Key Issues

Effective and Actionable

Anita Brown knows we need real plans to fix real problems.

Take a look at her priorities as a candidate

Anita’s Priorities

Expand Pandemic Reponse

The COVID-19 crisis highlights the faults in a system that has failed so many of us in our community. People are torn between the need to stay healthy and the need to work. I support the following initiatives to keep us healthy, while respecting our livelihoods. While I hope that the current crisis at hand is resolved by the time I’d take my oath of office in January of 2021, these are necessities to highlight in such a trying time.

Expand Testing

I applaud current efforts to make testing available to essential workers, but we need to make  Coronavirus testing more easily accessible and available (as our public health experts have determined). I support policies that increase and expand access to antibody testing as well.

Shared Bargaining for Supplies

I support Governor Whitmer’s efforts to partner with other Midwestern states in our pandemic response. I believe we need to actively seek and support policies that keep purchasing costs low on key equipment such as PPE and ventilators.

Fixing our Unemployment Insurance User Experience

I believe that we must make our Unemployment Insurance system more accessible and easier to navigate. I support policies to increase department staffing, provide more comprehensive tech support, and strengthen our infrastructure. We must make our social safety net usable and accessible for our most disadvantaged citizens.

The Healthy Work Committee

I propose that State of Michigan leadership convene a publicly accountable committee to evaluate possible changes that will make returning to work possible. It must be a joint venture consisting of cross-sector individuals, public health experts, industry leaders, to find solutions that make returning to work safe .

Ensure mental healthcare

I am focused on ensuring all healthcare needs are met, especially mental health. I have built an actionable plan derived from years of experience working within the healthcare systems.

Protect Medicaid in Michigan

Early on in 2020, Michigan’s Republicans were pushing to force work requirements on recipients of Medicaid. These requirements would have been disastrous for the most vulnerable in our communities, who require Medicaid to simply stay alive. While the punitive effort was struck down by the courts, I promise to support policies that protect Medicaid (and Medicare) for every Michigander.

Putting Community Health in Focus

I support policies that expand the partnership and facilitate communication between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the various community health institutions, from county health departments to federally recognized community health centers. 

I believe we must identify common public health trends throughout the state and guide the response of the various levels of governance.

Expanding Access to Mental Health Services

As a mental health professional, the lack of access to adequate mental health services is an issue that I am incredibly passionate about. I have seen first-hand the detrimental effects of lack of access on the individual, the family, and the community as a whole. 

Once elected, I will push for and support the expansion of referral options to free and low cost mental health services.

Synchronizing Public Insurance

I support policies that make for a more streamlined, cost-effective system of health insurance options. The State of Michigan should combine Medicaid, Healthy Michigan, CHIP, and Medicare enrollees into one insured group. It should offer cost-competitive plans to those offered on the marketplace, private insurance through the ACA, employer insurance, and those who are uninsured. One large insured group will help keep costs low and streamline the bureaucracy currently involved in Michigan’s healthcare. 

Educate for Our Future

When teachers are not given the resources they need they are not able to help our children succeed. As a substitute teacher, I have been able to see directly the challenges that our teachers face. Preparing every child in our district to succeed affects more than just the families of those children – it impacts the economic strength of our entire community. As your representative, I will work to implement policies that support our students and teachers so we can continue to be competitive.

Universal Pre-K

I support the Governor in her vision of Universal Pre-K. Every parent and child should have the option for a developmentally appropriate, early start to education.

No child deserves to suffer because of the economic inopportunity they were born into, and Universal Pre-K will help provide everyone an equal start.

Repeal the 3rd Grade Reading Rule

Punishing students (and in turn their schools) for failing to live up to an arbitrary benchmark is unacceptable – and quite frankly, does not accomplish the goal either.  The unintended consequences of the current rule means that classrooms get bigger with less support. 

Fostering key reading skills at a young age is crucial. The best way to do that is through improving resources at every school, providing reading specialists to help in the classroom, and finding out what other supports families need in order to help their child succeed.

Free Higher Education

Higher education translates to longer lifetime wages – according to the Federal Reserve Bank college graduates earn on average $30,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma.  More educated residents also make the West Michigan economy more competitive and attractive for businesses that bring quality jobs to our area. I support making the first two years of higher education available for free to every resident of Michigan.

Justice for All Michiganders

I understand that the fight for equity is important across the board. And, it can be easy to see only individual, often-siloed cases. But, I believe we must take view equity with an intersectional approach to truly protect the most vulnerable communities. Within these communities, I plan to prioritize legislation that fights for women, people of color and LGBTQ+ folx.

Women

I support policies that protect a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare for every woman in Michigan, regardless of income-level. 

