78th District State Representative Brad Paquette Visits Buchanan Area Senior Center
by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer
Buchanan Area Senior Center hosted their monthly coffee chat on January 5, 2022 with our 78th District State Representative Brad Paquette. Their coffee chats are held for one hour where local business owners/organizations, city/government officials, etc…come in and sit down and chat with the local senior citizens. I was able to sit in on this chat, and you can read all about it here.
State Representative Brad Paquette is half-way through his term. Each State Representative can serve 2 – 3 year terms. He took over State Representative Dave Pagel’s place. Education is his specialty as he said that “You find your groove. You have a niche.” He taught at the Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy. I asked him what made him decide to go into this role after being a teacher. Brad stated that “I love this question when people ask this. When I would teach and ask my students about a history or government question, and then they would turn it around and ask me what would I do? So it got me thinking about doing this.” You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but he’s 34 years old as a couple of the seniors asked him that twice!
Buchanan senior citizens asked him questions like the voter ID – absentee ballot applications, which were sent out unsolicited, against the law – but were under COVID-19. Getting signatures would verify, but was it a huge problem and how many people are confident with a photo I.D.? Will the absentee ballot be taken away? He answered, “No.” Due to the BASC being a 501c3, they can not have discussions on elections. So if there was a question about a campaign, a running mate, etc…it was not discussed. Mr. Paquette will be giving the BASC some resources that can tell them where they can find their answers. Safety was brought up regarding the attempts that were made to kidnap the governor. Brad said, “There were threats against the legislature; the law enforcement did a good job; the media tends to inflate and spin it terribly. How do we protect? I feel safe everyday at the house.” He compared what happened at the national capital in D.C. a year ago, and said that this was nowhere near what happened there.
Brad made a good point on the subject of education that, “The elderly can see a lot of things that the younger generation can’t see.” He wants to know from them what they think. In his office, he has a white marker board and when an educator, politician, or author comes in, he asks them to write the definition of education on the board. He gets many answers. The seniors at the BASC said, “Would be nice to go back to the Leave it to Beaver days; issues at the school board meetings.” Brad responded with “We come up with new decisions and solutions to problems. We can disagree, but I still like you.”
Towards the end of the coffee chat, he was asked what are his most grandest moments so far. “Other schools get less state aid and aid at the same levels; to get auto insurance lessened and I would like to know if yours wasn’t lessened,” State Representative Paquette stated happily. He also listens very carefully when people call or email him about subjects being discussed on whether something should be passed/not passed when he gets a chance to vote. Part of what people tell him really does make his decision better to vote on a subject. So, do not be afraid to reach out to him and tell him what you stand for. You can Email State Representative Brad Paquette at: BradPaquette@house.mi.gov and also visit his webpage on the Michigan House of Republicans website: 78th District State Representative Brad Paquette/Michigan House of Republicans.
The Buchanan Area Senior Center normally posts their recorded Coffee Chats on their Facebook page here. At the time of publication this coffee chat was not yet available, so just keep checking back to see more of State Representative Brad Paquette coffee chat with the seniors.
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For more information on programs/classes you can contact Program Coordinator, Diana Smuda at the BASC at 269-695-7119 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org