Healthcare is a human right. In Michigan, healthcare executives are reaping millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses, meanwhile everyday Michiganders have to pay outrageous amounts for premiums, co-pays, and prescription costs. Here in Michigan, insurance companies flood campaign money into races in order to control the legislative narrative. I will refuse donations from the health insurance industry. Also, I will support HB 6285, Rep. Rabhi’s MIcare bill, as well as a MichCare system that leaves no person’s health outcomes up to for-profit insurance systems.
You’ll hear many politicians talk about “economic development” and “bringing in more jobs” to help our local economies grow. However, many of these businesses aren’t paying workers a living wage, yet still receive tax incentives. They aren’t paying their fair share, and it’s left to the citizens to bear more of the tax burden to fix roads and schools.
“Neighborhoods First” is a promise to prioritize the residents in the community. By investing in our infrastructure, roads, and schools FIRST, we make sure residents feel happy, healthy, and safe. Businesses also benefit from these investments, and are more likely to sustain economic growth in an environment that puts residents first.
Climate change is real, and is a threat to our current way of life. Our current infrastructure cannot hold the storms, pollution, and other adverse effects we’re facing right now, much less the rainfall and increased extreme weather events we’re predicted to see within the next ten years.
Michigan has the opportunity to become a center for innovation in green technology and practices. The creation of thousands of well-paying careers could start right here, but instead we’re funneling our money to subsidize the plastic industry, and loosening regulations on our water and air. I will work to usher in sustainable energy businesses that generate wealth in our communities.
I was brought up to believe that “education is the great equalizer.” However, the way our current system is in Michigan, it instead deepens divides in our society. Overall funding has decreased greatly for our schools, and the resulting scarcity leaves individual districts competing for resources. The “winners” of funding competitions are often schools that already have systemic advantages, tied to the race, class, and wealth of surrounding neighborhoods. I believe that teachers and adjacent staff ought to have the full support of their representatives.
In my community, schools like Saginaw High and Arthur Hill are struggling, due to disinvestment, redlining, and institutionalized segregation. Many schools in the district have already closed. School closure is not the answer, and we cannot continue to allow the funding disparities that entrenches our children in poverty. I will fight to increase funding for our schools, to decrease education inequity, to stop school closures, and to ensure that our teachers do not have to endure another pay cut.
I support a $15 per hour living wage. However, our struggling communities deserve more. Ignoring the necessity of public assistance in the wage conversation would undermine our neighbors who need help most. Instead, I believe in a “dignified wage,” which is more comprehensive and ethical.
Many people rely on public assistance to survive. Whether it’s for food, housing, and/or Medicaid, they all require people to be under a certain income level to qualify. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour doesn’t mean someone can suddenly afford the $1,500 per month premium to give their family health insurance, let alone the added costs of rent, food, etc.
Fighting for a dignified wage means supporting at least $15 an hour minimum wage, but ensuring that we expand Medicaid and other support systems so people aren’t punished for earning more.
If elected, I will introduce laws to ban segregation and red-lining (and loopholes that allow segregation and redlining.) We need to support our struggling communities, not try to gentrify them out of existence.
Our prison-industrial complex is a disgrace. The for-profit prison system benefits from recidivism and prioritizes cost-cutting measures that often violate human rights. There’s also a huge racial disparity in our criminal justice system that perpetuates the cycle of injustice.
I will work to ban private, for-profit prisons in Michigan, and advocate for rehabilitative measures that help to keep people out of the incarceration cycle. I also support banning mandatory minimums, and raising the age that a child can be tried as an adult.
I am fully in support of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’ll make sure that their concerns and needs are heard on the House floor. Michigan needs to do better with protections in housing and employment for LGBTQ+ folks, as well as ensuring comprehensive and inclusive health care, especially for trans people in our communities. The homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry displayed in certain circles of our government needs to be addressed and eliminated.
I support ending right-to-work, and bringing back prevailing wage laws in Michigan. Also, I believe that workers in every industry should have the ability to unionize. Unions give Michiganders power in the workplace, and that power is the key to having a strong middle-class.
I believe in a woman’s right to choose. Currently, Michigan is one of the worst states to seek coverage or reimbursement for abortion- it’s virtually impossible through Medicaid, ACA Marketplace or employer-provided insurance. I would fight to increase the availability of coverage for abortions, and make them more accessible.
Also, we know that the fewest abortions occur in states that have comprehensive sexual education and better access to contraceptives. I hope to eliminate the necessity of abortion through implementing better education and accessible, affordable contraceptives.
The monetary cost of secondary education is ridiculous, and a college degree is becoming increasingly necessary in our work environments. I support tuition-free college and university. Online, night school and trade schools should also be prioritized in our education system to increase accessibility for non-traditional students.