General Discussion:
  • Attendance: Members=17, Associate/Honorary Members=2, Guests=3
  • Poker sheet was passed around for the Dec. dates
    • Still a few open slots
  • We received a letter from the City thanking us for our $1000 donation
    • Help pay for the security door on the band shell in McCormick Park
    • Todd was praised in the meeting for helping make collections at the concerts
  • We had two guests - Julie Brixie and Kara Hope
    • They are running for office in the area and were seeking our support
  • Firefighters Pancake Breakfast - Oct. 13 - 8-11:30 am
    • Can help to pour coffee
    • Wear shirt and show up - let Raj know you are coming
    • This is their only fundraiser
  • Thanks to Kay & her kids for their help at the Homecoming Parade
    • Kay’s son wore the Duckie suit
    • It is being cleaned and then repaired (not due to Kay’s son, but years of use)
  • This week is the deadline for nominations for Williamston Community Service awards
    • It includes the Public Servant of the Year & Volunteer of the Year
      • Why not nominate a Rotarian!
    • Gene will send out the application again
  • Haven House this week - Thursday
    • Raj, Jim & Laska will be helping
    • You can bring household items to donate to Raj by Thursday as well

Guest Speaker - Matt Gillard - CEO of an advocacy group - Michigan’s Children
President Nick Horstman & Matt Gillard
  • Matt is originally from Alpena
    • Currently live in Okemos with his wife and 4 children
    • He served 6 years in the House of Representatives - 106th District - till 2008
    • Now doing child advocacy work
  • Michigan’s Children is a non-profit advocacy program
    • They work out of Lansing
    • Primarily lobbying for kids
  • They work in a couple areas:
    • Early childhood
      • Helping groups work together
      • Monthly gathering of like groups
    • Older kids
      • Child welfare
      • Foster care
      • Education
        • Want focus on kids, not teachers
  • They have 5 full time employees
    • And some student helpers
  • They partner with other groups
  • Primarily funded by foundations
    • 80% foundations, 20% individuals & corporations
  • 90% of their work was done at the state level in the past
    • Now since 2016, things changed
    • Forced to do more federal work now
  • Kids Speak Events
    • Kids talk directly to legislators
      • Talk about issues they are interested in
      • E.g. Foster care, …
    • Well received - some bi-partisan bills came from these
  • Candidate forums by kids
  • Issue of Juvenile Justice
    • Raise the Age - 16 years now a person can be tried as an adult
      • Want it raised to 18 or 21
      • One of a few states with the age so low
      • Lots of support, but counties concern over extra cost (vs. state jails)
  • Child care - big issue nation wide
    • Expense and access
    • In 2016, both presidential platforms talked about it
    • By most measures, Childcare is not good by state comparison
    • The feds have increased childcare fund
      • But the state requires the beneficiaries be at 130% or below the poverty level
      • We’re 49 of the 50 states
      • They want lower levels, but maintaining the quality & access
      • The state pays at an hourly rate, but the people pay weekly or monthly
    • Companies are looking more at childcare
      • As a recruiting /retention issue
    • What percentage of families need childcare?
      • Figures show 80% of single parent and two working parent families do
    • Ratings of childcare facilities are available online
      • 1-5 Star ratings
    • Safety is an issue with kids
      • Esp. after the Parkland shooting
      • State set $50 million for school safety
        • They want to be sure much of it is for bodies in the building
          • Mental health professionals, counselors
  • Check website https://www.michiganschildren.org/