Accountability and Good Governance
Today, our democracy is plagued with incredible dysfunction and terrible results for middle class families because few in state government are held accountable and, even worse, the public is locked out from influencing change. This is most apparent with our state government ranking dead last in terms of accountability and public opinion showing that trust in Michigan’s government at an all-time low. To be sure, there is much work to be done in restoring the people’s trust and bringing about strong accountability reforms.
To bring about a transparent government that works for working families and instill a culture of good, accountable governance in Michigan I support:
- Expanding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to require the Governor’s office and Michigan Legislature to be subject to the same disclosure requirements as every other public body.
- Repealing the Emergency Manager law so local communities are governed by their rightfully elected officials and not unaccountable bureaucrats from the Governor’s office.
- Establishing independent re-districting commissions that will remove partisan and special interest influence over the process of re-drawing of district borders—which is directly opposed to our values as a democratic society.
Furthermore, I believe that government accountability does not just include providing transparent access to information, but also expanding opportunities to having your voice heard in state government. To expand opportunities for every-day people to impact change I will:
- Advocate for instituting automatic voter registration and no reason absentee voting to ensure that all people who are legally able to vote have access to make their voice heard.
- Oppose policies that will make lines longer at polling locations.
- Institute effective safeguards that ensure people can make their voices heard on issues important to them through ballot initiatives—rights that have been under constant attack in recent years.
Investing in Education
Providing a strong educational system, one that creates opportunity for all of our young people, is key to driving Michigan’s economy for years to come. However, Michigan’s public schools have seen drastic cuts not only in K-12 education but also in our institutions of higher learning. Yet again, our teachers are forced to do even more with even less and our students are shortchanged on the education they deserve. Worst of all, many of the best and brightest teachers have sought work elsewhere because of failed educational policies that have constrained their ability to do their jobs as well as created a race-to-the-bottom for teacher pay and benefits.
As your state representative, I have advocated for policies that will attract and retain the best teachers as well as initiatives aimed at improving early childhood education. Additionally, I will continue to support education reforms that are proven to work and focus on innovation, because I understand that our students are now competing with young people across the world. Furthermore, I will continue to fight for restored school funding so that our schools have the proper equipment and staffing in order to prepare our children for this new global world we live in.
Creating an Economy that works for all:
As a former union member, working in the corporate world, and later as an entrepreneur, I know first-hand that start-up businesses cannot grow in the environment that has been created here in Michigan. Small l family owned businesses cannot sustain themselves. Nor will large corporate enterprises move to Michigan if families are struggling to make it by living pay-check to pay-check. Still not enough good-paying jobs have been cultivated following the 2008 economic crash and many people are working two to three part-time jobs to support their families—which is why so many of our best and brightest leave the state to find work elsewhere.
As your State Representative, I supported the “Blueprint for Michigan’s Families,” a broad economic reform agenda that put working and middle class families first. Moving forward, I’ll continue to work alongside working families and businesses to develop policies that will support small businesses and 21st century entrepreneurs.
A Real Middle Class Tax Cut
As your state legislator, I will fight for a tax system that is fair and makes sense. This starts with increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and Homestead Property Tax Credit to the levels that supported Michigan families before Republican leaders cut them. Additionally, I support instituting a wide-ranging tax reform that will lead to tax cuts for 95% of Michigan families. After years of tax increases that have essentially shifted the tax burden to the backs of Michigan families, it is time to reverse these disastrous policies and support a tax code that works for all.