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2022 West Michigan Candidate Policy Platforms: State Representative Races

June 28, 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. 

So far we have looked at the candidates and their policy platform information for the 3rd Congressional race and the State Senate races. Today, we will look at the State Representative races.

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 Representative races in the West Michigan area. As a State Representative, these candidates will be voting on a wide range of critical issues, such as, funding for the prison industrial complex, the public education budget, environmental justice issues – like Line 5, affordable housing, supporting a living wage, rent control, housing evictions, 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. 

Below are the candidates for the State Representative Districts located in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, which includes ten separate races. In looking at all of their campaign platform/policy pages, no one stands out as embracing positions that many social movements have been demanding. The language is often vague, with little substance, and almost always these candidates avoid language that seeks to work towards structural or systematic change. 

State Representative 78th District

Leah Groves D

No online platform

Christine Barnes R

Ben Geiger R

Gina Johnsen R

State Representative 79th District

Kimberly Y. Kennedy-Barrington D

Ryan Gallogly R

Jeremiah Keeler R

Angela Rigas R

State Representative 80th District

Lily Cheng-Schulting D

Phil Skaggs D

Jeffrey Johnson R

State Representative 81st District

Rachel Hood D

Lynn Afendoulis R

State Representative 82nd District

Salim Mohammed Al-Shatel D

Kristian Grant D

Robert Womack D

William Alexander R

Ryan Malinoski R 

State Representative 83rd District

John Fitzgerald D

Jose Flores D

Lisa DeKryger R

State Representative 84th District

Carol Glanville D

Mike Milanowski Jr. R

Justin Noordhoek R

Robert Regan R

John Wetzel R

State Representative 89th District

Sharon McConnon D 

Luke Meerman R 

State Representative 90th District

Meagan Hintz D

No online platform

Kathy Clark R

No online platform

Bryan Posthumus R

State Representative 91st District

Tammy L. DeVries R

No online platform

Frank J. LaFata D

Pat Outman R 

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