New Michigan Bills: Sick time, benefits for domestic violence surivors

11/9/17 - Detroit Free Press 

State Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton, said it's vital for residents to make their opinions about this legislation known to their state senators and representatives.

"We need grassroots support and for people to call their legislators and let them know they support our bill package," Pagan said. "The more pressure we can put on them, the more likely it is to pass."

Pagan WINS re-election to the Michigan State House of Representatives

11/8/2016 - Incumbent Kristy Pagan won the 21st District State House race in Michigan on Tuesday. Pagan is up by 19 points with all precincts reporting.

Forum focuses on environmental issues


Excerpted from the Canton Observer

State Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton, recently held a forum on environmental issues facing the state.

It brought together four panelists who discussed issues and answered audience questions. They were Laura Rubin, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council; Charlotte Jameson, policy manager at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters; Andrew Sarpolis, organizing representative for the Sierra Club; and Dave Wilson, a member of the Van Buren Township Environmental Commission.

“Our state is home to an abundance of natural resources and it is so important that we do everything we can to preserve these resources for future generations,” Pagan said. “Protecting our environment has been, and will continue to be, one of my top priorities. It was an honor to be joined by these environmental leaders who work so hard to help protect the health and well-being of the Great Lakes State.”

At the forum, Pagan and the panelists discussed several critical issues including energy policy, pipeline safety, and the dangers of runoff contaminants. Panelists agreed that runoff contamination is a serious threat to Michigan’s waterways. Pagan proposed a bill that aims to protect the state from the hazards of coal-tar based sealants.

The panel took questions from the audience on a number of other topics including the importance of companies being environmentally compliant and what citizens can do to effectively communicate their environmental concerns with their state legislators.

Pagan bill would ban coal tar use in Michigan


Excerpted from the Canton Observer

State Rep. Kristy Pagan has introduced legislation to prohibit the use and sale of coal tar-based products in Michigan.

Coal tar sealants, commonly used to seal driveways, parking lots, and playgrounds, release a class of chemicals — polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs — including some that are toxic and linked to birth defects and cancer, Pagan, D-Canton, said in a statement.

HB 5174 comes after the Van Buren Township Board of Trustees passed a local ban on the use of coal tar and other high PAH sealants.

“Coal tar driveway sealcoats present a real health and safety risk for Michigan residents and are damaging to our air and waterways,” Pagan said, commending Van Buren, which she represents, for becoming Michigan’s first community to adopt a ban.

Organizations such as the Huron River Watershed Council have said coal tar seal-coated pavement poses a higher risk of cancer to those who live near it compared to those who don’t. Pagan said. The material can affect air quality and, as it ages, can be tracked into homes, her statement said, adding it can spread to soil, storm drains, lakes and rivers.

Many major retailers have stopped selling coal tar sealants. Washington and Minnesota have instituted bans on coal tar sealant, as has Washington D.C. Municipalities in Texas, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, and Maryland have also passed local bans on coal tar sealant.

Pagan pushes for domestic violence legislation


Excerpted from the Canton Observer

State Rep. Kristy Pagan is among state legislators pushing for a package of bills intended to combat domestic violence.

“Ending the problem of domestic violence and helping survivors rebuild their lives requires more than empathy – it demands action,” Pagan, D-Canton, said in a statement issued by her office. “Michigan women, children and men currently living with domestic violence are counting on us to be their voice in the legislative process, and there is no reason to delay action any further.”

Pagan chairs the domestic violence task force of the Progressive Women’s Legislative Caucus, which is urging passage of a package of bills they say has languished in the state Legislature for six months. Supporters say the measures would give survivors of domestic violence the tools they need to escape violent situations and seek justice.

The proposed bills would:

• Require any employer who offers sick leave as a fringe benefit to allow it to be used for providing or receiving assistance because of sexual assault, domestic abuse or stalking.

• Ensure an individual is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for conduct that was a consequence of domestic violence.

• Prevent landlords and Realtors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

The women’s caucus issued a statement saying a survey of Michigan domestic violence shelters on Sept. 17, 2013 – a randomly selected day – found that 400 phone calls were placed to domestic violence hotlines. That day, they said, 2,293 adults and children sought refuge in shelters, with another 173 turned away for lack of space.

Youth Embrace Pagan as "New Generation" of Leaders


Excerpted from MIRS Lansing

Kristy PAGAN said her love for politics developed in a Salem High School civics class taught by Darrin SILVESTER.

Between the congressional simulations or learning how a bill becomes a law, Pagan said the experience "opened her eyes" to how a person could serve his or her community.

So, more than 15 years later, when Pagan launched her own political career in her hometown 21st House District, Silvester was more than willing to help. Her former teacher not only volunteered, but offered the opportunity to his more-than-willing class.

By the time the campaign was over, Pagan, 32, figures about 50 of her few hundred volunteers were high school students, including her deputy field director.

