Voters, Not Politicians
Supporting the Will of Michigan’s Voters
”Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020)
Building a Better Community
Michigan’s Proposal 2 to end the practice of gerrymandering by giving the responsibility of drawing our state’s voting districts to a non-partisan commission was passed by a wide margin in a statewide popular vote. It has, however, been challenged by Republican groups all the way to the state’s Supreme Court. They have lost this battle at every stage.
Yet, my opponent fully supports[i] returning to the old cronyism ways of allowing the party in power to choose their own voters. This is anti-democratic and contrary to good government.
I fully supported the Voters Not Politicians group that pursued Proposal 2 both in time and money, and I voted in favor of this good government statute. I will continue to support such efforts statewide, and look forward to giving the residents of Genesee County’s 6th district an equal voice in their government.
[i] Meet the Candidates For 6th District Genesee County Commissioner, Tri-County Times, October 28, 2018
Our state’s voters legalized medical marijuana in November, 2008[i], becoming the 13th state in America to do so. In November, 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 1, making Michigan the 10th state in America and the first in the Midwest to legalize cannabis (56% to 44%). Most supporters likened the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana to the legalization and regulation of alcohol post-prohibition. In many ways, this is true. But, it goes deeper than that.
Strict enforcement of marijuana possession laws disproportionately fell on lower socioeconomic classes and communities of color. Both groups found both the enforcement by law enforcement personnel and the sentences handed down by the judiciary unfairly treated them in both arrest rates and incarceration rates.
Legalization of marijuana in Michigan through Proposal 1 provided strict controls, additional tax revenue, and the ability for local communities (like many in the 6th district of Genesee County) to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries in their communities. Of all these issues, the only one I take issue with is the tax rate; it is far too low. Michigan’s cannabis tax rate is the lowest in the nation (i.e Michigan’s tax is only 10% compared to the first state in the nation to legalize, Colorado, at 25%). We should have put our tax rate in line with other states, and I encourage the state legislature to consider doing so.
The largest impact, however, is to our poorer residents and to our residents of color. Now, they no longer feel the heavier pressure of law enforcement and our judicial system for possession of small amounts of a now legal drug. This is the most significant benefit of Michigan’s voters taking matters into their own hands.
As a private pilot, I must continue to follow the rules set forth by our federal government, specifically the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who notes that federal law – not state law – governs FAA medical and pilot certification, and that the presence of marijuana in a pilot’s regular drug test would be disqualifying.[ii]
Despite my own restrictions, I am fully supportive of the results of the citizens referendum, and support the ability of my neighbors and friends to make their own decisions as to whether or not the use of marijuana is appropriate. My opponent, however, does not feel that legalization is correct[iii], and does not support the will of Michigan’s electorate or the ability of our neighbors to make an informed choice as to whether or not the use of marijuana is appropriate.
I fully support the current Michigan statutes regarding the legalization of marijuana. Furthermore, I encourage our state leaders to consider increasing the existing marijuana sales tax.
[i] Michigan Marijuana Laws, PotGuide.com
[ii] FAA Aeromedical Advisory: Marijuana and Derivatives, FAA Safety Briefing, May/June, 2019.
[iii] Meet the Candidates for 6th District Genesee County Commissioner, TriCounty Times, October 31, 2018
When we say “believe the scientists,” I believe that extends to social and public health scientists, too.
When our County Health Department’s chief health officer shares a proposed resolution asking the County Commission to declare “Racism is a Public Health Crisis,”[i] I would listen carefully to the scientists — all of them — and agree wholeheartedly when they share the fully sourced and peer reviewed studies conducted in the state and in our own county as outlined in the resolution.
My opponent’s vote against this resolution is unconscionable. Our nation, and more importantly the residents of Genesee County, understand that to be silent is to be complicit. Voting against this resolution can only perpetuate systemic racism in our county, and that is not a defensible position anywhere.
I fully support Resolution 2020-354, and will work to enable it as adopted by the full board.
[i] Genesee County Board of Commissioners Minutes, Resolution 2020-354, June 10, 2020
The mounting body of evidence on the health benefits of cycling has led government agencies, public health organizations, and medical journals to advocate more cycling and walking as a way to improve individual health as well as reduce air pollution, carbon emissions, noise, traffic dangers, and other harmful impacts of car use (USDHHS 1996, 2008; USDOT 1994, 2004, 2010d).
Nationwide, I have seen and ridden on multi-use pathways in many states including some right here in Michigan. Invariably, these pathways lead to:
Our area is gifted with many natural gifts, like the Shiawassee River, multiple clean lakes and beautiful rolling hills through wooded areas. A non-motorized pathway that showcases these natural gifts and gives local residents recreational opportunities outside their front door would benefit the entire area.
Leadership support across the political spectrum is necessary for these challenging projects to come to fruition, and largely, this has been the case throughout the 6th district. My opponent, however, has voted against this project [i], or simply been absent from meetings where it was being discussed.[ii]
I fully support the development and construction of the LAFF Pathway, and will work with all governing bodies to solicit and secure funding for the completion of this project.