From the Trail: A Forum, a Clarification, and a Pledge

Last night I had the pleasure of participating in a forum for the candidates hosted by the League of Women Voters.

I need to start by reiterating a couple of things I said last night. First is that we need as many events like this as possible. The League of Women Voters put on a great event with insightful questions. They coordinate with a lot of campaigns (harder to do than it may seem), institute rules for fairness, and are nothing but appreciative and helpful every step of the way. So to the women who helped make last night possible, I say again, thank you.

Second, my stutters aside, I felt good about last night. It was my chance to make a pitch to the people of this community. I know many won't watch the forum, and even less will read this blog, but it needs to be said and put out there. I don't care if it's for 1 person or 100; I will be my honest self and communicate that to the people of this community whenever I am given the opportunity. I am fighting to be your representative, and that means being as available and open as possible.

I also want to take this time to clarify a stance that was brought to my attention of not getting enough lip service from me, and I want to make it known how I feel about it. Across the state, thousands have been left without necessary medical care because of changes made to Michigan's auto insurance law. I believe it is irresponsible and reprehensible that we have stripped so many Michiganders of care that they were guaranteed. It is not their fault the law changed, and anyone who was injured before the law change should still be covered, regardless of cost. They did nothing wrong - why punish them? Therefore, while I support the law change long term, I believe moves need to be made (and soon) to restore the care to these Michiganders. Not only does it make the difference to them, it also helps keep medical care professionals employed around the state and helps our local economies. We need to get this right before any more damage is done.

There is no good way to transition from the lack of medical care for injured people, so forgive me as I move on to my final portion of today's post.

I want to reiterate my closing statement from last night. It may have taken me my adolescent years to come to this realization, but I love my hometown and I want to be here and fight for you. More than that, I want to fight beside you. All of you. I believe our sense of community and love of our home should be greater than the urge to reduce ourselves to our political affiliations. I am not suggesting anyone to betray their conscience, rather to go into election day with an open mind and think about who you want next to you in the fight to help protect and improve our awesome region. I know I haven't been able to knock on 9000 doors in freezing weather, and I haven't gotten to meet as many of you face to face as I would like, but I will as we continue this movement. I will meet and speak with as many people possible to help advance the cause of supporting and strengthening our working class community.

This has never and will never be about me. If I happen to lose this election, don't dread it or be miserable about it. Be proud of what we have all accomplished together, and take it as the inspiration for what is next. But don't be too doom and gloom just yet. I believe this is a winnable race, and I'm fighting as if it is neck and neck (and will continue to do so until November 8th).

Thank you all again for the kindness and support you have shown me. If I didn't already have a deep love and respect for the people of Midland, I would now. I hope I continue to make you proud and, until we meet again, keep the momentum going and help us push past the finish line.

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