There’s no missing or mansplaining the talent and triumphs up and down this year’s ballot.
Hear that? The cathartic sound of the proverbial glass ceiling shattering on the presidential ticket. Drowning out the anti-democratic chanting Downtown and the foghorn of bullying, vitriolic disinformation we’ve been subjected to for the past four years. If you didn’t hear those shards hitting the floor right away, it’s because we are ever closer to gender equity in our legislative and local leadership.
The further you go down the ballot, the more direct the effect an elected official has on your life. As my daughter and I were filling out our absentee ballot, it wasn’t lost on her that we know three of the incredible women we were voting for.
And I know better than to summarize, synopsize, synthesize or speculate when I could instead ask them to share their thoughts with you, my incisive and empathetic readers:
Sarah Mountain, Board of Education Trustee, Berkley Schools
As a woman and a mother, I want my children to see me in a leadership role as an advocate for them and their education. From the time my three children, ages 6, 8 and 12, started school, I’ve been a volunteer in their classrooms and on the PTA, most recently serving as the PTA president at our elementary school. As I transition from school volunteer to elected board member, I feel I bring a unique and important perspective and voice to the board. When I take my seat in January, I will be the only board member with young children in the district.
The decisions that the school board makes impacts parents’ lives in a very concrete way; it’s vital for young families to be represented on the board and in the decision-making process. While I know it may be a challenging job at times, being a voice for young parents in the district — championing our incredible teachers and showing my own children what it means to be a leader and advocate are why I ran for school board.
Jaimie Powell Horowitz, Judge, 45th District Court
Our district court system is where judges have the most contact with our citizens and where we have great opportunity to effect meaningful criminal justice reform. I look forward to continuing the good work of Judge Appel and Judge Gubow with Mental Health Court and Veterans Court. I look forward to expanding our diversionary programs and addressing cash bail reform.
Many people fear the criminal justice process and the judicial system. It is so important — now more than ever — that we elect progressive leaders committed to transparency, improving access to justice and ensuring that those serving in our court system reflect the community racially, ethnically and religiously.
Public service is a privilege. I will remember that every day I take the bench and remember that I serve my neighbors and the cause of justice.
Regina Weiss, State Representative, 27th District
I am excited, honored, and humbled to have been elected to serve the 27th House District in the 101st Legislature, the first in Michigan’s history that will be majority female.
I currently work as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools Community District and serve as an Oak Park City Councilperson. In both roles, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of the pandemic on our schools and communities.
There is so much work to be done in Lansing to continue to address the COVID-19 crisis and so many other issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic — from the lack of access to affordable housing and water, to the need for increased economic security by guaranteeing paid sick leave, providing access to affordable childcare for working parents, raising the minimum wage and providing support for small business to be able to afford to keep their doors open.
Historically, these issues have not been bipartisan, but I believe there is a lot that we can work on across party lines to put Michiganders’ health, safety and economic security first.
Since the introduction of term limits, serving in the Legislature has been like running a relay race — you run as fast as you can and jump over as many hurdles as possible in the time you have to serve.
Then you pass the baton to the next person and they just keep running.
Fortunately, the 27th House District has a history of incredible leadership and service — David Gubow, Gilda Jacobs, Andy Meisner, Ellen Cogen Lipton and our current representative, Robert Wittenberg.
I’m ready to take the baton on Jan. 1 and hit the ground running to continue building on the work that they have done to address critical issues in our district.