Our Campaign’s Priorities

The amazing, hard-working people of Northern Michigan deserve better pay, an excellent education, affordable housing, accessible healthcare and a clean environment. I will fight every day to make this a place where families can grow and thrive.

Affordable Housing

It’s time for community land trusts

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As with businesses, state incentives are needed to incentivize builders to take on the risk of creating housing affordable for young families, singles and older residents who wish to downsize and live on fixed incomes. Clearly, there are hurdles that must be overcome. Zoning is one, but this can be addressed locally and at the state level. The cost of building is an issue as well; I disagree with those who believe nothing can be done here. Some out-of-the-box thinking can help, possibly including buybacks of housing currently used as short-term rentals. I would also investigate establishing a strategic supply of building materials to counteract our current supply chain issues. In addition, more investment in training for the building trades could help with housing issues and provide more jobs at the same time.

Accessible Healthcare

Key to supporting job growth

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We have workers now who cannot afford health insurance and thus are at risk for bankruptcy. Two thirds of bankruptcies involve health costs, and many of those bankruptcies are for people with health insurance. I will work to help insure as many residents as possible with affordable health insurance. This problem may be larger than the State Legislature can handle alone, but certainly, more can be done at the state level. The other issue with healthcare access across Northern Michigan is lack of providers, including behavioral health providers. I will work with our state’s medical and other professional colleges to improve the number of providers who choose to serve in Northern Michigan. This will require understanding the issues that prevent providers from practicing in Northern Michigan as well as which supports might incentivize providers to locate here.

Good Paying Jobs

Less red tape and more state incentives

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I will work to have the state provide more incentives to businesses to move here to Northern Michigan, not just to the state’s larger metropolitan areas—in healthcare, including mental health, but also across the entire economic spectrum, from tourism to internet-based services, which would fit with the current trend of white-collar jobs moving away from offices and into remote work. I’ll work to have the state provide more incentives for businesses to locate in our part of the state, not just in the lower half. This includes working to get more of our area designated as Opportunity Zones, so we can do more to attract developers and investors. We also need to provide more help to our farmers dealing with low crop prices and the devastating effects of climate change.

It’s vital to make it easier for new businesses to get started and for existing businesses to thrive. Small business is the engine for our community; the state should be doing more to help, rather than choking them with red tape. People who start small businesses often have unique ideas that fit very well with our beautiful and resource-rich area. Their ideas should be encouraged, so they can create jobs.

I would also work to establish and support apprenticeships in various occupations, including high-tech. Part of the solution here is working harder to make sure that young people are aware of the training and apprenticeship programs that already exist. Increasing communication about these important issues will be just one of the to-do items I will bring to Lansing.


Let’s protect the natural beauty of the 37th District

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Our natural beauty is part of the character and magic of the 37th district. We must  preserve and protect our air, water and forests for ourselves and future generations. Boating,  hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, snow-shoeing and other recreations and work depend on our  natural resources remaining clean. The Great Lakes comprise 21% of the world’s fresh water.  We are their stewards. 


One threat is the current Line5 – a rupture here will not only foul Lake Michigan and  Lake Huron, it will decimate wild life and our tourist economy. Although most of the oil flowing  through Line 5 comes from and goes back to Canada, we must step up ways to diversity our  energy sources so as not to depend on one type of energy and not to risk destroying the lakes  and our summer livelihood. I don’t believe a tunnel is the answer: by the time it is built we  hopefully will be turning more to renewable energy and it will not be needed. Northern  Michiganders who depend on propane should know that other means will be found to supply  that propane in the short term, but long term the solution is to stop using fossil fuels as much as  possible. 

Our water infrastructure needs attention and funding. We are the only state without  statewide regulation of septic tanks. This must change; our waters must remain clean and our  wells must not be contaminated. 

PFAS compounds represent another threat. While evidence is still building, there are  clear indications that PFAS compounds affect health. These are “forever” chemicals and there  are thousands of these. We must incentivize research on PFAS effects on humans and animals  and we must create regulations that keep the levels below harmful amounts. However, one opportunity during the current shortage of fossil fuels that should not be missed  is to build out other means of energy generation that does not put carbon into the air. There  are several proposals out there, that will not only result in a cleaner environment, but in living  wage jobs for Michiganders in district 37. 

We must also work to protect people from lead contamination. While not common in  our area, we do need to keep track of lead levels in both people and animals that are consumed  by people. 

We must hold polluters accountable for keeping our natural resources clean. Other  pollutants, such as toxic metals and even pharmaceuticals need to be tracked and research done  to define and alleviate the harm that may be caused by them. 

The State government should also incentivize sustainable farming practices, to keep our  farms in business without producing runoff and lessening or eliminating the use of artificial  fertilizers and insecticides. We should support research into nonpolluting farming practices that  are effective and affordable. We should also incentivize the creation of means to handle  stormwater, such as rain gardens, trees, and permeable surfaces.  

We should reevaluate our current freshwater extraction contracts. The Great Lakes  States have a compact not to allow extraction of fresh water and this compact needs to be  respected. 


