Commissioner David Knezek

Commissioner David Knezek Wayne County Commissioner, former State Senator and State Representative, UM-Dearborn Graduate, Marine Corps Veteran, wanderlust. The son of a police officer and high school lunch lady, David Knezek was born and raised in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

A lifelong resident of our great state, David has made a point of serving his community, state, and country in various capacities since he was 12 years old. After graduating from Crestwood High School in 2004, a profound sense of duty led David to serve our country after completing two years of college. He walked into a United States Marine Corps recruiting office in 2006, enlisted on the spot, and reported to Parris Island, South Carolina for boot camp just 11 days later. Between 2007 and 2010, David served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Scout Sniper Platoon member. The recipient of numerous military awards and commendations, David was Honorably Discharged from the United States Marine Corps having risen to rank of Sergeant. After completing his second tour of duty, David re-enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2010 to complete his degree using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He went on to serve as the University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Government President where he advocated and negotiated on behalf of the almost 9,000 students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is the recipient of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Distinguished Student Leader award and was also named a University of Michigan-Dearborn Difference Maker—an annual list of the most influential students at the university. In December 2012, after numerous interruptions due to his military service, David graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science—a full eight years after his collegiate journey began. Due to concerns over rising tuition rates and the cost of incarceration, David launched a campaign for Michigan State Representative while still a student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. After campaigning successfully with the help of his family and fellow college students, David became the youngest member of the 2013-2014 House Democratic Caucus at the age of 26. As a former Legislator of the Year for his work on tuition reform, and the first elected official in 150 years to pass legislation that would assist private employers in hiring veterans returning from combat, David has the distinct honor of being the first Iraq War Veteran elected to the Michigan Legislature. Since being elected to the Senate, David was immediately tapped to join the Senate Democratic leadership team where he currently serves as the Senate Democratic Caucus Chair. As the youngest Senator in Michigan, David Knezek is recognized for his efforts as a strong advocate for Michigan students, seniors, working families, and veterans.

Gerrymandering has silenced the voices of Michigan citizens for too long and has allowed politicians to pick who their v...
08/01/2018
Michigan Supreme Court says let voters decide gerrymandering proposal

Gerrymandering has silenced the voices of Michigan citizens for too long and has allowed politicians to pick who their voters are, rather than voters picking who their politicians are.

Yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the people of Michigan when they handed down a ruling that will allow for a vote this November on the creation of a "citizens redistricting commission," taking the responsibility of drawing district lines out of the hands of politicians.

A proposal intended to stop political gerrymandering will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled late Tuesday.

07/17/2018

“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia...could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 1838

Easily the most corrupt EPA Administrator in history and a friend to big polluters. I'm glad to see Pruitt has resigned ...
07/05/2018
Scott Pruitt, Trump’s E.P.A. Chief, Resigns Under Cloud of Ethics Scandals

Easily the most corrupt EPA Administrator in history and a friend to big polluters. I'm glad to see Pruitt has resigned but now it's up to all of us to hold President Trump accountable as he makes his next selection.

Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, had been hailed by conservatives for his zealous deregulation, but could not overcome the stain of ethics questions.

Fun fact.You can support strong borders and also be opposed to ripping children away from their families at the same tim...
06/19/2018
PHOTOS: Crisis at the border

Fun fact.

You can support strong borders and also be opposed to ripping children away from their families at the same time.

President Trump could end it all with one phone call.

Images from the U.S.-Mexico border and detention facilities around the country have dominated the media and sparked bipartisan outrage over the separation of migrant families who have crossed the border illegally. The Trump administration defends the practice and has said only Congress can fix the s...

06/08/2018

‪If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There is hope and there is help.‬

06/06/2018

1:57pm UPDATE: The Michigan Senate has voted to repeal Prevailing Wage and lower the wages of skilled workers.

Final vote was 23 yes, 14 no.

I voted NO.

‪I am a strong NO on repealing Prevailing Wage in Michigan. With a critical skills shortage, we need to focus on increas...
06/06/2018
Prevailing wage repeal plan up for Wednesday vote

‪I am a strong NO on repealing Prevailing Wage in Michigan. With a critical skills shortage, we need to focus on increasing wages... not lowering them by repealing Prevailing Wage.