"I think the young people saw me as leading by example," she said. "I think they believed that they can make a difference now and maybe saw me as being part of the next generation of leaders."

Pagan did them proud during the campaign, winning a competitive three-way Democratic primary with 44.5 percent of the vote in August and taking the November General Election in this Western Wayne County seat 55 to 45 percent. She will succeed term-limited Rep. Dian SLAVENS (D-Canton Twp.).

The Canton native described herself as a non-traditional candidate in that she is part of a growing number of young people embracing elected positions earlier in life. She is among the 21 in the 2015-16 class under the age of 35, a record in modern Michigan political history.

She concedes her youth may have caught voters in the Canton-Van Buren-Belleville district off guard when she initially began knocking doors in April. But after several times around the district, she literally became a household name.

Once, late in the campaign, a kid opened the door for her, and called out, "Mom, Kristy is here!"

What isn't non-traditional was Pagan's path to victory. First, she was surrounded by no shortage of support. Pagan was encouraged by one of her first employers, U.S. Sen. Debbie STABENOW (D-Lansing), for whom she researched education policy after her graduation from Western Michigan.

The encouragement continued with her most recent boss -- the dean of Wayne State University's law school, former Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn BENSON.

Pagan also credited Slavens, Sen. Rebekah WARREN (D-Ann Arbor), Rep. Gretchen DRISKELL (D-Saline) and Rep. Rashida TLAIB (D-Detroit) with their support.

"After three months of initial conversations, I felt positive," Pagan said. "People thought that if I could work hard, I could keep it a Democratic seat."

Which brings us to Pagan's very traditional path to victory: Working hard. Outside of knocking every day since April with a fleet of volunteers, Pagan embraced technology that allowed her and her team to track their doors through the "miniVAN" app on their smart phones.

She also took fundraising seriously, raising a combined $200,000 from around 700 contributors.

Her message about investing in public education hit home, a popular theme for Democrats this past cycle. However, she appreciated hearing hearing from parents in part of the district who were receptive about the possibility of a new charter high school opening up.

Pagan considers former First Lady Eleanor ROOSEVELT as the historical figure she most admires. She's also excited about the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary CLINTON being the country's first female chief executive.

"I'm looking forward to the country having its first woman president."

What if it happens to be former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah PALIN?

"I'm looking forward to the country having its first Democratic woman president," she grinned.

Pagan Clinches Victory in State House 21st District Race


Excerpted from the Canton Observer

Kristy Pagan, scoring a decisive victory as a first-time candidate, pledged Tuesday to use her 21st District seat to fight for public education, fix roads, create middle-class jobs and repeal Michigan’s senior pension tax.

Pagan, a 32-year-old Canton Democrat, defeated Republican rival Carol Ann Fausone 16,778 votes to 13,590 in unofficial tallies from Canton, Van Buren Township and Belleville, the Wayne County Clerk’s office reported.

“We’re excited about a better Michigan,” Pagan said Tuesday night, celebrating amid a diverse and jubilant crowd of supporters who gathered inside Bailey’s Pub & Grille in Canton.

Pagan carried all three communities in the 21st District, garnering just over 55 percent of vote totals compared to Fausone’s nearly 45 percent. Pagan attributed her win to “an amazing team” of campaign workers and a middle-class message she said resonated with voters.

“We built this campaign from the ground up,” said Pagan, who worked nearly two years to clinch victory. “Our campaign was about serving the people and listening to what they need. It’s truly humbling that people have put their trust in me.”

Voter turnout was just over 48 percent in Canton, where Pagan outpaced Fausone 11,355 votes to 10,958. Pagan replaces departing state Rep. Dian Slavens, D-Canton, who lost her bid Tuesday for a state Senate seat.

Pagan took a stronger stance on public education, worker rights and social issues such as a woman’s right to choose and same-sex marriage. She has emerged among a young class of state legislators.

“She really cares about the community and wants to represent the community where she grew up,” campaign manager Dana Sherry said. “She knocked on 1,000 doors in one week by herself.”

Pagan’s campaign for a two-year term received a boost from high school students who weren’t even old enough to vote. Katelyn Scott, 16, attends Salem High School, where Pagan went to school. She knocked on 450 doors since last Thursday.

“This means so much to me,” Scott said of Pagan’s victory. “I was so emotionally invested in this.”

Pagan had built her campaign on restoring $1 billion to public education, creating jobs to keep young Michigan residents here, fixing crumbling roads and repealing the senior pension tax. She said she encountered voters who want a Michigan where their children will stay.

Though it marked Pagan’s first bid for public office, she has been no stranger to politics. She was a former legislative aid to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, before she became associate director of development for Wayne State University Law School.

Pagan commended her campaign team for knocking on 40,000 doors and said she personally walked the 21st District three times.

“People responded to our positive message about what is possible for Michigan,” she said. “I want to be a progressive voice in Lansing.”

News Archive:

Follow Kristy on:

Latest Updates