Soapbox Summer 2018 - Michelle Deatrick

Jul 23, 2018

Michelle Deatrick would like to represent you in Michigan's State Senate.  This is the candidate's submission to WEMU's 2018 Soapbox Summer.  

I’m Michelle Deatrick, candidate for Michigan State Senate and Vice Chair of the County Commission. 

My passion and life work are to build a better future for the community.  I’m a former Peace Corps Volunteer and mom with a strong background in public policy.  I’m also a farmer, writing teacher, and award winning poet. 

The strategy of the corrupt politicians in power in Lansing and DC is to overwhelm us with crisis after crisis, until we get used to a new status quo of underfunded schools and underpaid teachers, of poisoned water and polluted air—of the disaster that is our roads and of the horror of mass killings in our schools.  They want us to be used to the tragedy of the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the destruction of the middle class.  

My parents are my inspiration.  I had a teenage mom.  My dad worked two jobs while I grew up.  My mom took night classes tuitio-free, earning the first college degree in either family; I started working at the age of 12 and worked through high school and college.  Thanks to federally guaranteed student loans, when I graduated, I could afford to join the Peace Corps and go on to graduate school. 

My family is living testament to something Lansing and DC have lost sight of: government can be a force for equality and compassion and for prosperity.  The problems we’re facing are the direct result of choices made by our elected leaders. 

I stand out in this race as the candidate who offers a different way forward, creating the change we so urgently need, both in the picket line and at the podium, as a longtime activist and an elected leader.  I am the Co-founder of the Michigan Small Farm Council, fighting for the rights of small, organic and sustainable farms. After the last presidential election, I took the lead and organized the Ypsi March against Trump and the Ann Arbor Women's Marches in 2017 and 2018.  Thousands rallied and protested.  

Our youth are rising up, and I’m mentoring, training, and working alongside the new generation of organizers who so inspire us.  When EMU lecturers were threatened with 25% pay cuts, I stood with them.  When fracked gas pipelines put our schools and a summer camp in danger of a pipeline accident, I stood with the community and fought back.  

We need a state senator who can see through the corporate hype.  I have a master’s degree and years of experience in public policy--and I’m hard to fool.  Your state senator should be responsible to you, not to big business donors.  I don’t take money from the NRA, fossil fuel industry, or corporations.  My track record shows that I work collaboratively to get things done.  I’ve successfully worked on measures to improve the county’s mental health care, put fresh local farm food on school children’s plates, keep the lights on and the water running for families in need, and uphold the Paris Climate Accord. 

I have the grit, the policy chops, and the fierce, resilient love for our community to fight in Lansing with you and on your behalf for clean air and water, a thriving public education system, healthcare for everyone, and an economy that works for all.   

Together, we can create a better Michigan.  I’m Michelle Deatrick.  I would like to earn your support in my run for State Senator.  Let’s take our next steps together.