Michigan legislators are expected to vote on the repeal of a law that requires contractors to pay workers union wages for state-funded construction.

3:20pm UPDATE: The Michigan House and Michigan Senate just adjourned for the day without taking action on marijuana lega...
06/05/2018
Michigan lawmakers face pot legalization deadline

3:20pm UPDATE: The Michigan House and Michigan Senate just adjourned for the day without taking action on marijuana legalization.

The question of marijuana legalization will now be on the November 2018 ballot.

Michigan's GOP-led Legislature must act by Tuesday or allow the measure to go to the November ballot.

"By joining hands in litigation, workers can spread the cost of litigation and reduce the risk of employer retaliation."...
05/21/2018
Supreme Court Decision Delivers Blow To Workers' Rights

"By joining hands in litigation, workers can spread the cost of litigation and reduce the risk of employer retaliation." -Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the dissent

Collective action is a cornerstone of American democracy and our nation's workers deserve the right to defend themselves from any actions, or inactions, undertaken by their employer that jeopardize their safety and well-being in the workplace.

Today's ruling will have drastic consequences and is tantamount to asking the American people to simply trust that their employer will always do the right thing and hope that, if they don't, there will be no unintended consequences.

Elections, too, have consequences. Today's ruling is yet another blow to the American worker coming out of the 2016 Presidential election.

The high court ruled for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

“You get politicians in Lansing who have never been in a classroom telling me I have to teach a certain way. And every f...
05/17/2018
He loved teaching math in Michigan. Then he quit to manage a Chick-fil-A.

“You get politicians in Lansing who have never been in a classroom telling me I have to teach a certain way. And every few years, things would change. When you go from one testing idea to another testing idea and then back to the first, it’s the definition of insanity.”

If Michigan wants to educate the leaders of tomorrow we need to invest in our high quality teachers today. Part of that investment includes lifting their voices as part of the legislative process, and providing better pay and secure benefits. Expecting our teachers to live in poverty or take on second and third jobs is unsustainable, unrealistic, and downright wrong.

What does it say about Michigan schools when working at a fast food restaurant is more appealing – and more profitable – than being a veteran teacher?

04/27/2018

I’m always amazed, though never deterred, by the backlash I receive when I rise on the Senate floor to condemn ignorance, bigotry, and racism.

If folks could muster up that same anger when elected officials say ignorant, bigoted, and racist things as they do with me for calling them out, we wouldn’t have ignorant, bigoted, and racist elected officials.

I would like to invite Sen. Patrick Colbeck to come to Dearborn Heights and meet with some real American Muslims. He wil...
04/25/2018
Colbeck under fire for Muslim conspiracy claims

I would like to invite Sen. Patrick Colbeck to come to Dearborn Heights and meet with some real American Muslims. He will soon find the same patriotism and love of country that he claims to possess.

Michigan GOP governor candidate stands by unproven claim that Democrat’s family has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Four days ago, Michigan approved Nestle to pump 400 gallons of water per minute to bottle and sell for a profit, chargin...
04/06/2018
Snyder ending bottled water for Flint

Four days ago, Michigan approved Nestle to pump 400 gallons of water per minute to bottle and sell for a profit, charging only a $200 permit fee.

Today, Michigan is taking bottled water away from Flint residents who still don’t have clean drinking water.

You do the math...

Gov. Snyder: Flint water has tested below federal lead limits for nearly two years, so bottled water deliveries are ending

Against the will of just about everyone, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved Nestle to pump 40...
04/02/2018
State OK’s permit letting Nestle draw more water

Against the will of just about everyone, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved Nestle to pump 400 gallons per minute of our most precious natural resource - just so they can turn around and sell it for a massive profit.

What is Nestle paying for all this water, you ask?

A $200 permitting fee. That’s it.

Flint still doesn’t have clean drinking water. Folks across Michigan are having their water turned off due to an inability to pay. And yet, our state is practically giving it away for free to one of Governor Snyder’s corporate buddies. Enough of the greed!

