HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
“I was the first in my family to be born in America. But my parents struggled to make ends meet — something that many working families still know all too well today. I have enormous gratitude for what this great state and country offered to my family. That’s why Michigan was the only place I wanted to raise my children.”
We must be a welcoming and safe state for all, no matter what your race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation may be. I believe America is a rich tapestry and our diversity is our greatest strength. We need to tear down the structures that have held people back for so long.
As both the daughter and mother of immigrants, I believe we must create opportunities for all immigrants and refugees who have so much to offer. Throughout my life, I have taken an inclusive approach to community building and have focused on health and wellness for women, children, and underserved populations.
Many people in Michigan and across the country are deeply frightened right now. The basic rights of women, LGBTs, and people of color are under attack from the president, Congress, and our state government. Immigrants and refugees now live in fear that they or their loved ones will be hauled away and sent back to war-torn countries.
But even in these trying times, there is hope. It has brought out the best in people. I saw that when I brought my ten-year-old son to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January 2017. I saw that fighting to keep our kids safe as a member of Washtenaw County's Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
And that’s why, like so many women and people of color, I was inspired to run for office for the first time in 2018. We need progressive, diverse, and inclusive leadership in state government. Washtenaw County should lead by example. We need to live our values.
In the State Senate,I will focus on advancing the Michigan civil rights expansion plan for immigrants. I strongly support equal pay, abortion rights, LGBT rights, criminal justice reform, and economic justice.
I will never be afraid to make bold decisions. You can count on me to stand up for equality, intersectionality, and progressive values.
1. Civil rights for Immigrants and refugees. As both the daughter and mother of immigrants, we must create opportunities and ensure they feel safe within our communities. Whether immigrants came here legally or illegally, we must make sure they feel welcome and part of our communities and economy. I support the Michigan civil rights expansion plan for immigrants, including the Law Enforcement Information Sharing Act prohibiting local police from enforcing draconian federal immigration laws and detaining anyone when they are eligible for release.
2. Women’s rights. I am a staunch supporter of abortion rights, Planned Parenthood, equal pay, birth control access, and policies preventing domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. I will advance legislation for equal pay for equal work, regardless of race, gender, or age, modeled on laws passed in Massachusetts. Michigan’s “rape insurance” law banning insurers from covering abortion in standard health plans must be repealed. I have worked for two decades in women leadership efforts in business and our community. We also need more women, particularly women of color, representing us in Michigan government.
3. LGBT rights. Even in the year 2018, it’s still legal in Michigan to fire someone for being gay or to discriminate against them in housing. That is unconscionable. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Law must be expanded to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. I will advocate for LGBT access to second parent adoptions and work to repeal the Michigan law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder that allows agencies to discriminate against LGBTs. I will work to make sure LGBTs have full healthcare rights and everyone has access to gender-neutral restroom facilities.
4. Criminal justice reform. Mandatory minimums have proven to be a destructive policy and must be repealed. Judges must once again be given discretion during sentencing so they can take into account the context and nature of crimes. I believe in restorative justice and that people should be given a second chance. I will focus on ensuring that people, especially juveniles, in the justice system have quality education and training opportunities to reduce recidivism. I will work to eliminate prison time for non-violent offenses and advocate to expand drug courts, mental health courts, and community-based rehabilitation programs. The Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court pioneered by Judge Timothy Connors is a model of innovation for Michigan.
5. Economic justice. Michigan’s government has not made working families and low-income people a priority over the last eight years. In fact, Republicans have actively harmed these communities by ignoring the Flint water crisis, cutting unemployment benefits, and more. I will never support cuts to our already fragile social safety net. I support state incentives for local communities to invest in affordable housing programs. And I believe we need to invest more in workforce training and make community college free for those who stay and work in Michigan.