I also support policies that work toward ending the wage gap, such as policies regarding pay transparancy.

LGBTQ+ Folx

I support policies aimed toward strengthening protections for the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and beyond. I will also fight for increasing accessibility for individuals to make gender-affirming changes in state documentation.

People of Color

As a Latina, the wife of a black husband, and mother and grandmother to many mixed-race babies, I identify with many of the challenges faced by people of color. 

Ottawa County is one of the fastest growing areas in our state and continually becoming more diverse.  

I strongly support policies and efforts to end discrimination against people of color in commerce, education, law enforcement, and life. No person in our community should feel unsafe because of who they are, what they look like, or where they came from. I believe changes must be made at every level of government and am dedicated to fighting for the changes I can.

Strengthen Our
Working-Class

One of the most valuable assets Michigan has is its workers. Unfortunately, we have seen many people leaving our state to find better opportunities elsewhere. We need to ensure that our workforce remains strong in order to continue to prosper. Supporting our working class citizens also supports our businesses and families. 

Labor

When big corporations hold all the power, individual workers are not able to hold them accountable in the free market. I will fight to repeal anti-union legislation in Lansing, such as the “right-to-work” bill. 

I will support all efforts I can to expand the power of collective bargaining, and the protection of workers, while protecting against corruption so that our workers truly do have the ability to work competitively.

Housing

Evidence-based research has shown that housing-first models work. Not only does it provide shelter for vulnerable individuals, it saves the State money as well. 

I fully support the notion of the “homes guarantee.” No one should worry about whether they have a roof over their head. And, I intend to create legislation prioritizing a housing first model for Michigan.

Protect our Environment

 Surrounded by the Great Lakes and other natural wonders, it is our responsibility to protect what we have been given so that our children and grandchildren can flourish here for many generations to come.

Supporting Our Great Lakes and waterways

Our district is nestled between the mouths of the Grand River and the Macatawa River, we see the effects of all the decisions that are made upstream. It may be easy to think that the horrific disasters of the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill and Flint Water Crisis could never harm our community, but we need to face the facts.

With failing federal action on the environment, we the people of Michigan must act to protect the Great Lakes and all the waterways in our state. I support the public trust doctrine –  that the waterways of the Great Lakes watershed should be held in common, and democratically managed for all. Only with this public trust doctrine can we prevent further environmental and economic disaster.

Cutting Emissions

West Michigan is home to brilliant creators, and we are able to lead the charge for low emission energy resources.  I support promoting the use of solar and wind in our communities, as well as removing barriers to entrepreneurship in developing new technologies.

Investing in energy efficient technology will make us economically competitive in the present and environmentally secure for the future.  

Modern Infrastructure for a Modern Michigan

Rebuilding, improving, and modernizing Michigan’s infrastructure is critical to our state’s success. Optimizing our digital capabilities, fixing our thoroughfares, building more accessible public transit are some of the areas I feel support focusing on.

Yep, the damn roads

I support Governor Whitmer’s efforts and all policies that will fix our roads. We all know the horrors of hitting a pothole at 35mph, and it’s not good. I intend to support legislation to prioritize fixing our community’s roads. 

We already pay an invisible cost in the form of more maintenance on our vehicles, more accidents, and lost productivity. It is time to get serious about the real costs of poor roads and invest in better alternatives.

High Speed Internet for All

As COVID has shown us, Internet access is no longer a luxury. Access to high-speed Internet allows for businesses to be agile, new companies to start, and students to get higher quality education. 

I support the state developing a public, high-speed internet utility to make the Internet universally accessible while keeping costs low and ensuring Net Neutrality.

Public Transit

Without operational and easily accessible public transit, our state’s most vulnerable citizen’s livelihoods are in jeopardy.  Therefore, I support the development of a high-speed, cross-state public rail system and “last-mile” public transit through low-emission public busses. 

Support our teachers

Our teachers know what works – and what resources they need to help every student succeed! For any educational policy to be effective, teachers must be a part of the conversation at every stage of planning and implementation.

teacher informed budgets

Our teachers know what works – and what resources they need to help every student succeed! I will push for our state’s education budget to focus on what works best by supporting our teachers and giving them a voice at the table when making decisions on budgetary priorities.

We also need to have competitive wages and benefits for Michigan teachers to attract the best and brightest applicants.

Competitive and Equitable Wages

I believe we also need competitive wages and benefits for Michigan teachers. This is a key driving force to  attracting high-quality teachers to our local public schools. 

In addition, I will support legislation that invests in diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings. These are hallmarks of our public schools at both the administrative and teaching levels. Students will be more equipped to succeed when they see themselves represented in and accepted by school leadership.

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