PRIORITIES:

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Defend Reproductive & Civil Rights

I will always protect a woman's right to choose the reproductive care that is best for them and their family. Now more than ever, we need elected leaders who can push solutions where the Supreme Court has failed us, rather than passively voicing their support. A woman’s right to make choices about her own body is something that should never be called into question, and I have been, and always will be, fighting to protect that right. We also must vigorously defend civil rights protections for people of color and enact laws to safeguard members of the LBGTQ+ community from discrimination. Michigan’s own anti-discrimination act, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, still doesn’t have protections for our LGBTQ+ neighbors. We have been fighting for decades to fix this. I fought with my neighbors to fix that in EGR as a commissioner, in Kent as a commissioner, and I will fight to fix that in the House, for all Michiganders. There are concrete steps that can be taken, such as reproductive health protection legislation and an amendment to the Elliott-Larsen Act. No Michigander should ever have to worry about being discriminated against because of their identity. Michigan has done a great job in the past showing that we work for everyone, and we need to keep up on that promise. Making Michigan work for everyone is a big undertaking, but I am a hard worker and I am eager to fix things up. I am ready to take steps like these to protect all Michiganders.

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End Gun Violence

Each mass shooting or incident of domestic violence is a painful reminder that our lawmakers have wasted opportunities to reduce senseless gun deaths and injuries. Our children’s lives – any lives – are too high a price to pay for others’ refusal to accept common sense gun safety laws. It’s time to act: require universal background checks; require firearms in homes with minors be properly secured; pass Extreme Risk Protection orders – “red flag” – laws; prohibit large-capacity magazines; limit the open carrying of assault weapons in public; and renew the prohibition on the manufacture, sale, or transfer of assault rifles. We don't have time to wait, we need to act now and start saving lives instead of continuing to lose them, every single day.

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I’m the son of two public school educators, so I know great public schools that parents can count on are the foundation of a successful community. Above that, a great public school system is what will take our community from one that thrives to one that pioneers. We need to fully and equitably fund Pre-K and K-16 education to make our aspirations as educational leaders a reality. Our teachers are one of the biggest groups of influencers in our communities, and we need to support them as they turn our children into the next generation of leaders and Michiganders. With that, we need our teachers to have the appropriate resources for our children. We need modernized facilities with up-to-date technology and smaller class sizes so each child gets individual attention. Teachers need to be able to focus on encouraging critical thinking, writing, and STEM skills rather than high-stakes multiple-choice tests. After graduating high school, we need to encourage continuing education and staying in Michigan by providing tuition-free community college and career-skills training, make college more accessible and affordable, and incentivize college graduates. There’s no getting around it: our schools need some work. Our teachers are struggling and it shows. We need to show that Michigan prioritizes our children and their education by finally fixing our system.

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Protect Our Environment

We must take decisive action to counteract climate change: more renewable energy, a better network of electric vehicle charging stations, and modernized waste management and recycling. We must expand greenspace by investing in our local and state parks, keep drinking water safe, and hold polluters accountable. There are countless ways we can live up to the Pure Michigan name, we just need someone to start pushing those ideas in the legislature. We have beautiful land to work with, and I would champion parks projects, like the Grand River Greenway, to make Michigan even more beautiful. Investing in solar and wind power, improving the grid, and EV charging stations all would make us an innovative state for both environmental and energy policy. New jobs would be created, our infrastructure strengthened, and our lakes and air kept clean. No matter what though, we will always have waste to take care of. I’ve taken on a big role in looking over our county’s waste procedures, so I know what’s broken and what works. We need to improve recycling by creating a modern waste management system that supports a circular economy, including bio-digesting organics. However, our businesses need to pitch in too, just like we do. We can protect our water from rivers to the Great Lakes with a septic law mandating inspections to reduce E. coli levels. As I’ve done at the county level with the lawsuit against PFAS dumpers, I’ll hold polluters accountable. I’ve always been an advocate for policies that will save our environment while also keeping our status as pioneers, and my track record shows this. Let’s get stuff done for everyone else in Michigan too.

Invest in Our Students

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Accelerate Michigan's Economy

We all deserve a fair deal in the workplace and a real opportunity to provide for ourselves and our families. We need livable-wage jobs with good benefits. Our state minimum wage is not livable, and that lack of support stops people from putting money back into our economy. In addition to livable-wage jobs, having well-built infrastructure is a giant push for our economy that we need to put focus on. Thriving small businesses make Michigan a unique economy, and we need to continue to support them and their workers with advanced skills training, protection for collective bargaining, and the ability to retire with dignity. I have a unique track record of supporting our economy and businesses without ignoring our families and citizens, and I want to keep this track record up in the House.

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Support Families

Michigan families need critical investments to secure a more just and prosperous future. To end cycles of poverty and systemic racial injustice, we must invest in early childhood development and universal 3-year-old preschool so children are kindergarten ready. I championed Kent County’s unique “Ready by Five” initiative and I’ll work hard for our children in the capitol. Inequalities are everywhere in our system, but I have lots of ideas. We need to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit, end cash bail, fix sentencing guidelines, and improve our treatment courts so people get the help they need to improve their lives. In healthcare, I’d improve and expand Healthy Michigan to include a public option so more people are eligible for coverage. There are countless ways to support families in Michigan, and I am prepared to be a leader for our families in the legislature.