Last night was my first ever fundraiser, and I have to say that while I wasn't sure what to expect and ran through all the possible outcomes from good to bad (no one shows, food spoils, meteor hits the pavilion, etc.), even in the best scenario in my head I couldn't have fully predicted the amazing level of support and backing I felt yesterday.
Whether it was in the buildup, where I had a ton of help from the awesome Molly Morrissey (not sure if she'll see this but it wouldn't have been possible without her help) and the wonderful members of the Midland Dem Party, who have been so receptive and open to what I have to say. I am still finding my voice in this community but as long as I have open ears and open hearts like the ones I have seen and experienced in this district, I know that myself and the community as a whole are in good hands.
I got to meet a number of people whose names I had only seen printed in the paper or on social media. I got to speak with and hear from people who believe, like I do, that progressive, working class ideals are popular and possible in our state. People want access to affordable healthcare, good schooling for our children, and fair wages that allow working class Michiganders to afford a place to live and food on the table. We all know the working class is overtaxed, overworked, and underrepresented in modern politics. So why are we electing politicians who either haven't been working class in a long time or (more likely) they never were in the first place. We can't keep electing products of wealth and nepotism and expect real change for the bulk of the community. We need to band together and realize there are a lot more working class people like me and you than there are of them. We need representation that is actually representative of their constituents.
On that note, I am proud to announce my newest endorsement - this one from AFSCME, or the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. AFSCME is the largest trade union for public workers in the United States. Their endorsement helps highlight my dedication to worker's rights and my support of unions to defend our workers from greedy corporations who would pay lower wages and offer less protections and rights if it wasn't for our union men and women.
So, with last night in the books, what is next for our campaign? Well, we successfully raised over $1300 last night thanks to the generosity of several people in the area. Our campaign will be using that money for more online advertising, more yard signs, and our first round of mailers/literature. This weekend we also will be filming our first "ad" of the season, albeit this will likely remain a YouTube/social media video more than an actual televised ad spot. I can't wait to show you all our idea - it's something I'm passionate about and excited to see how others experience it.
Again I want to thank everyone who came out last night, as well as my host committee (Jennifer Austin, Molly Morrissey, and Sarah Schulz) and the local business who provided the delicious pulled pork - Shier's Deli & Catering. I say this again and again and again and will continue to until all the air is out of my lungs; this is a true grassroots campaign being run by me and the help of people like you, who just want to see working class people repaid for all the hard work and contributions we make to our community. I hope I can get the opportunity to fight for you and make you all proud. But regardless how this goes, I will always be dedicated to this cause and fighting for this amazing community. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.