Freshman State Representative Michele Hoitenga is making the rounds in Mecosta, Wexford, and Osceola counties. Following visits in Buckley, Cadillac, and Reed City, she made a stop at Cranker's here in Big Rapids on Monday. Being new to the Lansing political scene, she says it's taking some getting used to.
“They say it's like drinking from a fire hose, and they would be right.”
As chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee, Hoitenga notes one issue facing people in her district and across the state.
“A huge issue across the state has been lack of broadband.”
She says internet access has become a part of the state's infrastructure and areas that don't have it are suffering, noting that new voting machines scheduled to be rolled out use the internet and much of the new farming technology is use internet based services, such as GPS mapping. The big question is how to make broadband expansion a reality.
Along with Governor Rick Snyder, Hoitenga says she's also concerned about health care and the Healthy Michigan program.
“Everything's in such limbo right now – we do not know what Trump's going to do,” she says.
She also notes that many of the hot issues that were facing the state have been resolved with the previous administration, such as jobs.
“So it used to be said in Michigan, 'We need jobs, we need jobs, we need jobs,' and now all I'm hearing from employers is, 'We have the jobs and we don't have the people, the bodies to fill these jobs.'”
One point Hoitenga made clear during the meeting was getting local people involved in the political process. She wants her constituents to know what she's doing and to get in touch with her.
“I have a Twitter account, I have FaceBook – you have to have tough skin to be in this game and I can take it. I have opposing views all the time and I challenge people to make me think about things from their perspective.”
You can also contact Hoitenga on the web at
or by calling her office at 517-373-1741, or by email at MicheleHoitenga@house.mi.gov.