Mary Cavanagh, a Redford resident is running for State House District 10.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family:I am the grand-daughter of the former Mayor of Detroit back in the 60s, Mayor Jerome Cavanagh. I am the cousin of current Supreme Court Justice Megan Cavanagh, as well as, the daughter of former Wayne County Commissioner and Michigan State Representative Phil Cavanagh.
Occupation:Director of Project Development for New Start Construction Company, 5 years
Previous elected experience:I was previously elected as Precinct Delegate for my hometown, Redford Township
Family members in government:Yes, my mom is the current Treasurer of Redford Township and I have an Uncle on the Circuit Court and the Appeals Court.
Campaign website: http://www.MaryforMichigan.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
COVID is the most pressing issue facing our state today. I will bring much-needed resources and the basic necessities of housing, air quality, clean water, and affordable healthcare to the residents of Michigan. I will begin to ensure a healthy workforce through rapid testing and contact training, fight for instant small business relief, unemployment expansion, raised minimum wage, and create a district-wide plan that brings new businesses to my district while working with current businesses owners to open their doors safely with PPE equipment and customer health accountability. I will fight for our children to stay safe while being educated by redirecting funding from for-profit schools, demand higher state allocations and fight for the latest learning tools-from Internet and laptops to ongoing social and emotional support for students, teachers, and families.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
The other candidate is a Republican candidate. Although I would like to compare her actual stance on issues such as healthcare, affordable housing, equality for all, social justice reform, Earned Income Tax Credit, and making more resources available to hard working families, due to her inaccessibility of information, I am unable to. With no website, mailers, questionnaires, or information on her position or what she would like to do for District 10 (and Michigan), it is hard to compare the critical differences at all. I do know I have been deeply involved in public service and social activism for over 19 years in both my community and all of Wayne County, from serving with the AmeriCorps in Detroit public schools, being a direct-care provider for developmentally disabled persons, to developing projects with Mental Health Facilities, non-profits, and a construction company to revitalize communities, create jail diversion programs, offer vocational trainings, and affordable housing opportunities. I am currently an AFL-CIO advocate, an Executive Board Member for the Michigan Women’s Democratic Caucus, and a life-long member of the Michigan Democratic Party and well as the Redford Democratic Party since I was elected Precinct Delegate in 2016.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
While working in AmeriCorps, City Year, stationed at Osborn High School in Detroit, I was able to increase the graduation rate by over 30% due to our program targeted to abolish the School-to-Prison pipeline plaguing soo many of our communities. As a community organizer and volunteer coordinator for several Democratic campaigns across the city, county, state and nation, I have connected several hundreds of organizations with community leaders, was successful in bringing people together for one common cause and developed lasting relationships with social activists, political figures, and the people in my community. I serve as an Executive Board Member for the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus, as well as, have served as Redford Township Precinct Delegate. I have currently been working for over 5 years with Wayne County communities, commissions, Land Banks, non-profits, and mental health facilities to provide wrap around services for in-need residents of our community; from physical to behavioral and mental resources. In my position, I have also had the pleasure of working on projects ranging from jail diversion, mental health, vocational and returning citizens programs throughout Wayne County.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
Unemployment is still at an all-time high. COVID-19 is devastating residents across our communities and continues to put hardworking families out of work for months, perhaps indefinitely, with no promises or assurances of re-opening or what the next few months will look like on our economy and small business owners. We need to ensure a healthy workforce with rapid testing and continued contact tracing. These tactics will not only open up jobs, but allow more businesses to re-open safely and continue to stay open throughout these uncertain months. We need to fight for continued small business relief with easy access to such resources. Business owners are already going through hoops, struggles and uncertainty throughout these months, relief needs to still be available while being easily attainable. As businesses begin to re-open slowly, expanded unemployment benefits have ended with so many families still stuck without work, childcare or options. We need to continue to help those most affected by COVID, expand unemployment benefits and create a district-wide job creation plan that would focus on providing resources to those opening up, those still at home, as well as creating incentives for new businesses to open, not only in my district, but all of Michigan.
How will you address the calls for racial justice and police reform?
Absolutely. For too long we have seen racial injustice and police brutality all across our nation and for the first time in history, all 50 states stood together in the fight against such incidents. This is a crucial time to take advantage of the momentum and direct it into policy and programs that promote racial justice and police reform. I believe we are seeing small movements now in legislation getting passed, but it is still not enough, we need to incorporate community-based programs, increase de-escalation tactics, and create trainings to address racial bias and hold police officers accountable. I believe racial justice starts with police reform but carries into the courts with expungement expansion, removal of the cash bail system, abolish mass incarceration and so much more. This also extends into our schools, I believe we need to not only demilitarize our police, but also our schools to remove, yet another factor, in the school-to-prison pipeline too often seen in our public school systems.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
I just have three main focuses when it comes to issues being faced today and long-standing issues that have been affecting our communities for years; (1) Job creation, security, and stability, (2) senior protection and the basic necessities for all (healthcare, water, housing, etc.), and (3) education and prioritizing school funding. Environmental issues, as well as, criminal justice reform, are just a few focuses of my campaign and what I will be championing once in Lansing.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
As a long-term resident and proud alumni of Redford Schools, I am deeply involved in public service and social activism. I have spent over 19 years preparing for this opportunity to fight for the wants, needs, and resources my community deserves. I will continue to fight for schools, local businesses, our community, and healthcare in Lansing as the next State Representative for the 10th District in Michigan.
This article originally appeared on the Macomb Township Patch