Gary understands that African American and other underserved communities in Michigan are facing unique challenges. That’s why he’s focused on passing policies to empower these communities and uplift the work of local leaders and organizations. Whether working for immediate action to reform our broken criminal justice system, fighting to protect voting rights and expanding vocational training opportunities or working to address disparities in housing, health care and economic prosperity, Gary’s focused on building opportunities for everyone.
Gary is working with local community stakeholders including faith leaders, civil rights organizations and law enforcement groups to pass critical reforms to ensure greater oversight over law enforcement and to address racial disparities in policing. With the support of the NAACP, he introduced the bipartisan National Criminal Justice Commission Act to establish the first top-to-bottom review of our justice system in over 50 years and help set the agenda on critical reforms for our criminal justice system. He has also cosponsored national reforms like an outright ban on the use of chokeholds, accountability in the event of the use of deadly force by law enforcement and the requirement for fair and impartial independent investigations. Moreover, he supports measures to require federal law enforcement to clearly identify themselves and promotes the use of evidence-based practices to inform crime reduction programs.
Gary also knows that racial inequities in health care must be combatted by making care more affordable and accessible. In his work to expand access to affordable health care, Gary is a strong advocate of the Affordable Care Act and has passed legislation to help get lower-cost generic insulin and other generic medications to the market. Further, he cosponsored and passed the Maternal Health Accountability Act to create a grant program to help states track and reduce maternal deaths, which disproportionately impact Black women.
The need for clean water impacts every corner of the state, and Gary has championed policies to improve infrastructure so communities across our state have access to clean drinking water. To provide aid to Flint during the water crisis, Gary fought tirelessly for emergency assistance. He secured $100 million in emergency infrastructure for the city in addition to authoring legislation to require the government to investigate efforts to mitigate lead contamination.
Gary knows that uplifting Michigan’s urban areas and city centers has to be a priority. In Flint, he helped bring in $30 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Grant to replace the Atherton East public housing complex, plus nearly half a million dollars for Flint Community Schools to hire staff and improve the learning environment for students affected by leaded water. In Detroit, Gary supported the purchase of 59 new city transit buses and funding to revitalize Belle Isle. Gary has also secured funding for resources to keep communities and places of worship safe.
Gary is an advocate for the Minority Business Development Agency, and helped pass the Small Business Jobs Act to boost small businesses in and around Detroit through tax credits and access to low-interest loans. He has fought for and secured additional relief for minority-owned businesses and community lenders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gary is also an original cosponsor of the For the People Act, which would expand voting rights and reduce the influence of big money in politics.