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Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Meerman: Letter to the Editor
RELEASE|April 8, 2021
Contact: Luke Meerman

Dear Editor,

Throughout the pandemic, our freedoms have been under attack. From restrictions on what we can buy, when we can work, when and how our kids can play sports, how many friends and family members we can gather with, when we can travel to our own property, where we can eat and which businesses can keep their doors open, and more, the oppression from our governor and her administration have been endless.

That oppression reached staggering levels when our own West Michigan restaurant owner, Marlena Pavlos-Hackney was persecuted for doing what was best for her family and her employees by bravely keeping her restaurant operational and providing her workers with a paycheck throughout the past year.

Marlena is a patriot.

I am incredibly proud of the thousands of people across our West Michigan communities who have rallied around her and stood up for her rights. Our country was founded on this dedication to liberty.

This is not simply about defiance, as the media would have us believe. It is about preserving the rights that make America a land that oppressed people across the globe dream about. Those who stay silent beneath the oppression of our government take for granted the rights we are blessed to be born with.

Marlena was born in communist Eastern Europe and knows not to take the rights she gained when she became a citizen of the U.S. That’s why the oppression she has faced here is especially disappointing.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has unjustly imposed fines on Marlena and she should be reimbursed every cent she was forced to pay. By keeping her restaurant open, Marlena did not personally put anyone in danger and should not be penalized as such. No one who visited her restaurant was forced to come there, they came by their own choice.

What we are seeing is an attack on our American freedoms and it is a dangerous path if we continue to allow the government to oppress us in these unconstitutional manners.

Michigan House Republicans

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