Michigan senate - district 1 candidates

State Senators are elected by district from all over Michigan to pass laws and adopt the budget for the whole state.

This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE August 7th 2018, in the Primary election and November 6, 2018 in the General Election.

Q1. Majority Party & Compromise

Should your party not be in the Majority, would you be willing to compromise with the opposing party and an opposing Governor to get legislation signed into law and on what issues do you foresee possible compromise?

ANSWER: Yes. As State Representative, I have been successful in securing changes to numerous bills in committee as well as on the House floor, ranging from (1) amendments to a bill about cyberbullying penalties to make sure we are not creating unintended consequences and over-criminalizing young people and (2) amendments to bills last term and this term about drivers’ licenses to ensure that the legislation didn’t result in profiling or additional barriers to immigrants to (3) collaborating with fellow Law and Justice committee members and staff on over two dozen bipartisan bills related to sexual assault prevention, protection for survivors, and accountability. I serve as the Democratic Vice-Chair for this committee. Our work included 12 committee hearings, an enormous amount of debate and research, consultation with experts, and in the end, we reached bipartisan compromise on several bills that create dramatic policy change and will positively impact the lives of many Michiganders. There are other examples of amendments and substitutes that I initiated on legislation related to human trafficking, housing, and other criminal justice issues. I have a clear track record of working effectively in a bipartisan fashion and I intend to continue getting things done whether I will be serving in the minority or the majority.

Q2. Car Insurance

Over the past several years, many attempts have been made to reform the State’s Auto Insurance system. According to a 2017 Bridge Magazine study, Detroiters pay the highest car insurance premiums in the nation. If it had made it to the Senate Floor, would you have voted in favor or against the Mayor’s proposal House Bill 5013?

ANSWER: I voted no on HB 5013 as a State Representative. I believe we need to reduce car insurance rates in Detroit and across our state, and am proud to support reforms included in the Fair and Affordable No Fault Reform plan. I believe there are key provisions of reform that the vast majority of legislators do agree on and hope that we can pass those pieces this term -- such as efforts to address fraud in the system and create a PIP opt-out for seniors on Medicare. I have introduced legislation (HB 5419) that would drastically reduce the impact of zip codes on car insurance rates and prioritize driving record, number of miles on the car, and number of years of driving experience the driver has had in rate setting. I voted no on HB 5013 because the rate reductions it promised were not guaranteed. There was clear language in the bill that would allow car insurance companies to choose not to reduce rates based on actuarial analysis. I voted no because the bill would not have made a significant impact on the number of uninsured drivers in Detroit and Michigan because the rate reductions it called for were not substantial for people who are low-income. I voted no because analysis of the bill showed that the bill would have shifted drivers onto Medicaid and into bankruptcy if they got into a serious accident. And lastly, I voted no because as a social worker and former organizer, I put the most vulnerable in our communities at the forefront of my mind when voting. Social workers, disability rights advocates and others agreed that the bill was counter to their goals of social justice.

Q3. Education Reform

Bridge Magazine’s overview of twelve recent education reports yielded four common themes for improving public education outcomes in Michigan: 1) Differential spending for students with different needs (ie. it costs more to educate low-income students who come into kindergarten already behind in reading skills), 2) More investment in teacher training, 3) More and better early childhood education for ages 0-4, and 4) Better college/career preparation. How will you, as a state legislator, support evidence-backed reforms for public education in Michigan?

ANSWER: I will continue to be an advocate for changes in education policy that would improve educational outcomes for our children. I am part of a Democratic package of bills that would address early childhood literacy. My bill would address the Great Start to Quality rating system for our child care providers so that we can increase the quality of child care across Michigan. I will continue to advocate for increases in funding for at-risk students, ELL students, and students with learning disabilities. I support proposed changes to the way Michigan prepares our future teachers and hope to continue to be part of this bipartisan conversation about reforms and funding for teacher training. I recently voted yes on a number of bills related to college and career preparation and will continue to examine and support proposals that would be effective ways to ensure all of our students have a pathway to success. Lastly, I will continue to advocate for my bills related to school closings and environmental assessments for new schools. Research shows that air quality and other environmental factors can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school.

Q4. Motivation for Candidacy

What issues motivated you to run for State office? How have you worked on these issues prior to running for office?

ANSWER: When I first ran for office in 2014, I was motivated by many of the same issues I am still passionate about now in 2018 – quality education for all our children, an economy that works for everyone, a smarter justice system and safer neighborhoods, environmental justice, and restoring the safety net. Prior to running for office, I was a community organizer and advocate on a number of social justice issues – some of the issues listed above but also others that are related – such as affirmative action, immigrants’ rights and voting rights.


This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE November 6, 2018 in the General Election

Q1. Majority Party & Compromise

Should your party not be in the Majority, would you be willing to compromise with the opposing party and an opposing Governor to get legislation signed into law and on what issues do you foresee possible compromise?

ANSWER: No Response

Q2. Car Insurance

Over the past several years, many attempts have been made to reform the State’s Auto Insurance system. According to a 2017 Bridge Magazine study, Detroiters pay the highest car insurance premiums in the nation. If it had made it to the Senate Floor, would you have voted in favor or against the Mayor’s proposal House Bill 5013?

ANSWER: No Response

Q3. Education Reform

Bridge Magazine’s overview of twelve recent education reports yielded four common themes for improving public education outcomes in Michigan: 1) Differential spending for students with different needs (ie. it costs more to educate low-income students who come into kindergarten already behind in reading skills), 2) More investment in teacher training, 3) More and better early childhood education for ages 0-4, and 4) Better college/career preparation. How will you, as a state legislator, support evidence-backed reforms for public education in Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response

Q4. Motivation for Candidacy

What issues motivated you to run for State office? How have you worked on these issues prior to running for office?

ANSWER: No Response

Should your party not be in the Majority, would you be willing to compromise with the opposing party and an opposing Governor to get legislation signed into law and on what issues do you foresee possible compromise?

ANSWER: No Response

This video is not an endorsement of any candidate. VOTE November 6, 2018 in the General Election. #Vote #Detroit #2018Elections


Q1. Majority Party & Compromise

Should your party not be in the Majority, would you be willing to compromise with the opposing party and an opposing Governor to get legislation signed into law and on what issues do you foresee possible compromise?

ANSWER: No Response

Q2. Car Insurance

Over the past several years, many attempts have been made to reform the State’s Auto Insurance system. According to a 2017 Bridge Magazine study, Detroiters pay the highest car insurance premiums in the nation. If it had made it to the Senate Floor, would you have voted in favor or against the Mayor’s proposal House Bill 5013?

ANSWER: No Response

Q3. Education Reform

Bridge Magazine’s overview of twelve recent education reports yielded four common themes for improving public education outcomes in Michigan: 1) Differential spending for students with different needs (ie. it costs more to educate low-income students who come into kindergarten already behind in reading skills), 2) More investment in teacher training, 3) More and better early childhood education for ages 0-4, and 4) Better college/career preparation. How will you, as a state legislator, support evidence-backed reforms for public education in Michigan?

ANSWER: No Response

Q4. Motivation for Candidacy

What issues motivated you to run for State office? How have you worked on these issues prior to running for office?

ANSWER: No Response