By Mike Kruzman /

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin held a town meeting in which she touched ground on several topics including the Russia invasion of Ukraine and its impacts, infrastructure projects, and a recent push to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

The 8th District Democrat from Holly spent a significant portion of her 50-minute meeting with constituents, Tuesday night, on Russia and Ukraine. She called Vladamir Putin a dictator and a thug with a misguided sense of his place in Russian history, while praising the bravery of the Ukrainian people and their president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Slotkin said there aren’t many silver linings to this invasion, but it has caused the most bipartisanship she has seen on any issue in her 3 years-plus in Congress. She called it an important reminder that, not just Congress, but all of us, are much more alike than we are different, and that we share a fundamental commitment to our way of life, our economy, and our democracy. Slokin said Putin aims to threaten that.

Slotkin said the economic sanctions the U.S. has put on Russia and its oligarchy are working. She said that China is watching every minute of this conflict and the response coming from the United States and the rest of the west, and hopefully they are taking notes. It is widely believed that China is considering an invasion of Taiwan.

The Congresswoman was asked about her thoughts on a potential no-fly zone over Ukraine and responded that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are reticent due to the fact that it could escalate the U.S. into a “hot war” with Russia. Slotkin said she felt Americans could keep cool heads if there were a mid-air collision or even shots fired from Russia, but she has no faith that the same could said for Putin. However she does support the decision to supply Ukraine with more advanced weaponry and anti-aircraft measures to help them better defend themselves.

Slotkin called for the government and residents to be on high alert for cyber-security attacks. She encouraged residents to enable multifactor authentication, activate automatic software updates on connected devices, use strong passwords, and not to click on strange email links if you don’t know where they are coming from.

$13-billion in Ukrainian humanitarian assistance has been approved. Slotkin said there are a lot of Ukrainian –Michiganders and that the administration should announce a plan on what to do with refugees. She says if they have family members to stay with, are vetted, and have passed background checks, they should be allowed in.

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer and their aggression has had an impact on fuel prices, on top already-high inflation. To help lower prices, Slotkin called for opening up more of the United States petroleum reserves and eliminating the federal gas tax through the remainder of 2022. She said oil companies need to do the right thing and increase their supply, as many, she says, are trying to keep supply low in order to recoup money lost from the beginning of the pandemic.

It wasn’t all Russia – Ukraine talk during the meeting. A resident asked the Congresswoman her thoughts on the Senate unanimously passing a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Slotkin said this took many in House by surprise, and they have later found out that many in the Senate didn’t know what they were voting on, but did it as a perfunctory manner. She said she doesn’t have strong feelings on the move and wants to hear from residents. In fact, she already has begun to. Slotkin said they sent out a newsletter asking for opinions on Saturday and received 7,000 responses in just one day. While some like idea of it permanently being lighter later, some parents are against darker morning hours at the school bus stop and farmers noted that this actually does have an impact on cattle.

The Congresswoman also talked about upcoming projects that are being funded by last November’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Of the 10 district projects that were selected by her office, all were approved for a combined $16-million of federal assistance. Locally, this includes water infrastructure projects for Williamston and Fowlerville, and help with a new fire station for the Brighton Area Fire Authority. Slotkin said the funds should be available this summer.

A link to the full meeting can be found here: