Today, the people of Kalamazoo County have many concerns and questions regarding a number of issues. There is the growing concern over environmental issues, like PFAS in our water. A crumbling infrastructure and roads that need to be fixed. Raising the standards of our livelihood and providing social equity. These are a few of the many reasons why I am running for Kalamazoo County Commissioner. I want to be the voice of my community, because not only are these issues important to you, they are important to me.
Growing up I lived in a household with parents who are both educators. Because of their work I had many opportunities to travel around the world and experience a number of different cultures. Through those experiences I came to understand the importance of community, and how people work together to overcome difficult situations. My parents work also rubbed off on me, and education has become one of my passions.
Since moving to Michigan permanently in 1999 I attended Western Michigan University where I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees. From there I worked a number of jobs till I was given an opportunity to teach in Dallas, Texas. I spent two and a half years there and realized that my life was back in Michigan. After moving back, I was able to obtain two certificates in teaching and continue to work in the field today.
A few years ago, I worked for Discount tire, and I can tell you firsthand that the number of people coming in to have tires replaced, as well as wheels, was pretty bad. This was five years ago, and yet many of those same roads have still not had any work done to them. I ride a motorcycle, and the roads are very dangerous for those of us that do ride. For me, personally, it does not end there. I love water, it is my go-to drink and I have concerns about PFAS in my drinking water, just like everyone else. I also had to deal with the cost of living in Kalamazoo County, with a job that did not pay me a livable wage. It is very difficult to do on your own, and people do not deserve the worry that comes with it.
All of these issues that face us every day are the issues that I plan to attack as a County Commissioner. People should not have to worry about things that affect their everyday life, and those around them. PFAS affects everyone, and we need to take better care of our environment so we can avoid issues with our very own health. Roads need to be repaired so we do not have more accidents and cost people money, or worse, their lives. Everyone deserves a better chance at a better life, one where they don’t have to worry everyday if they will make rent, or if they can afford basic necessities. I plan to work hard to make these changes, and to make sure that every person in my community has their voice heard.