I hope you can join me for our District 6 Environmental Justice Town Hall! Below is a reminder about the event, along with some exciting updates about bills I recently introduced.
: Environmental Justice Town Hall
Want to do something about air pollution? We are holding an environmental justice town hall together with the office of City Council member Raquel Castañeda-López and several partnering environmental organizations! Please join us this Saturday, Nov. 14, from at New Paradigm College Prep Academy at St. Andrew & Benedict Church, 2430 S. Beatrice St. in Detroit. This is your opportunity to share your views and experiences with air quality and other environmental justice issues. We will also discuss some action steps and legislation related to environmental justice. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
Nov. 18: Gordie Howe International Bridge Information Session
, you will have a chance to learn more about the Gordie Howe International Bridge. There will be a public information session on , from 2- at Historic Fort Wayne, 6325 W. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit. At this meeting, you can learn more about the project, including how the procurement process to identify the private sector partner works, and an overall project update. I am proud to serve as a member of the Community Advisory Group that is communicating with the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority about community benefits for Detroiters.
Water Legislation Introduced
This week, a number of my colleagues and I introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill package that would establish clean, drinkable, affordable water as a human right, and reform the shut-off process and assure that water is accessible for Michigan residents. We are introducing these bills because we all believe that accessible, safe and affordable water is a human right, and we need to ensure the residents of Detroit, Highland Park and Flint all have access to water here in the Great Lakes State. We heard powerful testimony from Michigan residents at our hearing at the state Capitol in June, and our workgroup has been hard at work since then to develop legislation.
One of my bills, House Bill 5097, would create a state water affordability plan by creating a task force within the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a program to ensure that water bills for low-income customers are based on household income. Another, HB 5095, would decriminalize the reconnecting of water pipes to regain access to water after a shut-off. I am also proud to co-sponsor my colleagues’ bills that would increase transparency about water rates and shut-offs, and ensure that water samples are collected using EPA procedures and prohibit the procedure of pre-flushing. Next month, I will introduce a bill that would institute shut-off protections by creating categories of individuals protected from shut-offs and providing for clearer notices about potential shutoffs.
Emergency Manager Law Adjustment Bill
I also introduced House Bill 5100 that would prevent an appointed emergency manager from being appointed as a voting member to the receivership transition advisory board (RTAB) of the same entity for which she/he served as the emergency manager. The emergency manager may be appointed as a non-voting member to serve in an advisory capacity and as a source of institutional knowledge for the RTAB. Based on my conversations with city leaders in Ecorse, I believe this is an important change to eliminate a potential conflict of interest during the transition back to local governance from an emergency manager’s tenure.
Coke Breeze Pile Update
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sent staff from the Air Quality Division to inspect the piles of coke breeze along the Detroit River last week. I was informed that MDEQ staff did not observe any fugitive dust problems, but they gathered a sample of the coke breeze for testing. If I learn about any of the results from the test, I will let you know!
Thank you for reading this update, and please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if we can assist in some way!
State Representative Stephanie Chang
6th House District