 2020, every home in Michigan should receive a census questionnaire. Thanks to upgrades in technology, you will be able to return your answers via MAIL, PHONE or ONLINE.

Earn extra income while helping your community

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. These temporary positions include Census takers, Census field supervisors, recruiting assistants, clerks and office operations supervisors.

Interested? Learn more and apply online at

How to avoid scams

Between March 12 and 20, most households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the 2020 census. Those who don’t answer will then receive the traditional paper form in the mail. If you don’t respond, the bureau will send a census taker to knock on that door to collect the household’s data.

Real census employees won’t ask for your full Social Security number, for money or donations, or for bank or credit card numbers.

Check to make sure that the person has a valid identification badge with his or her photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you still suspect fraud, call the Census Bureau at (800) 923-8282 to speak to a representative.

Meals on Wheels

Senior citizens are a vital part of our community. After a lifetime of hard work, many continue to give back to our communities, and serve as the backbone of our neighborhoods, while others need our help. Seniors live on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for nutritious food due to expensive prescription drug costs, rising utility rates, increased rent, and more.

Meals on Wheels can help.

This program helps senior citizens eat nutritious meals by providing five per week to homebound, older adults. They also offer liquid nutrition for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.
To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:
• 60 years or older;
• Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
• Unable to cook for him/herself;
• Have no one willing to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
• Able to feed him/herself.

Wayne County Meals on Wheels: Detroit (313) 446-4444 Dearborn Melvindale (800) 851-1454

Home Heating Help

Food isn’t the only problem in the dead of winter — heating bills can be too. Many low-income families and seniors struggle just to keep their house warm, but fortunately, The Heat and Warmth (THAW) Fund can help during the cold months.

THAW has multiple utility assistance programs available, including affordable payment plans for customers of DTE Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP), SEMCO Monthly Assistance Program (MAP), Consumers Energy Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE), and UPPCO Self-sufficiency & Education Program (EASE). They also offer resources for utility payment assistance and/or state emergency relief.
See which you may qualify for at
In addition, here are some helpful phone numbers if you have questions about your heating bill:

DTE Energy (800) 477-4747
Consumers Energy (800) 477-5050
SEMCO Energy (800) 624-2019
Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (313) 267-8000
Michigan Gas Utilities (800) 401-6402

Stay Safe. Stay Warm.

Now that winter has begun and the days are finally getting longer, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what you can do to keep yourself warm during the colder months.

Hypothermia is an issue that affects people of all ages, but older adults are much more susceptible because they lose body heat faster. A body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney issues, liver damage or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places and pay attention to how
cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chances of getting hypothermia by knowing the signs.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

• Uncontrollable shivering
• Disorientation
• Drowsiness
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
• Apparent exhaustion

Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s Aging & Adult Services Agency
Online: Phone: (517) 241-4100