Jeff as an elected official:
We need a fighter in the state senate who has the experience and knowledge to hit the ground running. As your state senator, I'll work tirelessly to make Michigan a state that no longer drains its education system and neglects its environment, but rather a state that works for everyone.
After serving as a county commissioner, I ran for the State House. As a state representative from Ann Arbor's 53rd District, I had an amazing opportunity to make Michigan better. I made the most of the six years I spent in the minority, fighting for what’s right at every turn. I asked tough questions, made pointed amendments, and introduced legislation for:
- More school funding and financial aid for higher education
- Cleaner environment
- Fairer economy
- Equal rights
Fighting for the environment has always been a priority for me, both as a county commissioner and a state representative. For the county, I worked for clean air and clean water with both the national and Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and organized diverse coalitions of activists to fight pollution and promote environmental protection. In the State House, I developed the bipartisan “green tea” coalition to promote community solar and our Energy Freedom legislation.
I also led the fight to opt Michigan into Heat and Eat, leveraging more federal food assistance for low income residents. As a result of my amendment to the budget, more than 325,000 Michigan residents received $75 more every month. This means that, for some residents, they went from receiving $15 a month in food-assistance benefits to receiving $90 a month, an amount that makes a real difference to individuals struggling to afford the basics. In total, this means that some of Michigan’s neediest people are getting an additional $300 million per year.
I served on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners from 1999-2010. During that period, I helped institute many important changes in county government. We worked on issues including juvenile justice, pensions, recycling, and others. Here are a few of the highlights from my service as a county commissioner:
- Domestic Partner benefits for county employees
- A living-wage policy
- A land preservation millage that has protected thousands of acres of natural areas in Washtenaw County.
- Increased funding for human service priorities like Head Start and affordable housing
- Extended health insurance to almost ten thousand uninsured workers
One of the things we approved as a commission that I am most proud of, though, is the Delonis Center, which serves the homeless and transitions people into permanent housing. In 2007-2008 I served as chair of the board, and then ultimately left to run for state representative in 2010.
As your next state senator, I'll have the experience and knowledge to hit the ground running and make sure that Michigan is a state that no longer drains educational resources and neglects its environment. We can be a state that works for everyone.