Senators Margaret O’Brien and Tonya Schuitmaker ‘Go Red for Women’ at state Capitol

LANSING, Mich.—State Senator Margaret O’Brien, state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and the American Heart Association hosted an event on Thursday in the Capitol rotunda to promote the association’s “Go Red for Women” initiative.

Go Red for Women is a national movement, created by women, for women, that is dedicated to increasing awareness of heart disease—the number one killer of women in the U.S. The event is in conjunction with American Heart Month, which occurs every February.

“Too many families are affected by heart disease every year,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “One woman dies every minute in the U.S. of the disease. Improving research and encouraging preventative measures can help ensure we keep women and families safe.”

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States, over all types of cancer combined,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Women are more likely to die from heart disease than men. We must increase awareness of the disease among women and advocate for more funding.”

It is estimated that eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease. Even though 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease, only about one in six believe this is their greatest health threat.

In addition to the Go Red for Women event, Senator O’Brien, Senator Schuitmaker and other legislators introduced Senate Resolution 8 on Thursday. The resolution proclaims February as American Heart Month in Michigan, and February 6 as Go Red Day in the state. It also urges women to join the movement and encourages all Michiganders to be aware of the risks of heart disease.

“No family should suffer the loss of a loved one due to lack of knowledge about the risk factors of any disease, which is why I remain committed to promoting this important event each year,” O’Brien said.

Schuitmaker and O’Brien are also members of Circle of Red, a group of community members who are major donors to research for heart disease in women.

The American Heart Association and its volunteers work with state legislatures in fighting cardiovascular diseases. Their work is aimed at improving the lives of Americans suffering from heart disease and stroke, or those at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, in an effort to achieve the Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

For more information, visit or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).


Senator O’Brien reacts to State of the State address

Senator Margaret O'Brien

Senator Margaret O’Brien

LANSING, Mich. – State Senator Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, issued the following statement Tuesday after Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his 2015 State of the State address:

“I appreciate the opportunity to attend the governor’s State of the State address and hear about his priorities for the upcoming year. As the governor mentioned, our state has come a long way over the past four years, and I am excited to continue that work in the Senate. Despite our state’s recent comeback, however, Michigan still faces many challenges as we begin this legislative session.

“Improving our economy and bringing more jobs to our state remains a top priority, and that work is never done. Education also remains a priority for me. We must continue to develop technical and vocational education that will allow students to directly enter the workforce. We have a number of openings in high-paying, skilled jobs. It is important that students have the option to either pursue vocational education or college prep education. Michigan has a great history in the skilled trades.

“The governor mentioned teacher effectiveness and evaluations; this is an issue I have worked on the last four years. It is essential that research-based evaluations are implemented in our public schools. This will improve student performance, while also ensuring our teachers and administrators are getting the assistance they need to best help students.

“Michigan has come a long way, and I am committed to keeping that positive momentum going in the state Senate.”


Senator Margaret O’Brien available for comments following State of the State address

Who: State Senator Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage.

What: Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When: The address is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Where: House Appropriations Room
Third Floor
State Capitol
Lansing, MI

Briefing: O’Brien will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address.

Please call O’Brien’s office at 517-373-5100 prior to 5 p.m. Jan. 20 to schedule an interview time with the senator.


Margaret O’Brien sworn in as state senator for the 20th District

Also announces committee assignments

LANSING, Mich. – State Senator Margaret O’Brien was sworn in as senator of the 20th District on Wednesday during a ceremony at the state Capitol. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young administered the oath of office.

O’Brien was joined in the Senate chamber for the occasion by members of her family, including husband Nick O’Brien, brothers Mike and Keith Wilson, and sister-in-law Tina Wilson. Also joining the senator were state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, state House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt, Harold and Zoe Schuitmaker, Melissa Post, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo Fran Denny, Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema and Kalamazoo County Deputy Treasurer Greg Vlietstra.

“It’s a privilege to represent the wonderful people of Kalamazoo County as their state senator,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “I have dedicated my career to serving our community and that work will continue in the state Senate. While Michigan has come a long way in recent years, there is still much to be done to improve our economy and create jobs, as well as holding state government more accountable with taxpayer dollars. I welcome the challenge, and I am excited to get to work.”

O’Brien announced today that in addition to serving as chair of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Homeland Security Committee, she will also serve as vice chair of the Banking and Financial Services Committee, and as a member of the Health Policy and Insurance committees.

O’Brien was a social worker at Catholic Charities from 1995-2003 and is currently a REALTOR® at RE/MAX Advantage. She was first elected to the state House in 2010, and after serving two terms, she successfully won a close election to the state Senate in November 2014.

To view a high resolution version of the swearing-in ceremony, and for more information about the senator, please visit O’Brien’s website at


Senator Margaret O’Brien Announces her Office is Open and Ready for Business

LANSING—Sen. Margaret O’Brien announced on Monday that her office is open and ready to meet the needs of constituents in the 20th Senate District.

“It is an honor to serve the residents of the 20th District, and I encourage anyone who needs assistance or wants to share their opinion on state issues to contact our office,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “I am proud to have an excellent staff with experience in the district.”

O’Brien’s staff includes Stephanie Bogema, John McNamara, Alex Morris, Leta Howard and Megan Hicks.

An email address and toll-free phone number have been established to add convenience for district residents. The email address is and the toll-free number is 855-347-8020.

A district office in downtown Kalamazoo will also be open within the coming weeks and Senator O’Brien strongly encourages interested constituents to visit or call with any questions or concerns.

Residents may also visit O’Brien’s Senate website at, call the main office phone at 517-373-5100 or send a letter via U.S. Mail. The mailing address is Senator Margaret O’Brien, P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI, 48909.

“I have lived here my entire life and know firsthand how wonderful Kalamazoo County is,” continued O’Brien. “I am excited to serve the entire county and am enjoying meeting new constituents.”

For those visiting Lansing, O’Brien’s office is located in Room 910 of the Farnum Building at 125 West Allegan Street in Lansing, across the street from the Michigan Capitol.