Legislative Advocacy Days: A Year of Progress and Advocacy

By Angie Gutierrez, Administrator of Multilingual and Migrant Services at Van Buren Intermediate School District

Over the past year, I have been diligently working towards my Central Office Certification. This journey has included my participation in Horizon Academy through the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA), where I completed the necessary requirements. As part of this program, our cohort visited Lansing on April 15 and 16 to engage in a legislative advocacy day.

During our time in Lansing, we organized various meetings with our senators and representatives to discuss and advocate for issues critical to our work. My focus was on advocating and educating leaders about the importance of funding for multilingual learners and migrant programming. I had the opportunity to meet with Leader Aric Nesbitt, Representative Joey Andrews, and Representative Pauline Wenzel. These meetings were incredibly productive, and both Representatives expressed their interest in visiting our Summer Migrant Program this summer.

In addition to this, I also attended Latino Legislative Advocacy Day in Lansing on May 9th. This event featured numerous guest speakers, including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, as well as several members of the Hispanic Caucus. The day provided a valuable platform for collaboration with organizations from across the state of Michigan. Throughout the event, we highlighted many issues affecting Latinos in Michigan, with a strong emphasis on education. Key topics included funding for English Learners, Pre-School, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Post-Secondary Education.

The experiences from both advocacy days have been incredibly enriching and inspiring. They have provided a greater understanding of the legislative process and the critical importance of advocacy in education. I look forward to continuing this important work and attending these events in the future.