Renewable Energy

Air pollution from fossil fuels is responsible for a significant burden of illness and death,  mostly from respiratory disease but there may be other health effects as well. Wind and solar are now  cheaper than any other means of generating electricity. We as a state should incentivize their use and  allow customers to generate their own energy and contribute to the grid; we can also fund research  into better batteries for this purpose to store energy for later use. Michigan is a state with a great  number of engineers, thanks to the auto industry and our higher education institutions. We should  incentivize research into clean energy and electric vehicles using this talent. Electric vehicles are now  being prioritized by almost every automaker, but the range is still insufficient to travel the state, and we  have too few chargers along our highways. There is also research going on using non electric power  generation for mobility – from hydrogen to faux fuels – which will drastically reduce carbon emissions  and allow greater choice for mobility. There are many issues to be worked out, and safety and cost  issues to consider, but if there is a demand then these issues will be worked out. As a state, we should  incentivize businesses and entrepreneurs to address these issues. 

I believe non fossil fuel generation and clean energy will be a growth issue in our state, allowing  jobs paying at least a livable wage and providing jobs in areas where we are losing our young people.  Some of the infrastructure laws recently passed will send this money to Michigan – the legislature and the  administration needs to work to distribute that money fairly and I will work to get as much of it to  Northern Michigan as possible.


An investment in our future

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A job and business friendly community starts with excellent and affordable education. I will support pre-K education, which has been shown to produce better achievement in school, and possibly better incomes after secondary school.  However, technology and more complex jobs that have a middle class or better pay will need workers who are educated to perform those jobs.  This does require reducing the cost of post-secondary education; one way of doing this is already happening with students in high school taking college classes or career tech classes while in high school. This should be supported and built upon by engaging the business community to mentor and assist with training the needed workforce.


Broadband is a must, for business and education

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We need to finally get broadband to every home in District 37 (and the whole state)!  There are some inroads being made here, but with your support I will work to make sure the state finishes the job. In 2022, having internet is like having electricity in the early to mid-20th century– it’s a must. We also need, at long last, to repair and maintain our roads, bridges, railroads and water systems.

Reproductive Rights, LGBTQ + Issues

I will protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices

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It is hard to think of anything more private than the decision of when or if to bear a child.  The recent Supreme Court decision striking down Roe and Casey leaves this issue to the States.  Michigan has a 1931 law on the books that makes abortion a crime and criminalizing those providing the means of abortion.  A recent bill was introduced into our Michigan Legislature that would require a 10 year prison term for anyone who provides an abortion.  The 1931 law is stayed by a court order at this point, but how long will that last?

While our fellow citizens who are anti-abortion may have good intentions of protecting life, this recent Supreme Court ruling ignores the life of the person carrying a pregnancy.  The 1931 law does allow abortion if the life of the mother is endangered, but who is to say what the line is for that call?  Is it ok to abort a pregnancy if there is a 30% chance the mother will die, or need it be 100%?  What if the abortion stems the hemorrhage and the mother survives – is the provider then to be charged with manslaughter, as the newly introduced bill might provide?  And what about the 10 year old pregnant by rape – are we to think its ok to have that 10 year old, or 12 or 14 or 16 year old, bear a child?  Shouldn’t that decision belong to the pregnant person and their medical advisers?

If the 1931 law or any law banning abortion goes into effect, there will be even higher maternal mortality, particularly in the black community, where maternal mortality is already 3 times higher than in white mothers.

The decision about whether to be pregnant, carry a pregnancy or not, should be up to the person who is pregnant.  A woman should not have to have her life in danger to make this choice.  It is HERS to make.  I will vote for repeal of the 1931 law and will protect the right to choose.  None of my opponents will do this.  They said so on video.  See Video Here

If my opponents were really pro-life, they would be moving heaven and earth to be sure all children have enough to eat, that they live in safe home, that they are not gunned down, that quality childcare and a good education are available to all, and that parents have the support they need to raise a child.  But that is not what they prioritize.  However, I will prioritize these things, because Michiganders deserve a secure future.


Birth Control

I think everyone should understand the biology of reproduction and have the means to control their own reproduction.  If this access is restricted by insurance or employers, there needs to be another way for a person to access birth control measures.


LGBTQ+ issues:

In 2015, the Supreme Court affirmed the right to gay marriage in Obergefell v Hodges.  Who you love and who you marry is a fundamental freedom that all people have, and I will defend the right to do so.

We also need to increase research on an availability of medical care to LGBTQ+ people – all people have the right to quality of life, and a secure future.


Gun Violence

Second Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

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We are in a dangerous time in our country.  We have the most guns/person in the world – in fact there are more guns than people in the US.  And the sellers and manufacturers make profits by selling scare tactics such as “They” will take away your guns, and telling people they need guns to protect themselves not only from violent criminals but from their own government!

We need to stem the murders in this country.  We need to stop the mass killing of children in school, and people in churches and grocery stores, and many more.  Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children, and Black children are at highest risk.  Suicide by gun is also much more effective than attempted suicide by other means.

Most gun owners keep their guns safely and do not use them to kill other people.  I would hope these gun owners would participate in developing methods to lessen homicides and suicides by gun, while preserving the rights of safe gun owners.

I favor and will work for effective gun safely measures such as raising the age to buy a weapon of war (such as an AR15), universal background checks and registration, consideration of red flag laws (that limit the propensity for abuse), decreasing the amount of ammunition (and guns) that can be bought at one time, banning “ghost guns” and ensuring that everyone who buys a gun has adequate training in its use and safekeeping.


Barb is covering every part of the district to get to know the challenges and how she can help.