Community College Distinguished Service Award (2004)
Award from the Dearborn Bar Association (2007)
American Political Action Committee) Community Service Award (2003)
Council Honorary Lifetime Member Award (2002)
Alliance, Area Agency on Aging, Legislative Award (2002)
Association Detroit Area Chapter Public Policy Award (2001)
projects, events, etc.
Senior Citizen Conferences
For each of the
years he's held office, Gary has held a Senior Citizen Conference
featuring informative speakers, displays, information, entertainment
and lunch for Dearborn's seniors. Guest speakers have included
Attorney General Mike Cox, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, Lt.
Gov. Dick Posthumus, local TV personalities and Dr. Kimberlydawn
Wisdom, Michigan's surgeon general. Hundreds of seniors have attended
every year, and various sponsorships have made it a free event that
seniors have looked forward to annually.
locks for safety
To promote firearm
safety, Gary has given away hundreds of free trigger locks at various
events during his time in office. The special events have attracted
many local residents, and he has hand-delivered many gun locks to
residents who wanted the devices but couldn't attend the events.
Gary has twice
brought the "Reps for Ramps" program to his district,
rolling up his sleeves and helping build wheelchair ramps for
residents who needed them, with volunteer help and no charge to the homeowner.
three terms in the House, Gary held regular "office hours"
sessions at various locations around the city so residents could drop
by for one-on-one meetings, no appointments necessary. Many came to
the sessions to express their opinions, seek help with problems or
just to say hello.
Annual issues survey
Every spring, Gary
mailed an issues survey to all district residents, asking their
opinions on important matters that the Legislature would be
considering over the year. Thousands of residents have responded to
the surveys, helping give Gary a sense for what his constituents
wanted done on some key issues.
Gary's major accomplishments
as a State Representative
dollars more for
Dearborn Public Schools
Gary amended the
School Aid Act in 2002 to change the formula for at-risk funding, for
students who need some extra help and attention to succeed in school.
As a higher-spending school district, Dearborn was getting half the
amount per student than other districts getting aid under this provision.
Gary pushed for a
couple years, and even had legislative leaders tour Dearborn schools
to witness the needs first-hand, before succeeding in amending the
formula so Dearborn would get the same per-student as other
districts. The result: $2.5 million more for Dearborn schools
every year to provide programs to help students
who need help most.
In an editorial
titled "Woronchak comes through in clutch for Deraborn
schools," the Dearborn Times-Herald wrote: "Because of true
determination and hard work, Woronchak managed to direct these funds
to Dearborn for this year, and the next decade."
Rep. Gary Woronchak's bills signed into law
has had 22 bills that have become laws during his six years in the
state House. His policy initiatives have resulted in lower taxes for
senior citizens, homeland security enhancements, protection for
vulnerable adults, information for consumers making health care
choices, help for families saving for college educations, and much more.
about his bills that have been approved by the Legislature and signed
into law, click here.
Standing up for
Gary was a
leader in efforts to raise the maximum unemployment benefit to
$362 per week in 2002, from the $300 it had been frozen at since 1995.
He was also a key
vote in defeating an attempt to institute a waiting week before
benefits could be collected, and an attempt to deny the increase to
the thousands who were unemployed at the time the bill was passed,
making it just for those who would become jobless in the future.
The vote was held
open for a record seven hours while Gary and a handful of other
Republicans standing up against their own party were
pressured to change their votes. But Gary held fast, and the negative
provisions were abandoned.
He also has
introduced legislation to raise unemployment payments for all
workers, not just the top end, and was the primary co-sponsor of a
bill in 2003 that enabled thousands of long-term unemployed workers
to qualify for extended benefits under a state-federal program.
And, Gary passed a
bill (Public Act 301 of 2000) that doubled the special income tax
exemption for unemployed workers if their benefits are 50 percent or
more of their gross income.
tax cut; lowest in 30 years
one of the bills and was a co-sponsor of the entire package of
legislation that reduced the state income tax rate from 4.4 to 3.9
percent, its lowest level in nearly three decades.
in 1999 set the tax cut in motion, lowering it by one-tenth of a
percent each year for five years. The phase-down was completed July
arrows on Michigan Avenue
on Michigan Avenue can make left turns more safely at two busy
intersections because of a successful effort by Gary to have
left-turn arrows installed at Oakwood and at Monroe.
The city had
worked for two years to get approval from the Michigan Department of
Transportation for the signals at several locations, but MDOT
refused, stating the intersections failed to meet certain criteria.
Gary held talks with MDOT officials and convinced them to agree to
the two left-turn arrow lights as a pilot project to determine if
they will improve traffic safety.
Said Mayor Michael
Guido: "We can all be grateful for Rep. Woronchak's help in
getting this important traffic safety enhancement to become reality."
Joining students for
Pledge of Allegiance
students at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary and Dearborn Mayor Michael
Guido in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at a flag-raising ceremony
on Sept. 18, 2001 to remember the terror attacks of one week earlier
on Sept. 11. Gary, who attended the school as a child, donated the
U.S. flag used in the ceremony.