Katie Scott is running for Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in District 9. This is the candidate's submission to the 2018 WEMU Soapbox Summer.
My name is Katie Scott and I’m running for Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in District 9.
I’ve lived in Ann Arbor my entire adult life. I raise my family here, I’m an intensive care nurse, and every day I advocate for my patients and their families. I’ve been a nurse in the ICU for ten years, and I’m also an active member of my nurse union. I have used my voice to advocate for patients, peers, and profession both on the state and national levels. And now, I want to work for you, Washtenaw County residents.
I’ve known the sting of the recession and the struggles many people in our county have had, not only in the economic downturn, but also now. When I bought my house in Ann Arbor, it was on the edge of affordable for me. I would call my mom distraught about the mortgage payment—it was almost impossible for me to make those payments every month. And I wasn’t being greedy: I owned a 925 square foot house and was working, keeping people alive every day in the intensive care unit, but I couldn’t afford my home.
Things got easier, but they still aren’t easy. I changed jobs and now work as a proud union nurse—having democracy in my workplace helped my family. I know it can help others. As a member of the Board of Commissioners, I want to strengthen workplace democracy. I want to examine where the county is spending money and be sure working people and families come first. When wages are stagnant and hardworking families struggle, economic justice must be our priority.
Part of this is addressing our community mental health crisis and the need to advance health justice. The 2018 county health rankings illustrated that Washtenaw county is succeeding in some measures but still has some woeful statistics to recognize and address. 14% of people in our county remain food insecure and severe housing problems remain a pressing issue. Most alarming in the county health rankings was that we are the third worst performer in terms of income inequality, which has profound public health repercussions, like increased mortality risks, cardiovascular disease, and overall poor health. As a member of the Board, I believe we would have a moral imperative to address these issues
I also want to be clear about the role of transparency and ethics on the Board. I believe in good government and transparency and want all people to feel they are represented. One of my first goals on the commission will be to address a code of ethics for board members, something many municipalities have, but Washtenaw County commission does not.
Washtenaw County can be a leader, not only statewide, but nationally. We have the best resource anywhere: people. When I am out meeting my neighbors, I have learned the most amazing things and am struck by the passion here and desire to see our community grow. And I am eager to earn your vote going forward. Please contact me if you want to talk more. My website is votekatiescott.com, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. I’m Katie Scott, running for Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in District 9 asking for your vote. Don’t forget to go the polls August 7th!