“Now more than ever, we need folks who are willing to come together and find solutions to these incredibly challenging problems.”
In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Gary Peters joined Rick Albin on WOOD TV’s ‘To The Point’ on Sunday where he discussed his work for Michigan including his recent legislative efforts to address racial inequities and policing reforms and his ongoing work to get Michiganders the relief they need to get through the COVID-19 crisis. Peters highlighted the importance of finding bipartisan solutions and his record of getting things done for Michigan including his work to expand access to unemployment benefits and ensure relief programs work for Michigan’s small businesses.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
- On His Fight To Strengthen MI Communities Through Police Reforms: There are a number of pieces of legislation that I think are important for us to pass…Now, one of those pieces is to make sure we have independent investigations. It’s something I’ve been hearing over and over again, is if a police officer engages in behavior that is accused of wrongdoing, there should be an independent investigation. It shouldn’t happen within the department…We also have to ban some practices like chokeholds – that has no place in law enforcement…Another piece of legislation that is critically important, and that’s to get back to the roots of community policing, to make sure that our police officers are in the community getting to know the individuals, know them by name. Know the ins and outs. And even more importantly, the residents get to know those police officers. We know when community policing is used around the country, it is very effective. We’ve got to do more of that. And I think that also means we’ve got to hire folks from the community. And I’ve just introduced legislation this week with the support of the NAACP, the Urban League, as well as police organizations. It’s bipartisan, which is the way I like to work.
- On Ensuring Health Care Workers Have The Protection They Need: I’m the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security Committee. I’m the top Democrat. So I oversee FEMA. I’ve been intimately involved in this, making sure we have personal protection equipment for our health care providers. And now that we’re opening up the economy, everybody needs to have access to that kind of protection equipment. We also have to do a whole lot more in testing and we still have to make sure we can broadly test so we can identify who is sick and who’s not. And when we find somebody who’s sick, do that kind of basic public health contact tracing to try to contain it.
- On Making Sure Michiganders Have The Relief And Resources They Need: I’ve been involved with, as I mentioned, with small businesses to make sure the Paycheck Protection Program works for folks, to make sure the unemployment system was available. I am making sure families can keep food on the table and a roof over their head. In fact, the expansion of the unemployment program to people who normally wouldn’t get unemployment, folks who are small business owners, people who are independent contractors, folks in the gig economy. That’s actually my legislation, the Pandemic Assistance Act that was incorporated into the CARES Act that now provides assistance for hundreds of thousands of folks here in Michigan that wouldn’t normally have access to that. And that dominates my efforts. There’s nothing more important to me right now than making sure we get through this COVID crisis, we get people back to work and we deal with the social injustice that we have seen rear its ugly head in such a dramatic way with the murder of George Floyd.
- On Working Towards Bipartisan Solutions: So there is just so much work to do right now in our country. It’s why I went into public service, I’ve always been driven to try to figure out ways we deal with these complex problems and to do it in a bipartisan way. That’s why, you know, I’m very proud that I’ve been ranked as one of the most bipartisan members of the Senate and also one of the most effective. And those two are correlated, you’re effective at getting things done when you’re willing to work in a bipartisan way. And now more than ever, we need folks who are willing to come together and find solutions to these incredibly challenging problems.