The state rejected environmental opposition and approved a permit allowing Nestlé Waters to withdraw more groundwater

I recently sat down with Rick Albin of WOOD TV8 to discuss the Michigan Senate’s passage of new sexual assault legislati...
03/19/2018
To The Point: Sen. Knezek, Rep. VerHeulen

I recently sat down with Rick Albin of WOOD TV8 to discuss the Michigan Senate’s passage of new sexual assault legislation in the wake of Dr. Larry Nasser’s courageous survivors coming forward with their stories.

"In not-so-soft terms, I tried to express to my colleagues that every time these survivors came forward and spoke to an adult, they were told to be quiet, they were told to go away and they were told to keep their mouth shut and that we as a Senate could not take a similar tact,” Knezek said. “We have to do everything we can to help provide them with a pathway to justice.”

The state legislature has been working on bills to help survivors of the Larry Nassar scandal and those dealing with the PFAS crisis.

Some days, I am humbly reminded that when good people come together to do the right thing, progress can be made. I am pr...
03/15/2018
Michigan Senate passes Nassar-inspired bills

Some days, I am humbly reminded that when good people come together to do the right thing, progress can be made. I am proud of the Senate for taking action to help bring justice to the strongest women I have ever known.

Inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case, the Michigan Senate has passed legislation, sponsored by some of the women who were abused by the since-convicted doctor, that affords victims increased rights, including more time to sue.

Michigan has some of the worst sexual abuse laws in the nation. We need to do better. Today, my colleagues and I will in...
02/26/2018
Gymnasts to join lawmakers Monday to unveil bills aimed at stopping sexual abuse

Michigan has some of the worst sexual abuse laws in the nation. We need to do better. Today, my colleagues and I will introduce legislation to help give survivors of sexual abuse the justice they deserve.

Within this nine bill package is legislation I authored that would extend Michigan’s statue of limitations from three years in current law to a new statute of limitations set at 30 years for civil sexual abuse claims.

Today, and throughout the process of working on these bills, we have been guided by courageous survivors. It is my hope that we continue to honor their bravery by getting these bills onto the Governor’s desk and signed into law.

Bills to extend the statute of limitations, expand the list of people who must report sexual assault will be unveiled Monday

02/14/2018

‪The Michigan Senate just voted to eliminate Driver Responsibility Fees.‬

‪All existing fees are to be wiped clean on October 1, 2018. An individual who lost their license due to an inability to pay will be able to reinstate it for free until January 1, 2019.‬

‪I voted “yes.”‬

02/08/2018
Mayor Mike Duggan

Mayor Mike Duggan and Executive Warren C. Evans have been the tip of the spear in Southeastern Michigan’s push for regional transit.

We need our partners in Oakland County to come on board so we can get this done once and for all.

My statement on Regional Transit Plan

Last night, Brooks Patterson publicly rejected the idea of an RTA transit plan that covers all of Oakland County. What is so hard to understand is that it was Patterson himself who lobbied for and helped pass Public Act 387 in 2012, the law that requires the RTA to have countywide transit plans.

When Patterson proudly sat with Governor Snyder at the signing ceremony in December, 2012, he lauded the PA 387 provision requiring that a minimum of 85% of all money collected in a county must be spent on routes located within that county. So when he told the public last night that Oakland County communities would be assessed by the RTA for a "tax machine" for which they would receive little to no benefit, he knew full well that what he was saying was false.

For the last year, the staffs of the four counties and the city spent hundreds of hours working collaboratively on the plan, with the generous support of a more than $500,000 contribution from the Kresge Foundation. Just three weeks ago, Warren Evans and I sat in Patterson’s office when he gave us his word he would work in good faith to try to develop a PA 387 countywide plan in time for the 2018 ballot. That’s why it was so surprising to hear him last night declare he would “never betray” his Oakland County communities by pursuing such a plan.

While I would have preferred the courtesy of Patterson just telling us honestly he couldn’t support regional transit, at least now we no longer have any illusions about his position on the issue. Some day, Southeastern Michigan will join the rest of America in recognizing the critical importance of regional transit. But it will take regional leaders to build a regional transportation system.

