D009 News / Committee / Bio - Sylvia Santana
Sylvia Santana is currently serving her first term as state representative of the 9th District, which encompasses Detroit and Dearborn.
Before serving in the Michigan Legislature, Rep. Santana was president of the Warrendale Community Organization, where she increased participation and membership amongst residents. Rep. Santana led community clean-up efforts, secured grant funding for community projects and served as a strong voice for the Warrendale community.
Rep. Santana earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Eastern Michigan University and worked in the financial services industry for 15 years before serving in the House of Representatives. She sits on the House Appropriations Committee and serves on various subcommittees including Department of Health and Human Services, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and Corrections.
In her first term in office, Rep. Santana has played a role in legislation seeking to repeal the driver’s responsibility fees, change our state’s mental health services, and legislation that supports law enforcement. As Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Corrections Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Santana has taken a serious look at the nearly $2 billion budget and sought to improve the use of these tax dollars.
Rep. Santana’s bipartisan leadership is well known and respected in Lansing. Immediately upon her election, she began working to build strong relationships with her colleagues that led to members who have never visited Detroit or Dearborn to tour the 9th District and become aware of the richness of its cultural and religious diversity. When legislators began the process of reviewing Michigan’s mental health laws and funding, Rep. Santana’s leadership was immediately recognized by the speaker of the House, and she was asked to serve as a member of a special task force specifically designed to address mental health.
She wears many hats — but three that she is most proud of and works tirelessly at are wife, mother and public servant. As a wife, mother of three children and a public servant, it’s important to her that communities are safe, that the education offered enables a bright future for children to compete globally, and that the economy is strong enough to sustain thriving local businesses that support the community.
Rep. Santana focuses on the development of the economy by ensuring that dollars stay in the community through local businesses and job opportunities. She also devotes much of her time to the safety of the neighborhoods and families. It is important that firefighters and police officers are equipped with the necessary tools to carry out their responsibilities and to also have job security. She wants her community to be safe, have access to quality education and a growing economy.
Sylvia is married to former state Rep. Harvey Santana. They have three children: Sofia, Olivia and Samuel.