When my husband and I decided to settle down, we could have chosen anywhere in Greater Lansing. We chose Meridian Township because this is the community that shares our values, and where we wanted to raise our family. We are deeply invested in this community and plan to send our son to Haslett schools.
But after the 2016 election, I realized that if I kept waiting for people like me to run, the risk was too high of ending up with people like Trump. And after I hit a pothole on Lake Lansing Road and blew out my tire, I realized if I kept waiting on other people to fix the roads, it would probably never happen.
I’m running because we need more women and moms representing our community. We need more young people with fresh energy and outside-the-box thinking. And if elected, I would be the first-ever openly bisexual woman to serve on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.
That representation absolutely matters. We need to elect leaders who are strong on protections for vulnerable minorities and are going to do everything they can to protect LGBTQ+ people at every level of government. I’m honored to have received a “positive” rating from the Lansing Association for Human Rights PAC.
Representation matters, and so do IDEAS, EXPERIENCE and ENERGY. I have a young child at home who is the light of my life, and for his sake I’m troubled by some of the short-sighted policies we see in local government. “HOT PATCH SOLUTIONS,” – the idea that we’re throwing our money away on quick fixes instead of addressing the bigger, underlying problems. I want to build a better Ingham County not just for the present, but for generations to come.
So I’m coming to the table with fresh ideas. First, I want the County to issue a bond for the major road resurfacing we need right now, because WE CAN’T WAIT FOR THE STATE to share revenue with us, we can’t wait for a millage alone to accumulate enough money, and we can’t afford to keep throwing our money away on hot patch. And critically, I want to make sure we’re using Union and prevailing wage labor for all our construction projects, because workers who are decently compensated do a better job that lasts longer.
Second, I want to complete the Lake Lansing to MSU Trail and make sure we’re setting aside enough money from our Parks & Trails millage to maintain what we’re building, long-term.
Third, I want to invest the County in renewable energy that will not only be better for our environment but also provide a desperately-needed return on our investment down the road. And I want to do a full energy audit of all county buildings to identify upgrades we can make to save money right away. The electrical at the County Health Department hasn’t been updated in decades. And County Clerk Barb Byrum tells me that at the Town Hall in Mason, they’re compromising the security of our official documents by not running the AC on the weekends, because the system is too inefficient and expensive.
That’s my marriage license and my child’s birth certificate we’re talking about. What we are doing now is not good enough. If the Town Hall building can’t be updated, we need to move those documents to somewhere safer and more affordable.
As for EXPERIENCE, I’ve got a master’s degree in Public Policy and have had a 15-year career in nonprofit service, dedicated to lifting up the less-advantaged. I’ve lived in Amman, Jordan, working with Iraqi Refugees. I’ve lived in Washington, DC, interning with Nancy Pelosi, lobbying the government on behalf of access to clean water and sanitation, and later working for the United Nations Foundation.
Now I serve on the Meridian Township Planning Commission where we’re tackling the challenges of downtown development, working to create vibrant, thriving communities where blight and vacancy have been the norm for too long. And I work at nonprofit EduGuide, helping students build the social and emotional skills needed for success in school, career and life.
I have the ideas, experience and energy to hit the ground running as County Commissioner, and this is my promise: I will fight to build a better community not just for us, but for our children.