Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept 19. 2013
State Lawmakers John Pappageorge and Jim Townsend Named Legislators of the Year
State Senator and Representative Honored by Michigan Municipal League
DETROIT, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League has honored State Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) and Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) as the League’s 2013 Legislators of the Year. The awards were formerly presented to Sen. Pappageorge and Rep. Townsend during the League’s Annual Convention Sept. 19, 2013, in Detroit.
Sen. Pappageorge represents the state’s 13th Senate District in Oakland County, which includes the cities of Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, and Troy, as well as Bloomfield Township. Rep. Townsend represents Michigan’s 26th House District, which covers Madison Heights and Royal Oak.
“Both of these lawmakers are strong supporters of the placemaking concept,” said League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “They do an excellent job fighting not only for their local communities, but for communities across the state.”
Sen. Pappageorge has been a vocal advocate for cities and villages during his time in the Senate, Gilmartin said. For example, as chair of both the General Government and Transportation Appropriation Subcommittees, he has fought for more funding for the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP) and more money for transportation.
“In particular, Senator Pappageorge has been one of the most vigilant supporters of increased revenue sharing on the Appropriations Committee. His advocacy has benefitted not only the communities in his district, but those all across the state of Michigan,” Gilmartin said.
Gilmartin said this year Senator Pappageorge’s subcommittee was the only one that recommended an increase to EVIP. Senator Pappageorge has publicly pushed for changes in the EVIP to make it easier for communities to qualify. During nearly every committee hearing, he is pushing not only for increased financial support for communities but also local control.
Rep. Townsend is an important advocate for placemaking in the Michigan Legislature and his support for communities started before his time in the Legislature. He also showed his dedication to communities when he founded and created the Michigan Suburb Alliance, Gilmartin said.
“Rep. Townsend continues to push for those issues that are critical for creating vibrant communities, including public transit, walkability, and attracting and retaining talent,” Gilmartin said.“His advocacy for communities has been, and will continue to be, critical. We are grateful for his championing for our communities.”
About the Legislator of the Year Award: The honor is presented each fall to lawmakers for their instrumental actions in the Michigan State Legislature on behalf of local communities. These individuals are recognized for their efforts in the passage of legislation that will benefit local governments or who have fought consistently to support local government.
For photos of Senator Pappageorge and Representative Townsend receiving their awards go to this Michigan Municipal League “Award Winners” set on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/sets/72157635396981216/. Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Municipal League/mml.org.
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.