Along with several other Michigan legislators, one of Ann Arbor’s own was named a 2016 Lawmaker to Watch Wednesday.

The Detroit Regional Chamber included state Rep. Adam Zemke (D–Ann Arbor) in their newest list of impactful lawmakers. Zemke was one of six state legislators named, and the only Democratic House member on the list.

In a press release, Zemke said he feels honored to have been named and looks forward to continuing his work.

“I am honored by and deeply appreciative of this recognition,” he said. “While people of Washtenaw County are my first priority, it is also my responsibility as a legislator to think and act broadly, to vote my conscience and to help enact change I believe is necessary and beneficial in our state as a whole. I look forward to continuing this work, along with my Democratic and Republican colleagues, on issues that matter in our county, our region, and across Michigan.”

Jim Martinez, director of communications for the DRC, said Zemke was chosen because of his commitment to improving the state and region.

“We look for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who are committed to finding solutions and creating policy that moves the state forward,” he said. “Rep. Zemke has proven to take a pragmatic approach to policy. He’s supported some issues that are important to our members, and to growing the economy and increasing prosperity and growth.”

In an interview, Zemke said he believes the DRC selected him because of his work pushing forward legislation, particularly in education and infrastructure investments.

Zemke mentioned  although he does not agree with  members of the chamber of commerce all of the time, he is able to work with them productively to acheive his goals.

“Locally and regionally our views are in line on many issues on how to move Michigan forward,” he said. “I think that this award is a kind of recognition of that work and my ability to move legislation forward.”

Looking at upcoming legislation, Zemke said he is currently working on bills relating to funding for Detroit public schools and pedestrian safety.

“We’re going to be working on legislation that deals with the Detroit Public Schools, because they have significant financial issues,” he said. “We are also going to be dealing with some legislation that I have been working on for quite some time on pedestrian safety and dealing with that on a statewide basis.”

As well, Zemke said he is also working on several election year efforts.

“I am likely to run for reelection again this year,” he said. “I am also serving as chairperson of the House Democrats election effort and we are trying to win a majority in November. Those are what I’m going to be focused on in terms of politics.”

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