My name is Jen and I am running as a Democrat for Michigan State House of Representatives, District 63. I am running because I believe it is time for Michigan to experience change. I have lived in Michigan most of my life, and I deeply care for this state and its people. As a young teacher, I felt the effects of a legislative body making laws about topics and concepts that they knew little-to-nothing about. Nine years in Michigan public school classrooms, an M.Ed., and my continuing education toward my Doctorate have taught me, above all, that it will take experienced educators to change the DeVos Era politics that have decimated our public school system. I know that our students need appropriate levels of funding, access to more school supports, and more arts programs. We can do better.
As the Vice President of the Kalamazoo Education Association, I have experienced first hand the Right-to-Work legislation that has made it more difficult for working class, average Michigan families to protect the rights of the every day worker and make a livable wage. I have experienced the fight for fair wages, for quality health insurance, and for the basic necessities that should be afforded to all people that work hard every day. I know the struggle of a diminishing pension system. The teacher's pension system has been attacked year-after-year. I understand what it is to struggle under the Right-to-Work legislation of the Snyder administration.
As a retired Mixed Martial Arts professional fighter and current competitor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I understand the struggle for gender equity in sports, and in all other areas. My entire life, I have been an athlete participating in sports because people told me that women should not partake in such activities. From football and baseball in my grade school years, to high school and college wrestling, and through my continuing martial arts career, I have always believed that women deserve pay equity and professional respect.
I believe, because of my life experiences, I can help to make the changes that Michigan needs. I can work toward healing our educational system in Michigan. All of our children deserve a high quality education. The time has come for Michigan to create a legislator that believes in all of the citizens of Michigan, a Michigan for us all.