LASATA: Serving, helping southwest Michigan is my top priority

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most difficult in many of our lifetimes. Issues that people never thought they would have to deal with arose and I have never been more proud to be serving in the Legislature to be able to help.

Among the biggest problems 21st Senate District residents had to contend with was the state’s unemployment system. The overwhelming strain that the system has had to endure due to the onslaught of jobless claims filings from the governor’s stay at home orders exposed the system’s weaknesses.

Thousands of area residents who lost their jobs through no fault of their own expected this failsafe to be there and they were met with unimaginable problems. My staff and I stepped in to help as many people as we could and were able to assist in over 1,000 jobless claims getting resolved. Many of the system’s problems have been addressed, but if you are having problems, please fill out the form on my website at StateSenatorKimLaSata.com/unemployment-assistance, and we will do what we can to help you.

As your voice at the Capitol, keeping in touch with you and knowing your priorities and concerns is essential to being able to best represent you in the Senate. That is why I sent out 219,403 newsletters to residents this year, hosted 11 in-district coffee hour events and held three virtual townhalls. The virtual events were particularly beneficial this year, and over 5,000 people participated, which was great. I also appreciate that 166 people took the time to fill out my district survey and provided your legislative priorities — these responses will help me formulate bills and positions going forward.

While 2020 was a tough year, I am heartened by the resiliency of Southwest Michiganders. Your strength and endurance is remarkable, and I believe that we will emerge from a challenging 2020 stronger and better.

Dowagiac

First woman of color to lead DUS board

Cassopolis

Cassopolis organization to host virtual MLK Jr. Day celebration

Berrien County

Community partners come together for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Cassopolis

Dr. T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park releases 2021 stargazing schedule

Education

Edwardsburg Public Schools accepting nominations for 2021-2022 Hall of Fame

Business

Riverfront accommodations coming to downtown Niles

Berrien County

Family, friends of victim respond to release of convicted murderer

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Cass, Van Buren counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Cass County

Cass County 4-H encourages seniors to apply for scholarship

Berrien County

New virus strain, vaccines take center stage of Berrien County Health Department update

Business

Small Shops to debut at The Grand LV this weekend

Brandywine Education

Haunted house to donate scholarships to area seniors

Education

One-third of Virtual Vikings to return to classrooms second semester

Dowagiac

Brent Brewer appointed to DUS school board

Business

Niles yoga instructor offering outdoor winter session Sunday

Berrien County

Fitness organizations gear up for reopening of indoor activities

Dowagiac

SMC mourns former college president

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 528,306 cases, 13,533 deaths

Breaking News

Niles man convicted of murdering girlfriend will be released from prison Thursday

Dowagiac

Dowagiac murderer held without bond

Business

Ice carvers begin work in downtown Niles

Berrien County

New MDHHS epidemic order allows indoor group exercise, non-contact sports

Berrien County

‘Heart of Cook’ now offering 2021 grants

Cass County

MEC lobbies to remain closed through Feb. 12