“While we applaud Gov. Whitmer’s continued dedication to improving education, including record per-pupil funding and her new proposals for Universal Pre-K and community college for all—and while we also echo her declaration that the rent is too damn high—it is crucial to highlight the issues that were absent from the governor's agenda.
“There was no mention of Michigan’s immigrant communities. Our leaders in Lansing must prioritize restoring driver’s licenses and extending public benefits to all Michiganders regardless of citizenship status, while also investing in immigration legal services.
“DTE and Consumers Energy, along with other government contractors and regulated monopolies, have dumped millions into Lansing for years to avoid accountability. Enacting legislation to stop pay-to-play practices enjoys widespread support and is a common sense issue that should be at the top of this year’s legislative agenda.
“With regards to housing, we are in the middle of an affordability crisis. Building more affordable housing is important, but we can’t stop there. Gov. Whitmer and the legislature must lift the statewide ban on rent control and establish a renters’ bill of rights to protect tenants.
“Additionally, we strongly urge lawmakers to take concrete steps aimed at putting an end to mass incarceration and securing justice for returning citizens—an overarching structural issue that regrettably remained absent from last year's agenda as well. It is crucial to address and rectify this pressing concern to foster a fair and equitable system that supports the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals into society.
“Our intent in bringing forward these concerns is not to fixate on the negative aspects but rather to underscore the critical importance of addressing these key issues. As we strive to build a Michigan that fosters prosperity for all and not just the few, it becomes imperative to acknowledge and tackle these challenges. By doing so, we can create an environment where every individual has the opportunity not only to survive but to thrive.”