LANSING, MI -- A Midland athlete who gained national attention in a social media uproar last year was invited to the floor of the Michigan House of for Gov. Rick Snyder's 2017 State of the State address on Jan. 17.
Ashton Brooks, who is black, was at the center of a national story in October after a white woman posted an Instagram photo with a picture of a gorilla and the caption "... got a pic with dows kicker ;)."
Brooks is the placekicker for the Midland H.H. Dow High School football team and the picture was taken at the school's Friday, Oct. 21, game against Midland High School.
The recent controversy over a social media post attacking a black female high school football kicker will not be allowed to distract from the team's first football playoff game this Friday, Oct. 28.
After the post was made that Friday, it was discovered by school officials Saturday and by Tuesday it had gone viral when Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, tweeted the image. King was not the person who initially took the photograph.
The woman who posted the image was a former Dow student and a Michigan State University student at the time. She has since been banned from the high school property.
Brooks and her mother were invited by Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, to a private reception in the governor's office before his address to a joint session of the state House and Senate. She then joined Glenn on the House floor for the governor's speech while her mother, April Brooks, watched from the gallery, according to a Glenn representative.
"The visit meant more to me than words can account for," Ashton Brooks said. "Representatives are only allowed to bring one guest to the floor, so the fact that Rep. Gary Glenn chose me to be that person, in itself is something to look up to."
Glenn, in a press release, said it was a pleasure having the Brookses as his guests and praised the way Brooks handled the national attention she received.
"As a football fan, I was impressed and proud of Ashton's athletic ability and performance, but as her state representative and a father, even more so by the maturity, grace and discipline with which she responded to suddenly being thrust at a young age into a national spotlight," Glenn said.
"Her example is worthy of recognition, and I hope her being here is an encouragement that sends a strong message that the Midland community and the entire state of Michigan value, respect, and support her and all our young people 'not by the color of their skin,' as Dr. King said, 'but by the content of their character.'"
Brooks said she was introduced to the youngest representative in the House as well as Michigan's Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, with whom she had a discussion about his high school football career.
"It was crazy to think that while I'm always looking up to our great politicians, last night some of them even looked up to me and seemed quite proud of me and the way I handled my viral story," Brooks said. "And it was extremely powerful to be recognized by such amazing people in that way."
Brooks was the first female to play for a high school football team in Midland. Also a member of the Dow soccer team, she scored more extra points than any other kicker in the Saginaw Valley League Blue Division, was named 2nd team All-Conference, as well as the Dow High football team's Most Valuable Player and Special Teams Player of the Year. She plans to attend Northwood University in Midland on academic and soccer scholarships.
"It truly was an incredible experience that I am so very lucky to have been a part of," Brooks said of her House visit.
MIDLAND, MI -- State Rep. Gary Glenn continues to rank among the most conservative voters in the state House of Representatives.
Glenn, R-Midland, tied for the second-most conservative voting record in the state house in 2016, according to an annual ranking by the Michigan Information and Research Service.
"It's my duty to faithfully represent the conservative values of families in Bay and Midland counties, and I'll continue to do my best to fulfill the trust they've placed in me to serve as their voice and vote in the state House," Glenn stated in a press release.
Glenn, R-Larkin Township, will continue to represent the District 98 State House seat after receiving 60 percent of the vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election.
Glenn, who will serve as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem in 2017, tied with incoming Assistant Majority Floor Leader Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, and outgoing Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, in voting conservative on 87 percent of votes analyzed by MIRS.
Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, ranked first by voting conservative on 91 percent of votes.
Glenn will begin his second two-year term as representative on Wednesday, Jan. 11, when the 2017-18 House session convenes in Lansing.
Watch Rep. Glenn’s tribute in the Michigan House of Representatives to his late father James R. Glenn, a U.S. Marine who survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Gov. Rick Snyder joined Rep. Glenn as they also paid tribute to Pearl Harbor survivor Sgt. Don Bloomfield, 95, of Midland, Michigan, on the 75th anniversary of the Date That Will Live in Infamy.
Cites impact on energy policy reform
Listen to incoming Speaker of the House Tom Leonard nominate Rep. Gary Glenn for MIRS "House Member of the Year.”
Comments run from 31:55 to 35:45 of this MIRS podcast:
Thanks to voters in Bay and Midland counties for choosing to hire me once again to serve as your vote and your voice in the state House of Representatives in Lansing.
I appreciate the many expressions of support and encouragement during the now-completed campaign, especially the humbling testimonials published in so many letters to the editor. In one three-day period the last week before the election, the Midland Daily News published letters from 40 citizens expressing support for my candidacy compared to only one in opposition. I was especially moved by the letter from a decades-long friend who expressed gratitude for the role I played in helping bring to justice (and put in prison) the predator who had sexually abused my friend’s granddaughter.
I’m also grateful for the overwhelming show of confidence demonstrated by the 20-point margin by which voters chose to return me to the House, double the margin by which I first won the seat in 2014. That show of support was also broad-based, allowing me to prevail in 48 of the 50 precincts in our legislative district while losing the remaining two precincts by a combined total of only six votes.
