Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Michigan Speaker Joe Tate on Putting People First

Michigan Speaker Joe Tate on Putting People First

January 31, 2023

Having the doors open and working for the people are some things Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) plans on doing during his first quarter in office as Michigan’s first Black Speaker of the House. He also explained his goals to connect the business and residential communities together during a private Detroit Regional Chamber reception on Friday, Jan. 27, at Huntington Tower.

“There are no secrets.”

After introductions from Huntington’s Board of Directors Chairman, Gary Torgow, and the Chamber’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Sandy K. Baruah, Tate took the podium for a short address and answered questions from the audience on what to expect during his time as the first Speaker of the House from Detroit.

Kicking off his speech, Tate assured the audience that there are “no secrets in our priorities” and used the recently passed retirement tax and Earned Income Tax Credit bills as examples of how the ball is already rolling from his perspective.

“We want to put people first at the end of the day [to create] safe and strong communities across the state of Michigan,” he said. “Our doors are going to be open. We want to make sure we’re listening to the voices in the business communities to put people first.”

Bipartisanship is “the best way to work.”

When asked about his relationships with the Michigan Senate and others throughout government, Tate believes that working across the aisle is “the best way to work.”

“You see us signaling those alignment pieces that we all agree with on concept,” he said. “We will certainly be in lockstep to getting things done.”

He also pointed out the new kind of representation based on geography, which he said will be “advantageous” for areas like Detroit and Grand Rapids, where he and Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks are from, respectively.

“Catching Up” on Technology Shift

Later in the conversation, Tate talked about the future of automation industries and how there is a more significant technological shift than in previous administrations. He said part of the solution is utilizing and growing local, regional, and statewide programming to have a more robust workforce.

“We have to make sure we’re catching up [with] workplace training and programming,” he said. “I think the resources are there, but how do we align and drive with the business community and the urban communities?”

Develop a Relationship with Your Representatives

Moving forward, Tate advised the audience and all Chamber members to engage and develop a relationship with their local representatives. and encouraged feedback before and after votes, too.

“If there are things that [you think] are good, acknowledging and showing support even after the votes take place is very helpful,” he said. “If something worked well, that helps us to continue to set our direction.”

The Chamber offers many opportunities for its members to take full advantage of their memberships, such as providing legislative influence. To learn more, connect with your Chamber membership representative or register for our next in-person Membership Maximizer event on Feb. 21.