Earlier today, Governor Snyder announced that Michigan’s experiment with privatizing food services in our prison system ...
02/07/2018
Gov. Rick Snyder: State to end problem-plagued privatization experiment with prison food

Earlier today, Governor Snyder announced that Michigan’s experiment with privatizing food services in our prison system will be coming to an end. Under privatization, costs increased, quality decreased, and lawsuits were rampant. I applaud this decision to change course.

Snyder announced the reversal on the state's prison privatization effort in presenting his 2019 budget to the Legislature.

Governor John Engler will be joined at the helm by his predecessor, Governor Jim Blanchard, who will be serving as a Sen...
01/30/2018
Former Gov. John Engler to be Michigan State's interim president

Governor John Engler will be joined at the helm by his predecessor, Governor Jim Blanchard, who will be serving as a Senior Advisor to the Interim President. Both are Michigan State University graduates.

Also coming aboard for MSU is former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard. Engler is Republican, Blanchard is Democrat

01/23/2018

Tonight, Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his eighth and final State of the State Address before a joint session of the Michigan Legislature.

What do you hope to hear from the Governor this evening?

01/20/2018

Republicans control the US House, US Senate, and the Presidency but want to blame Democrats for the government shutdown. Spare me.

It is a fact that this is the first time in United States history that the government has shut down when one party controlled both houses of government and presidency.

Taking zero responsibility for their own governments’ failures - both state and national - is something Republicans do best.

It's clear that the Michigan Legislature cannot trust President Simon to create a culture free from the permissiveness o...
01/19/2018
What MSU knew: 14 were warned of Nassar abuse

It's clear that the Michigan Legislature cannot trust President Simon to create a culture free from the permissiveness of rape and assault. Last night, the MSU Board of Trustees issued a statement reaffirming their support for President Simon.

Both refuse to take action.

Until they do, the Michigan Legislature should refuse to fund Michigan State University.

8 women reported abuse claims, at least one of which reached president

3% UPDATE: January 22, 2018 has been identified as the refund date for the $550,000,000 of school employee deductions. R...
12/22/2017
Official: State sending $554M in refund checks to Michigan school districts Jan. 22

3% UPDATE: January 22, 2018 has been identified as the refund date for the $550,000,000 of school employee deductions. Refunds will be sent directly to school districts who will then be responsible for distributing them to employees.

This money is currently sitting in an interest-bearing escrow account so I am working to get clarity as to whether or not guaranteed interest payments will be included and, if so, how much? I will keep everyone posted moving forward - just trying to keep you in the loop as quickly as possible!

The money, which pays back 3% deductions taken from the checks of school employees between 2010 and 2013, will first be sent to school districts.

12/20/2017

BREAKING: The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled 6-0 in favor of Michigan teachers and school employees to return the 3% of their pay that was illegally obtained by the state. Details are still forthcoming on the repayment of the $550,000,000 that is owed but I wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible. Amazing news!

An absolutely amazing effort led by an all-volunteer group of concerned citizens. Gerrymandering serves as an attack on ...
12/19/2017
Anti-gerrymander group turns in signatures to get on Nov. ballot in Michigan

An absolutely amazing effort led by an all-volunteer group of concerned citizens. Gerrymandering serves as an attack on our democracy and, pending approval of signatures, Michigan residents will finally be able to eliminate it by heading to the voting booth in November 2018.

Voters Not Politicians turned in 425,000 signatures for a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot to change how legislative lines are drawn.

12/06/2017

Huge shoutout to all the police and fire professionals in the Capitol today. I’ve seen numerous Senators pulled off the floor and read the riot act over the proposed legislation that could gut pensions and health care.

We can’t let this pass the Senate. Call your legislator and tell them to stand with our first responders!

Calling 517-373-2400 will take you straight to an operator who can connect you with your Senator. Please SHARE this post to help spread the word.

12/05/2017

2:03pm UPDATE: By a vote of 4-1, the Senate Committee on Michigan Competitiveness just passed legislation that will gut health care and pensions for police officers, firefighters, and municipal employees.

The bills are now headed to the full Senate.

Address

Post Office Box 30036
Lansing, MI
48909

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