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A Federal Focus On Washtenaw County

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of attention on Washtenaw County--most of it positive, but not all.  WEMU’s David Fair and 12th District Congressional Representative Debbie Dingell discuss increased investment in combatting coronavirus in the area and at Willow Run Airport.  The Dearborn Democrat also explains why she has asked the federal Department of Education to look at Title IX allegations leveled against Eastern Michigan University.

Dingell Announces Packard Health to Receive $2.1M in American Rescue Plan Funding to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

Continues lawmaker’s efforts to expand access to vaccines in Washtenaw County


DEARBORN, MI – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today announced that Packard Health will receive $2,141,500 in American Rescue Plan funding to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatment options in Washtenaw County.  Dingell has been in close contact with the Biden-Harris Administration and the Governor’s office about strategies to ensure vaccines are reaching underserved communities throughout Washtenaw County.

“We need to use every tool we have to get shots in the arms of all Americans,” said Congresswoman Dingell.  “I’ve heard the frustrations of my constituents throughout Washtenaw County, and we are working day and night to address their concerns and increase their access to vaccines. With this funding through the American Rescue Plan, we can increase supply of vaccines through the trusted providers in our community at Packard Health.”

Packard Health can use the funding to expand COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment for vulnerable populations; deliver preventive and primary health care services to people at higher risk for COVID-19; and expand health centers’ operational capacity during the pandemic and beyond, including modifying and improving physical infrastructure and adding mobile units.

Dingell Announces $15 Million in Federal Funding for Willow Run Airport



DEARBORN, MI – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today announced a $15,275,685 grant for Willow Run Airport from the Department of Transportation. The funding will be used for construction on Willow Run Airport’s runway.

“Willow Run Airport is a critical gateway for our local economy in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw, as well as throughout the entire tri-county area,” said Congresswoman Dingell.  “With more than $15 million in federal funds, Willow Run can make critical improvements to their runway that will keep pilots and passengers safe, while increasing cargo capability arriving at and departing from the airport.  I can’t wait to get this work started and to see how our local businesses continue to utilize Willow Run to grow locally, nationally, and even globally.”

For more information on the grant, click here:


Dingell Asks Department of Education to Address Title IX Allegation at Eastern Michigan University

Raises concerns about accusations of covered up violations and retaliation against survivors


DEARBORN, MI – In a letter to the Department of Education, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today raised deep concerns about several sexual assault allegations being investigated at the Eastern Michigan University and the enforcement of these important Title IX protections.  A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan against the university alleges that the Eastern Michigan University actively covered up potential Title IX violations, told victims to not report crimes to the police, and has engaged in retaliatory efforts such as blocking transcripts from accusers.

“All higher education institutions have a legal and moral responsibility to protect students who come forward with serious allegations of sexual assault and harassment.  These accusations paint a deeply concerning picture that Eastern Michigan University failed to meet it’s legal obligations to these students,” said Congresswoman Dingell.  “As these investigations continue, it is critical that the Department of Education uphold its own responsibilities under Title IX to make sure our students are safe and protected from all sexual violence.”

In her letter to the Department of Education, Dingell asked for answers to the following questions:

  1. Is the Department of Education aware of these allegations and is the Department engaging with the university or investigating the claims made in this lawsuit?
  2. What oversight procedures does the Department of Education and Office of Civil Rights take to hold university officials accountable for potential Title IX violations?
  3. Does the Department of Education provide best practices for federally funded schools on compliance to Title IX and reporting practices to the Department or the police?
  4. What case information must schools disclose under Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Act, and how is this information reviewed to ensure schools are fully compliant in reporting criminal behavior?
  5. For cases where victims do not seek a formal Title IX investigation or pursue criminal charges, what alternative methods of recourse must schools offer?
  6. What additional resources does the Department of Education offer to schools to support prevention services, training, support services for victims, and reporting to stop sexual misconduct at schools?

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.




Rep. Debbie Dingell

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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