Less Government and More Common Sense!
Let Me Be a Voice of Reason! 
I am not a politician.  I am a small business owner who, like many of you, was fairly happy with my life in the 21st district until COVID-19... until our governor made some decisions that didn't help our state's economy.  So much was done without any thought to the lasting damage that would happen to the people of this district.  Many lost almost everything and are the collateral damage of mandates and policies that are not transparent nor based on science or fact.  I am running because of the irresponsible way our state responded to the COVID crisis.  There was a way to keep our state both safe and economically viable and our state government elected officials failed us.  That damage done must now be repaired.  I will dedicate 100% of my time in Lansing to fighting to help us all to get back on our feet, pay our bills, send our kids to safe schools, and live once again in a thriving community we can all be proud of. 
 
I want to work for you.  We need to create consistent policies that truly support our small businesses, improve our schools, and hold our elected officials accountable.  I know what it takes to find solutions and get things done.  We need to remove partisanship from important conversations and work together to rebuild our district and our state.  Let me be your voice of reason.
LIST OF ISSUES
Responding to COVID-19 
Safely Opening Up Our State​

COVID-19 hit in March and rocked my world.  The small business that myself and my husband worked so hard to build and protect was ordered closed and, with zero revenues coming in, finances began to dry up.  I tried hard to secure all of the promised sources of small business government support and came up empty for weeks.  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.  This frustration with government bureaucracy in the wake of COVID-19 is what ultimately motivated me to run.  We were all failed, in some way or another, by those who were supposed to represent us, work in our best interest, and be our voice.  I am frustrated with government bureaucracy, a lack of clear leadership from many of our elected officials, and the lack of any meaningful results since the day the pandemic hit our area.  There was a way to open our state back up safely much sooner.  We should have had a laid out plan, based on data, that was consistent and less restrictive.  If elected, I will take my small business mindset to Lansing and advocate for less government bureaucracy, less restrictions, and more freedom to make our own individual decisions on how to live our lives. 

Jobs and the Economy
Supporting Small Businesses
Helping to get the people of my district back on their feet in the wake of this devastating pandemic will be my number one priority.  We need to look at what failed and why.  For example, we must invest in the technology to update the UIA website and phone system. And what about our Secretary of State offices?  The waits at the Secretary of State offices for simple things, such as a license plate renewal?  Why are we even required to renew a license plate every single year?  I want to be the voice, not only for small business owners, but for all of their employees and for all of my constituents who are and will be in a financial mess for months/years to come now due to job loss, no access to UIA, and no real mortgage/rent relief.  I am hungry for a solution.  Most politicians in Lansing need to be educated about what’s it’s really like for us “small-potato” folks out here.  Deferring my rent for 3 months does not solve anything!  Even pre-pandemic, there were too many unnecessary rules and regulations that small businesses and their employees had to navigate.  Power needs to be given back to the people.
Accountability and Transparency in Government

Michigan ranks last in a national study of state ethics and transparency laws.  This doesn't mean Michigan is the most corrupt, but it does mean our state doesn't have enough laws in place to prevent possible corruption.  Our governor and legislature are exempt from state open records laws.  I don't believe anyone should be above the law.  When our governor makes a decision that drastically effects all of us in the state, we have the right to know why.  What data was the decision based on?  Who was consulted in the decision-making?  What connection do all those involved have the the money-trail?  If elected, I will fight hard for more accountability and transparency from all of our lawmakers.  

Investing in Education 
K-12 and Higher Ed

K-12 - Wow!  All I can say is, “I had no idea!”   I would like to take this time to personally apologize to all of those teachers out there who I may have judged over the years.  I have never worked so hard in my life, and certainly for so little respect!  I went back to school last winter to get my teaching certificate and got a job teaching high school at Hamtramck High.  As a first year teacher, I am no expert, but I learned a lot.  Every person who is allowed to make a decision regarding education should spend just one day/week in the life of a teacher.  Our education system needs help.  And, the effects this pandemic has had on our educational system only shines a brighter light on some of the shortfalls.  Some districts were all set and had the resources to transition to electronic teaching right away.  For other districts like the one I where I was teaching, that was never a possibility.  Funding is an issue, but it's not 100% of the problem.  Decision making power over such things as curriculum, etc. needs to be given back to those who work in education and taken away from the politicians in Lansing who simply aren't equipped to make them.  Parents need educational choices.  We need teachers and administrators with decision making powers and flexibility to teach in a way that they know to be effective.

 

Higher Ed - With two grown boys in college now (but even without that personal experience) it was easy to see college would be expensive.  I will fight to find real solutions to the increasing and ridiculously high cost of higher education.  The cost of a four year college degree is out of control.  It’s preventing many high school graduates from being able to obtain a degree.  Middle class parents cannot get a tuition break at most of our premier in-state public schools.  Michigan should have reciprocal rights with other states to allow for an “in-state tuition break” for other colleges in our region.  Several other regions do this.  Why don’t we?  Why don’t we have an agreement where kids from MI, OH, IN, IL, and PA for example, can all go to a four year university in any one of those states and get in-state tuition?  Why do our state flagship universities not provide scholarships or financial help for the middle class?  Along with fighting to make higher ed more affordable, we need to focus as well on encouraging and preparing our next generation to enter the trades.  Having a skill is timeless and an affordable way to learn to make a good living. 

Roads and Infrastructure

We all know our roads and bridges are in need of desperate repair.  Now, sadly, we've become aware that many of our dams are a public danger as well.  We need real solutions and can no longer afford to "kick the funding can down the road."  What we don't do now can and will kill some of us later.  Increasing taxes is not the answer.  We have the funds.  We need to make sure the funding that already exists is spent correctly, efficiently, and effectively.  We need to remove pork spending and hidden projects from the overall budget and focus on what really matters.   Right now, repairing our crumbling infrastructure should be our number one priority. 

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Paid for by The Committee To Elect Laurel Hess

1201 Liberty Ct., Canton, MI 48188