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Monday, July 26, 2010

A Day in the Life of The Chairman

A Day in the Life of Chairman George Cushingberry Jr.
by Griffin Rivers
July 27, 2010

Twenty-four hours in a day is never enough for the Chairperson of the Michigan State Appropriations Committee, State Representative George Cushingberry. He manages to push 48 hours or more into one day seemingly never running out of energy, enthusiasm or love of life. In just one day starting at 4:00 a.m., he is up and visiting the dairy farm at Michigan State University for 5:00 a.m. His thirst for knowledge is broad and unceasing. Leaving the farm, he heads home to tend his own garden of vegetables before dressing for work. At 8:00 a.m. he is leading a prayer breakfast at a local church to address budget issues. Leaving there he rushes to the office for committee meetings and house votes while planting and replanting flowers in the office, greeting school children who have brought him their hand-painted flowerpot, reading several newspapers, state, local (Lansing and Detroit) and national and talking to citizens, lobbyists, other legislators and the governor.

Leaving the office he travels to his home area of representation, Detroit, to explain budget issues to his constituency to convince them of the need for more funding for schools, roads and other important areas of need for the state. He also stops to teach a course at Madonna, MaryGrove, University of Detroit and Finlandia that is offered to all via internet and IPhone. After the course a local restaurant and club provides an opportunity to meet more constituents to listen to their concerns and problems. He leaves Detroit only to return to a late dinner that he is preparing for staff and friends. Planting flowers and vegetables, traveling across the state to explain budget issues while climbing waterfalls and learning Michigan History to working all night on appropriation compromises are just a few of the interesting aspects of working with George Cushingberry. Never knowing what he will do next is part of the excitement of the job as well as the stress. The years have been busy to say the least but terribly interesting. Mr. Chairman is a non-stop “Ever-Ready Bunny!” He just keeps going and going.

He has energy beyond comparison to most normal humans. He has stories to tell that must be documented or we will forever lose a great part of Michigan legislative history. He is compelled to tell the truth and get the message to every citizen of the state. He is dedicated to the task of bringing Michigan back to one of the leading states in the nation and putting our economy on top with jobs, education, insurance, homes and medical assistance for all. Above all, State Representative George Cushingberry is concerned about people and doing good for them. He is a tremendous humanitarian. Even though trying to keep pace with him is exhausting, my job is extremely rewarding by knowing and working with such a great intellectual and caring person.

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