191 Days Until the November Election

If voting straight ticket, “vote all the way down the ballot” Don’t forget the nonpartisan positions and the ballot proposals.

Notes from the April 29 meeting of Indivisible Grand Rapids.

Gary Stark gave a brief introduction and we moved into hearing from local candidates.

We heard from a representative for Matt Clayson who is running for MSU Trustee. Matt is a lawyer and a business leader. His priorities for MSU are Survivors’ Rights, Safety, Affordability, and accountability. To learn more: votemattclayson.com

Next was Samuel Bagenstos who is running for Michigan Supreme Court. He has been a Supreme Court lawyer and UM professor. He served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Samuel believes that “courts are where changes happen.” He also reminded us that in the voting booth, if you see “Justice” after a name on the ballot for MI Supreme court – they are Gov. Snyder appointees.  To learn more: BagenstosForJustice.com

Phil Skaggs, Current County Commissioner for the 19th District told us what County Commissioners are responsible for. (There will be in a separate post on this.)

Katy Steele Barone is running for the 12th District. She is running for her first office. She was inspired by Bernie Sanders and is passionate to address income inequality. You can contact her at katyforkent@gmail.com

Robert Smith, running for the 9th District is also new to politics. He is concerned with wages and benefits and Veterans. He believes we need to invest in each other. Connect on Facebook at BobSmith4KentCounty.

Monica Sparks is also running for the 12th District. Last month she was voted one of the 50 most influential women in W. MI. She is a small business owner and is very active on a number of local political boards. More info at http://www.monicasparks4kcc.com/

August Treu, is running for District 11 County Commissioner and this is his first time running for office, also. Learn more at https://augusttreu.nationbuilder.com

Scott Urbanowski is also running for the 12th District. He is 30 years old and has been a democrat precinct delegate since 2006. He is an advocate for the young and low-income citizens and believes “government is about all of us.” His website is: https://scotturbanowski.com

Stephen Wooden is running for District 18 County Commissioner. He said his parents taught him to live a life of service. With his public policy degree from MSU, his focus is community economic development. His website is: https://www.stephenwooden.com

All of the candidates talked about the mental health funding crisis.

Finally, we heard from Rachel Hood, running for MI State Rep. from District 76, “the 2nd most gerrymandered district in MI.” She has been involved with neighborhood organizing and environmental issues for over twenty years. She started City Built Brewing with her husband in 2016. Her website is: http://www.hoodforthehouse.com