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2022 West Michigan Candidate Policy Platforms: State Senate Races

June 22, 2022

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting information and links to candidate websites and/or social media pages so that people can see what their policy positions are and what they say they will do if elected.

We will be posting this information specifically for candidates running for office in West Michigan, candidates at the Congressional level, state level and in Kent County. We do this in part, since we cannot rely on the dominant commercial news media to provide this information or any robust analysis of the policy platforms of those running for office.

In late July we will also be posting information on campaign financing for these same candidates, so that people have as much information as possible about candidates before the August Primary and the November 2022 Election.

Now, personally I identify politically as an anarchist, so I don’t put much stock in representative democracy or the electoral process. However, I do think it is important for people to think critically about the political/electoral process that currently exists.

In today’s post, we look at State Senate races in the West Michigan area. As a State Senator, these candidates will be voting on a wide range of critical issues, such as, funding for the prison industrial complex, public education budget, environmental justice issues, like Line 5, affordable housing, supporting a living wage, rent control, eviction, police funding, subsidies for corporations, water quality, water diversion rights, immigration issues like Driver’s Licenses for All, nuclear power, renewable energy sources, mass transit, tax policies, adoption, child care, racial discrimination, regulating the real estate industry, diverting public money towards private education, labor union support, cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, regulation of pesticide use, mining issues, climate change policies, gun control, gentrification and structural racism.

As an anarchist, I believe that my aspirations and the desire to work towards Collective Liberation is rarely reflected in the electoral/representative democracy process. Where are the candidates who are publicly anti-capitalist and anti-racist? Where are the candidates that oppose the homophobic and transphobic policies and practices in this country and in this community? Where are the candidates that are anti-colonialist, who believe that Indigenous sovereignty and land should be a priority? Where are the candidates that are committed to reparations for Black people? Where are the candidates who believe that housing, income, education and health care are fundamental rights? Where are the candidates who are committed to resisting the current climate crisis and oppose things like the Enbridge Line 3 and Line 5? Where are the candidates that want to deal with root causes of problems, instead false solutions perpetuated by charitable groups and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex? Where are the candidates that not only support labor unions but actively work to support workers to create workplace democracy? Where are the candidates who support reproductive justice? We all deserve a better world and we need to support politics the dismantles systems of power and oppression. 

Listed below are the candidates for the State Senate Districts located in the Greater Grand Rapids Area. In looking at all of their campaign platform/policy pages, no one stands out as embracing positions that many social movements have been demanding for years.

State Senate 18th District 

Kai Degraaf D

No online platform

Thomas Albert R

Ryan Mancinelli R

No online platform

State Senate 20th District 

Kim Jorgensen Gane D 

Kaleb M. Hudson R 

Austin Kreutz R

Aric Nesbitt R

State Senate 29th District

Winnie Brinks D 

Tommy Brann R

State Senate 30th District

David LaGrand D

Keith Hinkle R

Mark Huizenga R

State Senate 33rd District

Mark Bignell D

Rick Outman R

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