LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Municipal League has named Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks as the League’s 2023 Legislator of the Year.
Senator Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, received the recognition this week during the League’s 2023 CapCon in Lansing.
“Senate Majority Leader Brinks has been a strong leader and advocate for the health and safety of West Michigan, especially in Grand Rapids,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “Her experience and insights have been critical on issues like housing, drinking water, economic development, and more. We look forward to continuing working with her to help foster prosperity for Michigan’s communities.”
Elected to the House in 2012, and the Senate in 2018, Senator Brinks has worked to ensure every child has access to a world-class education, fought to end abuse and neglect at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and led the fight to protect West Michigan’s drinking water. Senator Brinks is dedicated to keeping Grand Rapids and West Michigan an economic leader, supporting small businesses, and the people who work for them.
Senator Brinks was elevated to Senate Majority Leader following her re-election and the Senate flipping from Republican to Democrat control in the November 2022 election. She is the party’s first Senate Majority Leader in 40 years and the first woman from either major party to ever hold the title.
While she made history, she also embraced the idea that everybody in our state should see themselves reflected in the highest offices in our state. When assembling her leadership team as Senate Majority Leader, she put those words into action and appointed Senator Sarah Anthony as the first Black woman to lead the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Senate President Pro Tempore Jeremy Moss as the highest ranking openly gay official in Michigan legislative history. This commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion directly aligns with the values set forth by the League’s Board of Trustees.
“The Michigan Municipal League does tremendous work to strengthen and empower our communities,” Brinks said. “This recognition is both an honor and a reflection of the strong partnership we’ve cultivated in our shared effort to promote Michigan’s municipalities. It’s been a pleasure to work hand-in-hand with MML leaders over the years, and we’ll continue to do so as we enact a bold, people-first policy agenda for our state.”
Senator Brinks received the Legislator of the Year honor along with state Senator Thomas Albert.
About the Legislator of the Year Award: The honor is presented each year to lawmakers for their instrumental actions in the Michigan State Legislature on behalf of local communities. These individuals are recognized for their efforts in the passage of legislation that will benefit local governments or who have fought consistently to support local government.
For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of communications and media, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].
Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.