In my first term as your state representative, reporters who cover the state Capitol selected me from among 55 first-term state representatives and senators as the most effective first-term lawmaker in Lansing. With two years under my belt, I’ll work toward being even more effective in my second term.
As vice-chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, I’ve worked to protect area jobs by supporting free market reforms to help bring down the cost of electricity, the single biggest expense of doing business for major employers such as The Dow Chemical Co., and for schools, so more money can go to the classroom. I hope to be in a position to have even more impact on that issue in the next legislative session.
I’ll continue to work toward ensuring that Midland Public Schools for the first time receive our community’s share of “at risk” funding the state appropriates to assist children from lower-income families, an objective on which my Democratic opponent graciously offered his support when he called to concede the election Tuesday night.
As a matter of conscience and fidelity to the job with which you’ve entrusted me, I’ve also maintained a perfect attendance record, never missing a committee meeting or vote on the House floor, even — thanks to my wife, Annette, who drove me back and forth to Lansing — when undergoing five months of chemotherapy for cancer, thankfully now in remission.
Finally, I can report to you that when the incoming House Republican Caucus met in Lansing Thursday to select our leadership team for the legislative session beginning in January, my colleagues elected me as Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem, the same leadership post current Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter held during his second term in office. This position of leadership and responsibility should enable me to even more effectively influence the legislative process to benefit the people of Bay and Midland counties while helping advance legislation that will benefit our entire state.
Over the next two years, I’ll do my best to earn your trust anew every day and to conduct myself in a manner that will affirm the trust you’ve placed in me.
Thank you again for your prayers and expressions of concern during my recent health challenge. I ask your continued prayers for my family and me as we undertake the continued challenge of public service and helping chart a course toward a strong and vibrant future for Michigan’s economy and generations to come.
Annette and I wish you and your family a warm and Happy Thanksgiving.
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, will be returning to Lansing for a second term as voters overwhelmingly showed their support on Tuesday.
Glenn, who was facing first time political candidate Geoff Malicoat won by an approximately 60 - 40 percent margin for the district that encompasses: the Bay County townships of Beaver, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Mount Forest, Pinconning and Williams. It also covers Homer, Jerome, Larkin, Lee, Lincoln and Midland townships in Midland County along with the cities of Auburn, Midland and Pinconning.
"I'm gratified by the support that Midland County and Bay County voters have proffered tonight and their faith in me. I hope to continue to focus on things that will bring more jobs to mid Michigan," Glenn said.
In Midland County, Glenn was more dominant than his first victory in 2014. This time, he only lost two precincts, both in the City of Midland: Ward 1, Precinct 6; and Ward 2, Precinct 2. In 2014, he lost eight precincts, all in the City of Midland.
"This is the high water Democrat year. It seems like there is a Republican wave across the state," he said referring to the strong support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the surprising victory of Donald Trump for president.
Overall, Glenn unofficially won 60.15 percent of the vote, or 25,669, while Malicoat took 39.85 percent, or 17,004. Midland County saw Glenn earn 19,337 votes, or 59.4 percent, to 13,177, or 40.4 percent, for Malicoat.
Historically, a Democratic area, Bay County was even more friendly for Glenn as he earned 62.13 percent of the vote, or 6,332, against 37.55 percent, or 3,827 votes for Malicoat.
Glenn can now set his sights on his second term where he hopes to continue his quest for cheaper electricity in the state. His first term saw him as vice chairman of the House Energy Committee, but he hopes to have a more important role in the energy arena this term.
"I believe one of the most critical things that we need is to have cheaper electricity. There is a strong possibility that I may serve as chairman of the committee. So it would be even more of a focus for me," he said.
A bout with cancer during the past year made campaigning more difficult for Glenn.
"I started four months later than 2014 and I could only do two hours a day instead of 8-10 hours a day," he said, when comparing the two campaigns. But, his supporters took up the slack with a letter writing campaign.
"I've been in politics for almost 40 years now and I've never seen a letter-to-the-editor disparity that was the case in this race," he said. "On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Daily News ran 40 letters to the editor supporting my reelection and only one supporting my Democratic opponent. That was very gratifying."
• [Rep. Gary] Glenn attended the annual first responders recognition banquet sponsored by the Carl and Esther Gerstacker Foundation and Midland Exchange Club. Glenn said first responders are responsible for “the sense of personal safety and security that residents rank among the leading benefits of living in this community.”Read more
• Glenn Monday participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Midland Area and broadcast live by Midland Community Television. The forum will be re-aired multiple times before the Nov. 8 election on Charter cable channel 191 and can also be viewed online at http://mctv.midland-mi.org/Cablecast/Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowID=8339.Read more
On Monday, October 3, Rep. Glenn participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the Midland League of Women Voters. He clearly outlined the practical conservative principles for which he has fought the past two years in Lansing.
Watch the MCTV broadcast of the Forum here: http://mctv.midland-mi.org/Cablecast/Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=1&ShowID=8339
Spread the word about Rep. Glenn's positive message for the voters of Midland and Bay Counties. You can go door-to-door, make phone calls, or write a letter-to-the-editor. Contact Jeremiah Ward, at (989) 492-0047 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to find out how you can help.