Michigan Municipal League Honors Senator Moss and Rep. Howell as Legislators of the Year

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Michigan Municipal League Honors Senator Moss and Rep. Howell as Legislators of the Year

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The Michigan Municipal League has honored Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch) as the League’s 2020 Legislators of the Year.

Sen. Moss and Rep. Howell received the recognition this week in conjunction with the release of tribute videos and podcast conversations about their work on behalf of Michigan’s communities. View the video and podcast discussion involving Senator Moss here and here. View the video and podcast chat of Rep. Howell here and here. The video celebration and podcast conversations are being done in place of an in-person awards gala that was cancelled due to COVID-19-related safety measures.

Sen. Moss represents Michigan’s 11th Senate District, which includes Oakland County and the communities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Wood, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak Township, and Southfield. Rep. Howell represents the state’s 82nd House district covering portions of multiple counties in Michigan’s Thumb and the communities of Brown City, Imlay City, Lapeer, and North Branch.

“It’s no surprise that both of these outstanding legislators have local government experience, with Senator Moss formerly serving on the Southfield City council, and Representative Howell working as a municipal attorney and a locally elected official for many years,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Their local government background shines through time and again by their ability to not only understand the complex issues facing municipalities, but also by taking their knowledge to support meaningful legislation and policies that assist communities.”

Following his service as the youngest city council person in the City of Southfield’s history, Jeremy Moss was immediately installed as the ranking Democrat on the Local Government committee upon his election to the Michigan House in 2014.

Then-Representative Moss served as minority-vice chair of the Local Government Committee where he established his reputation as someone who is well-respected on both sides of the aisle and as a vocal advocate for local government. Moss has a long record of passionately defending local control, speaking out against efforts to preempt local units of government, and pushing for restoring funding to our communities. Senator Moss was one of the key legislators working last term to rally his colleagues to oppose the proposal to preempt local tree ordinances, and is leading an effort this term to introduce legislation that would begin to restore revenue sharing cuts of the last decade. He introduced legislation this term to continue the successful Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Act, which cities utilize to rehabilitate distressed neighborhoods. Governor Whitmer signed his bill into law earlier this year.

His passion for local government has earned him a role as co-chair of the Legislative Municipal Caucus, a bi-partisan group of more than 30 House and Senate legislators who previously served in an elected or appointed capacity in their municipal government.
He has sponsored numerous bills throughout his legislative career that focus on enhancing local zoning and control over oil and gas drilling and extending the same FOIA transparency requirements that local governments comply with to the governor and Legislature.

“When I first served on the Southfield City Council, I recognized the importance of expanding my knowledge, and the League was there for me in terms of training and education,” Moss said. “When I was elected to the state Legislature, I saw a different side of the League—one of advocacy and support of local communities. It’s easy for me to work with the MML because we both believe in the same thing—that our communities are the economic drivers of our state.”

Rep. Howell was first elected to represent Lapeer County in the House of Representatives in March 2016. He is chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation and a member of the Judiciary, Transportation, and Local Government Committees. A graduate from both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School, he served for 40 years as a municipal attorney, representing many of the townships, cities, and villages in the Thumb. Representative Howell is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served in Korea during the Vietnam War, and he is a life member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Even though he moved his public service to the state capital in 2016, Rep. Howell has continued his long record of advocating for local government and local control. In his role as State Representative, representing many of the Lapeer County communities that he spent his career defending as a city, village, and township attorney, Rep. Howell is an outspoken champion for local decision making over state preemption efforts and consistently promotes sound public policy over partisan gimmicks.

Rep. Howell’s numerous elected and appointed roles in local government have provided him the background necessary to be a highly effective member of both the House Local Government & Municipal Finance and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. For the last two terms he has served as chair of the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Municipal Caucus.

“It is a great honor to be named as Legislator of the Year by the League,” Rep. Howell said. “I look forward to working with the Municipal League in the next several years as I complete my legislative career. I’ve long seen the value of municipal government and will continue to fight along with the MML to preserve local control so that local decisions can be made with direct citizen input.”

Rep. Howell previously served as Chairman of the Lapeer County Road Commission, president of the Lapeer County I.S.D. Board of Education, president of the North Branch Area School Board, and president of the Lapeer County Bar Association.

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, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].

About the League: 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


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