SAY HELLO TO SENATOR BULLOCK

By Demetrius Carrington

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Have you met Senator Bullock?

When Marshall Bullock became a member of our State Senate it came as no surprise to me. When we were young men in our early twenties you could see the leadership qualities he has and his sincere passion for helping others, for me it was a natural fit for him.

Recently he took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us, here is a bit of our conversation.

BM: What’s it like being in the Senate ?

MB: As a freshman, these first 9 months in the 100th Legislature has been exciting, interesting, hard work and quite the crash course learning experience. It is more than just party politics Democrats versus Republicans. Its learning and having a thorough understanding of the actual procedures and functions of the entire Legislature, the Senate, and the Committees (plus the subject matter) I sit on which are; Insurance and Banking, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Families, Seniors and Veterans which I am Vice Chairman. I am the Associate President Pro Tempore of the Senate, meaning I’m one of 4 individuals who can actually run the Senate. So immersing myself with knowing the procedures and process were important to me.

BMM: Do you have anything you are proud of or accomplished thus far ?

MB: Well I campaigned on a few issues like auto insurance reform, quality and competitive education, behavioral health & social services support. The biggest and first legislation that was tense in both Chambers, the House & Senate we got accomplished was reforming our dreadful No Fault Auto Insurance policies here in Michigan. As a result we got a Bipartisan, Bicameral package of Bills through to the Governor that was signed early this year making historic changes that take effect July 1, 2020. It may not be perfect however, I'd give it an overall B minus because what we had was definitely an F grade.

Second, I was able to get my first Public Act or Bill signed into law right after, that banned the sales of Vaping & E-cigarettes devices and substances to minors in the State. This has been followed with a ban of all flavored Vaping & E-cigarette substances in the State by the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services. This issue has become a health crisis and epidemic not just in our state, but even on the national stage.

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BMM: How did you find yourself in politics?

MB: I stumbled into politics. I moved back home from South Florida almost 13 years ago and a group of friends sat me down and thought I'd be a great candidate for Detroit City Council. I responded with “that’s the most ridiculous idea you fellas have ever thought of.” Several years later they approached me again and that conversation wasn’t as ridiculous after watching the city’s administration and political climate in Detroit and throughout Michigan. Living out of state in the Metropolitan D.C. area and the Miami Dade – Broward county area, I got a chance to view the world with a different lens. So, in the fall of 2012, I was introduced to and got involved with Mayor Mike Duggan’s campaign and the rest is history. I got the opportunity to do what I love and what I think my DNA was designed for and that’s serving the people. I learned, developed, and involved myself every opportunity that presented itself. Thus, my personal & professional network expanded which lead me to ask the people for an opportunity to represent them in Lansing.

BMM: Who is Marshall Bullock or as I know you just “Bullock”

MB: I'm just a silly neighborhood kid who managed to avoid the unwritten agenda for Young Black Men in America; drugs, jail, dropout, dead by early twenties. I was fortunate to grow up in a real village community who wrapped their arms around a kid from a single parent home and aided in my development in life. The community and a gentleman named William C. Gary had the most influential impact. He was committed to the neighborhood for generations and got us all involved in Scouting. My father was an alcoholic and often abusive to my mother. My mother was extremely visually impaired and defined as legally blind. So she didn’t work or drive. My parents divorced when I was in my early elementary days, so we lived with different relatives around the city. We were on public assistance and I conveniently hustled where I could to make cash. I cut grass, shoveled snow, caddied at the Detroit Golf Club, etc. I was smarter than most and went to Mumford High School. I was pretty popular or I easily made friends and got along with almost everybody. I used this gift to help people and later promote events to make a few dollars.



BMM: What’s up with the Bow Tie?

MB:The reality is, it’s just a sign of success and upward station in life. Growing up folks dressed in suits and wore ties at work. Wearing a tie is a sign or symbol of success and professionalism, at least that’s what we were taught. So when I was appointed by the Mayor’s office in 2014, I thought of it as an elevation in my life, the next step or phase. How serious was I going to take my new position? I wanted to put a little of my own personal flavor on it and be distinctively different. So I exclusively wore a Bow Tie every day and haven’t stopped. When I attend a Black Tie event and everyone has on a Bow Tie I wear a stylish traditional tie just to be different.

BMM: What’s next?

MB: I get asked every week by someone “what’s next?” “when are you running for this or that.” I just want to do this senate position extremely well for right now. I really just want to be good at what I do and do great work. I just want to get things done, I’m trying to solve problems and issues. If an opportunity presents itself down the road … we will see.

Quote from Cornel West,
“You must love the people you serve and serve the people you love.”

I Love This, I love what I am doing!!

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