As State Representative for District 4, I will work for ambitious, affordable, and justice-based policies. I will advocate for affordability, accessibility and equity in housing, environment, education, workforce, government, and transportation.
I will go beyond good ideas and good rhetoric to implement policies that put people first and focus on our essential needs.
I have the courage and work ethic to finally turn our shared values into a shared reality.
Our role is in service to the people of the district and the State of Michigan, as well as the environment they occupy
Our priority is to meet the basic needs of people which include access to water, shelter, education, and justice
In order to meet those basic needs, we need a functioning democracy, economy, and community networks. We need policy that is aligned with its role, that is not arbitrary, overly punitive, near-sighted, nor in service to few at the expense of the many.
While there are real and reasonable limitations to the provision of services, intentional deprivation of basic needs which could otherwise be access is immoral and unnecessarily harmful.
It is easier to destroy than to create. Preservation and incremental improvement is preferable to outright termination, unless a system is inherently flawed or obsolete.
Affordable quality housing is a human need and human right. Where the government may not be able to immediately meet these needs, it must work toward the aim of affordable quality housing, and it must not work contrary to such access. Practically speaking, this means reform to tax foreclosure, eviction, land banking, property taxation, public housing, and MSHDA.
Detroit used to lead the nation in homeownership and we still have enough land to accommodate everyone. We need more affordable housing and we need to protect our homeowners.
I am a housing advocate and I work each day to keep people in their homes across Detroit and Hamtramck. Often, I find our state policies pit the government against its residents rather than working toward shared solutions. I want our government to realign its values with its people.
Legislature must improve protections and enforcement on our air, water, and soil quality. We must improve access to qualify affordable water and clean air.
Access to safe drinking water is a requirement for life. We need to upgrade our water infrastructure regularly to avoid lead exposure and catastrophic failure, we need to craft ways for water customers to have baseline-affordable water access. We must protect our great lakes as a national resource and work collaboratively with other states and stakeholders to that end.
We must push back against environmental racism and health disparities associated with our highly industrialized communities.
We must improve our renewable energy, and protect communities vulnerable to high pollution. I pledge to fight environmental racism at every turn and ensure full respect to indigenous land and people.
I have worked for renewable energy and environmental protections in Detroit, New York, and South Africa. We must protect our natural resources and people here in Michigan.
We are in the heart of the automotive industry, yet many Detroit and Hamtramck residents are unable to afford the costs of driving. We need to bring down the cost of car insurance and end redlining.
I will fight for better public transportation. It is essential for individuals who cannot drive, as well as for the environment.
I am an Engineer, and I know that we desperately need to repair our roads, bridges, water infrastructure and invest in sustainable and safe infrastructure for all parts of our city and our state.
We must value our public education system and give our children the attention and care they all deserve. Reform public school funding so that the geographic location of a school is not so grossly tied to that school’s funding. We must work to repair and invest in failing schools rather than forcing their closure.
Privatization and emergency management have harmed our schools and our children – I will work with educators and communities to improve our schools, not shut them down.
I will fight to close the income-education gap. We cannot have a child’s future determined by the zip code they were born in or the income of their family. I will support early childhood education and demand tuition price controls in publicly funded universities.
I will fight to protect literacy in our schools and provide adequate funding for schools and teachers to have an excellent learning environment.
Emergency management in Detroit needs to end. It is undemocratic and has stolen countless votes from Detroit and Hamtramck residents, trapping them in a system of state oversight.
Gerrymandering has severely restricted the power of voters across the state. Our government is a non-representative democracy that doesn’t work for all of us. We need policies that respect our democracy and restore the power of the vote.
I will fight to get money out of politics, ensure fair elections, and demand transparency from our government. Above all, I will fight to end Emergency Management laws in Michigan. Democracy is not a luxury to be enjoyed only during prosperous times or in prosperous places.
A strong economy is necessary for Michigan, and we can make that happen while still ensuring fair and equitable working conditions.
We need a $15 minimum wage. I believe that a person who works full time should earn enough money to provide for themselves and their family.
I support organized labor, and I will work for policies based on the values that organized labor works for, including fair and equitable wages and paid sick leave.
I support extended access to unemployment and fewer mandates on those receiving unemployment to document their job search. I support businesses receiving support to re-open and stay open.
I will fight racism, sexism, classism, Islamophobia and homophobia at every level of our government and society, and I pledge to always prioritize a person’s basic human rights regardless of race, gender identity, religion, or class.
I will work for an inclusive, equitable society that uplifts and embraces different histories, religions, politics, identities and perspectives.
We must invest in quality schools for all communities and we need to fight fiercely for criminal justice reform. We must fight inequality and discrimination in policy and ensure equal opportunities to all.
Copyright © 2020 Michele Oberholtzer for Michigan