MEET LAUREL - A Voice of Reason

Giving a Voice to the Residents of Canton, Belleville, & Van Buren Twp.



I love this state and I love this community.  I was born in Michigan and have been a resident my entire life. I put myself through college waiting tables and received my B.A. in Communications from U of M Ann Arbor.  I worked as a TV journalist in almost every television market in the state winning an Emmy award along the way before settling back in my hometown of Metro Detroit at WDIV.   I got married to my husband Eric and we started our family and moved to Canton.  

With two young boys, the opportunity to combine my love for kids and my desire to feed my entrepreneurial spirit came along in the form of Jungle Java.  I took a small step away from journalism and threw myself into small business and the ride has been amazing.  We have employed the youth of this community as they take that first important step into the working world and have launched the careers of hundreds of bright young faces.  Two of those faces were our two boys who attended the Plymouth Canton Community Schools and are now college students themselves.  


I have successfully navigated my business, Jungle Java, through many economic ups and downs over the past 17 years.  I work hard every day to help my family, friends, and community as a whole.  I have learned that the best way to know your clientele is to listen to them.  I promise to work hard to listen to as many people as possible in my district in order to take their particular issues and concerns to Lansing.



I  have never been a politician, but have always been a fierce negotiator and a voice for small business and the "little guy."  But, when COVID-19 rocked our world, I knew I had to run for this office.   The small business that my husband and I worked so hard to build and protect was ordered closed and, with zero revenues coming in, finances began to dry up.  We tried hard to secure all of the promised sources of small business government support and came up empty for weeks.  We weren't alone. 


I found this to be true of most small business owners I knew.  I also watched as dozens of people I know tried to navigate the unemployment system with no luck.  I contacted the governor and my state elected officials.  I had phone conversations with several of them trying to explain the nuances and reality facing small businesses and all of their employees.  I found that not a single one of them understood what was truly facing our state in terms of the economic crisis that lies ahead.  They listened, but simply did not have the background or expertise to truly understand in order to make or propose necessary changes to help our local economy survive this current crisis.


 This frustration with government lack of knowledge and burdensome bureaucracy is what ultimately motivated me to run for State Representative in an effort to help find solutions for the real people in the 21st district who were all failed, in some way or another, by those who are supposed to represent them and be their voice.  I want to provide a voice for small businesses and “regular people” who are not politically connected and, therefore, don’t feel like they have a voice.  Ironically, as I run for a political office, this is not the time for politics.  This is the time for all sides to work together to rebuild and for all of the voices of the 21st district to be heard.  Let me put partisan politics aside and be your voice of reason. 



Paid for by The Committee To Elect Laurel Hess

1201 Liberty Ct., Canton, MI 48188