For the Capitol community, our personal and professional lives are very much intermingled. In a profession that requires and values personal relationships, I spend a lot of time developing and growing relationships with the 110 members of the House and the 38 members of the Senate, along with the approximately 500 staffers that make the legislature run on a day-to-day basis. While the focus is primarily legislative policy development or appropriations asks, relationships and friendships are developed through these regular interactions.
With the family-like environment at the Capitol, it was heartbreaking to learn of the passing of Representative Andrea Schroder from stomach cancer. I first met Rep. Schroeder during her primary campaign for her first term in office. I spent the day knocking doors with her and her daughter, which ended with a meal at the Woodshop in Clarkston. During Rep. Schroeder’s time in office, I worked with her on a number of issues. She was incredibly smart, politically savvy, and always cared about the impact of her work on her district and its constituents. Rep. Schroeder’s desk is draped in black as the capitol community mourns her death. She will be missed.
Unfortunately, this is not the first-time tragedy has struck the Michigan legislature. Just last year, Rep. Isaac Robinson, a larger-than-life character and someone who cared deeply about people, passed away from COVID-19. Rep. Julie Plawecki passed away in 2016 after suffering a heart attack during her first term in office and in 2017 Rep. John Kivela passed away. Although these were all relationships based in a professional setting, the losses weren’t felt any less. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schroeder family and are grateful for the interactions we had with Andrea.
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