As a butcher, small business owner, and new dad, I believe progressive politics for Michigan will strengthen our local businesses, protect our environment, and best support our families.
Human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century. The commitment of the government and the mass mobilization of the public is required to build a livable, sustainable, secure future for generations to come.
In collaboration with the mass public, economic leaders, and government at all levels, the Michigan Legislature should embrace the goals of a Green New Deal:
- to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers
- to create thousands of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of Michigan
- to invest in the infrastructure and industry of Michigan to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century
- to secure for all people of Michigan for generations to come: clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment
- to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth
Michigan businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Entrepreneurship should be within reach for every hard-working person, and the state should facilitate this drive. Building Michigan's economy from the local level will lead to greater prosperity for everyone.
Tons of research indicates that money spent at local, independent businesses recirculates within the economy 300% more than money spent at chains. Investing in local businesses is great for Michigan's bottom line, and great for adding to the personality of the state we all love.
The state should:
- Invest in small- and medium- sized business by increasing access to credit
- Support a framework of scaleable regulations that levels the playing field between mom-and-pop shops and corporations
- Assist small businesses in attracting and retaining employees
- Promote and enforce ethical business practices
- "Big suppliers are low cost, efficient and fragile. More numerous local producers are more expensive, but the entire supply is more robust."
"We are committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. We strive to protect natural and cultural resources, ensure sustainable recreation use and enjoyment, enable strong natural resource-based economies, improve and build strong relationships and partnerships, and foster effective business practices and good governance." -Michigan DNR
As a government, we have the duty to ensure that public lands remain in the hands of the public, and to ensure preserving our natural resources is a priority regardless of the whims of politics.
- Preserve the natural wonders of the Great Lakes State and beyond
- Support economic policies that encourage green innovations
- Invest in clean energy infrastructure to provide pro-environment jobs
- Expand conservation job opportunities to care for and protect our public lands
Every child in Michigan deserves access to a high-quality public education. Teachers should have the loudest voice in creating and maintaining an education system that is strong enough and flexible enough to meet the needs of the diverse communities across Michigan.
Equipping the next generation with the knowledge and skills to surpass the previous generation in every way is the duty of any modern civilization.
- Schools need to be funded beyond "adequately"
- Teachers and staff need to be treated and compensated like the professionals they are
- Systemic discrimination needs to be continuously and vigilantly addressed
- Privatization of primary education needs to end
In an era of never-before-seen advancements in technology, access to computers and the internet is crucial to equality of opportunity. Government has a role to fill in this realm, as the arbiter of corporate shenanigans that exploit vulnerable populations.
- Internet should be considered a public utility, and access should not be dictated by the profitability of where you live
- Technology infrastructure cannot be an afterthought; equal access to information and resources needs to be the ultimate goal
- Disinformation, and ways to combat it, are the responsibility of the public, businesses, and government alike, but it is unfair to think an individual could hope to hold their own against a multi-billion dollar corporation, hellbent on exploiting every scrap of data that can be used to generate profits
With the second-most diverse agriculture industry in the country, Michigan needs to be at the forefront of agricultural innovation. A modern farm economy cannot be based on incentivized industrial agriculture, but on reduced overproduction, fair prices for farmers, and environmental conservation.
- Local producers, distributors, and retailers deserve equal opportunity to compete in markets across the state
- Mono-crop subsidies should be relegated to the past
- Rotational and sustainable growing techniques should be encouraged and incentivized to promote environmental health and maximize product quality
- Ethical animal processing standards can be the industry-wide norm, with a food chain built on moderation, local sourcing, and zero-waste principles
Modern government should be able to provide social and economic safety nets for all families. This can be achieved though unparalleled investment in community organizations, free childcare, and public education. Investing in "We the people" has no downside.
Millions of Michiganders feel estranged from politics; the two major parties don't represent their interests, political elites are self-serving bureaucrats, and individual votes don't matter in a winner-take-all system.
Social sorting and identity politics has created a political atmosphere that thrives on conflict, not bi-partisanship. My approach to politics isn't bi-partisan, whatever that means anymore: it's solution-oriented. Party leaders that actively work against the interests of their constituents need to be called out, regularly and loudly. Party leaders that refuse to acknowledge coalition activism need to be pressured to open the discussion.
- Institute state-wide Ranked Choice Voting systems or similar
Health care is an interesting issue these days, with single-payer holding national attention. Hopefully we as a nation can sort out that future, as our current for-profit system is being torn apart by COVID-19.
- Single-payer healthcare in Michigan should be seriously considered
- Get insurance companies and their money out of politics
- Address water quality standards/enforcement/accountability, environmental policy, far-reaching sustainability efforts, etc. as matters critical to a healthy public