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VIP tour

Politically active Fox Run residents get star treatment in state capitol

Created date

July 29th, 2015
Fox Run residents
Fox Run residents

A group of 15 residents from Fox Run recently took a trip to Lansing, Mich., where they enjoyed a day of VIP treatment in the state’s capitol. 

State Senator Mike Kowall invited the residents, who are all current or past members of Fox Run’s political awareness committee.

VIP treatment

Resident Geri Angel, leader of the political awareness committee, says the day in Lansing began in the Senate gallery. Sen. Kowall interrupted proceedings to introduce the Fox Run residents. 

“The senators applauded, and that was very cool,” Geri says.

Sen. Kowall chatted with the residents for a few minutes in the gallery and then treated them to lunch in his office. 

After lunch, the gang went to the House of Representatives to meet with Congresswoman Kathy Crawford, who represents the 38th district, where Fox Run is located, in Novi, Mich. Geri says the residents spoke at length with Rep. Crawford about issues in the community and about Senior Citizen Day at the upcoming Michigan State Fair. 

Like Sen. Kowall, Rep. Crawford interrupted proceedings to introduce the residents to her colleagues in the House of Representatives. Fox Run is its own precinct and has the highest voter turnout in Michigan—which Rep. Crawford referenced when she introduced the politically active bunch. 

“Kathy did the nicest thing,” Geri says. “She also interrupted proceedings and started by saying this is a time of year when they have a lot of overachievers come and visit the capitol, usually students taking trips to the capitol. She said there was a group of overachievers in the gallery today, and it was the senior citizens from Fox Run. We got a standing ovation. That was really great.”

After the session at the House, Rep. Crawford took the Fox Run residents on a VIP tour of the capitol building and discussed its history. During their time in Lansing, the residents also ran into Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, and Novi Mayor Bob Gatt. 

“The governor recognized us and said, ‘What are you guys doing here?’” Geri says. “He stood there and chatted and welcomed us to his home. For him to recognize us was really cool. He has been to Fox Run twice, and he and I have a great relationship.”

Building bridges

Fox Run frequently hosts candidate forums where residents get face time with elected officials. As the leader of the political awareness committee, Geri says it has been one of her goals to foster even stronger connections with elected officials on behalf of Fox Run.

“One of the things I wanted to do this year was have the group learn more about how government works and build a better bridge between Fox Run and our leaders. We’ve been focused on engagement with the city of Novi as well as this opportunity to go to Lansing.”

The political awareness committee took home a memorable souvenir of sorts from their trip to Lansing. Sen. Kowall presented the group with a Michigan state flag to hang at Fox Run. 

Geri will present the flag at a ceremony at Fox Run in September. It will be hung on the stage in the community’s performing arts center along with an American flag from U.S. Representative Dave Trott, a Novi city flag from Mayor Pro Tem David Staudt, and an Erickson Living flag. 

While rubbing elbows with elected officials in Lansing, Geri was able to help out the Fox Run veterans as well. The community is hosting an event to honor veterans living at Fox Run in November and is collecting quotes from elected officials thanking veterans for their service. Geri says she was able to secure statements from three officials while in Lansing.

In October, the political awareness committee plans to host a forum with all of the candidates for Novi mayor and city council. Then, Geri says, the group will begin internal recruitment for new members to join the committee.