Please take a look at some of the issues I have identified in our area, with your help. If you have any others, don't hesitate to send me a message on Facebook or email me and let me know what is important to you!
Foster Care System Reform
In our area, we do not have enough foster homes to meet the demand of children being removed from unsafe environments. We need to recruit more foster homes and pay them better. We need to work more on preventative measures to stop children from being removed from their parents in the first place. Grandparents currently don't have any rights in Michigan. I think that grandparents should have some say in what happens to their grandchildren in case of removal. Children have the right to remain in their own family when possible. Workers need better training and parents need services that work to rehabilitate and educate. There are many issues that affect families and why children are removed, including drug usage, mental health and domestic violence. There is no one answer for all, but I would like to work on changing the laws that we currently have in place to be more inclusive and equitable and more centered around the needs of the child(ren). I have been a foster parent and I have worked in the foster system so I am familiar from both sides of this issue.
I know many of you think Line 5 is an economic advantage, but if you think about the cost if anything happened to it and oil spilled into the Great Lakes, the environmental impacts as well as the financial impacts to our entire state would be catastrophic. The Great Lakes hold 20% of the fresh water on the PLANET! There would be impacts that we can't even imagine if we were to lose these lakes. Without water, life on this planet is not sustainable. Why would we risk it for an oil pipeline that belongs to Canada? Most of the oil in that line goes to Canada. The outcome will ultimately be up to the courts, but I am against any oil pipelines in the Great Lakes. The risk vs reward are just too high.
The "Pro life" side would have you believe they care about life, when the fact is, they only care about making women carry that life to term; no matter how a pregnancy was conceived. Then, once the child is born, we see that many of the "pro lifers" do not want to pay for child care, healthcare, education and so on. So who is pro life? No one should have the right to tell a woman that "You are going to have a baby and raise it for at least 18 years. This is your life now." Who should have the right to tell me that? Who should have the right to tell you what your life will be because of a mistake? I am Pro-Choice for the right of women to choose what is best for them. I am Pro Life because I think we should do something about lowering costs for childcare, expanding healthcare and Head Start for all kids. I have been a single mother. I know the struggle of not being able to go to work because of childcare issues. Abortion isn't an issue that is black and white. There are many reasons a woman might choose to have an abortion. When a woman makes that difficult decision, no one should tell her she HAS to carry the pregnancy to term. I believe Roe vs Wade should stand as law.
2nd Amendment Rights
I am a Yooper! Born and raised here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We have guns and they aren't going anywhere. I support the 2nd Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. We have an avid hunting population and that also supports our economy, especially in the U.P. I do think we need to work on more gun safety laws. We need gun safety classes in our schools again. We used to have them. We need to teach our kids that guns are to be respected. Keep them separate from ammunition and locked up when not being used for the safety of our children. To lose a child because a gun wasn't locked up correctly is not acceptable. It has happened in this district and we shouldn't allow it to happen again.
In addition, due to the massive amount of shootings happening across the country and the "right" attempting to "harden" our schools and make teachers carry a weapon, I will add that more guns in our schools is NOT the answer. There is a reason Corrections Officers don't carry a weapon inside a prison setting, it can be taken from you and used against you. This is the same in a classroom. Our teachers have a hard enough time just doing what they are supposed to, without having to worry about a loaded gun in their desk. We need to raise the age from 18-21 for weapons of war at the very least if we can't ban them altogether. Also, we need expanded background checks and red flag laws. I also think it would be beneficial to treat a weapon like a vehicle registration and have it expire after an agreed upon term so that anyone with a weapon would need to re-register their weapon and go through another background check periodically. Not everyone has something in their background, but if checked a year or two later, they might. Things happen and people change over time.
I don't know who wouldn't support veterans, but I have the utmost respect for our servicemen and women and our veterans. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. I think that we need to support our veterans when they come home as well as their families. Both the physical and mental health toll on both the servicemember and their family can be brutal. If there is a specific veteran issue you have a question about, I'd be happy to discuss it. You can message me on Facebook or send me an email.
I believe in one person, one vote. Every citizen who wants to vote should be able to, no matter how that vote happens. It shouldn't be hard to vote. There are bills currently going through our State House and Senate that would restrict voting access just by their nature. Voting is a foundational right that all other rights stem from and shouldn't be hampered by either party. Until our federal government can pass a voting rights law, we need to make sure that our state doesn't join Georgia and Texas in their restrictive voting practices. More people voted in the 2020 election than ever before. We made voting easier because of the Covid-19 Pandemic with longer hours, more days to vote, mail in ballots and more drop boxes. We need to make it easier for every citizen to get registered and vote!
Low Income / Affordable Housing
All over this district there is a housing shortage. We need more low income and affordable housing. In my roll as a social worker in five Upper Peninsula counties, I am constantly looking for housing for my clients. There are not enough low income housing opportunities for the area. We cannot expand our businesses and our local economy when there is not enough housing available for people to move to the area. We need to be forward thinking and build housing units so we can house the people we have and encourage people from out of the area to come! We need someone in office that will fight for the government dollars that our district seems to get shorted because of our "low" population. I will fight for the money our district is entitled to!