Two More Openly LGBT Candidates Announce MI Campaigns
Originally printed 7/17/2014 (Issue 2229 - Between The Lines News)
MICHIGAN - Two more candidates have come out of the political closet. Susan Grettenberger, running for the 8th Congressional District, and Nathan Morrish, running for 34th State House Representative seat, both spoke with BTL about their pre-primary vote campaigns.
Grettenberger received her Bachelors from Albion College in Psychology and Education. She has since received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois, Chicago and Ph.D. in Social Work from Michigan State University. She currently works at Central Michigan as a Professor teaching Social Work.
At the age of three, Grettenberger and her family moved to Argentina. After moving back to the States a few years later, Grettenberger's parents decided to maintain a bilingual household, a lesson that Grettenberger feels was very valuable to her upbringing and to her personhood. She self-identifies as bilingual and bi-cultural and considers education for young people crucial for development.
Keeping the political conversation open between those who make the laws and those that are affected by them is something Grettenberger wants to strengthen. She believes we need to "treat each other better."
Grettenberger and her partner have four children, all in their twenties. And for a woman who spends much of her week speaking with and educating Michigan's up-in-coming working class, Grettenberger wants to see the living paycheck-to-paycheck model disposed of. She sees many students struggling to get through college and says that the educational system needs to change so that it can be available to everyone.
"All the things fit together for me: the economy, education, equal rights..." Grettenberger said. "We need a society where people have equal footing whether it's women, people of color, LGBT people; where people can be who they are, have their rights protected, have good jobs, have a right to healthcare, know they are going to get equal pay and not be discriminated against. "
"We need to create jobs," she said strongly. "We need an environment that is good. Yet we continue to degrade the environment in the interest of getting jobs."
As a social worker, Grettenberger says she is appalled by how working poor and middle class families have been under assault. Once in office, she intends to work hard on making that change.
Grettenberger On The Issues
In addition to increasing the minimum wage to a living wage, Grettenberger will work on making job creation and job strength a priority, create policies that encourage companies to create jobs rather than ship them overseas, work with the automobile industry to keep development and production off the next generation of surface transportation, find a solution to make social security funding last longer rather than cutting it, increase healthcare for women, stand for women's rights, diminish or eradicate the wage gap, ensure accessible, high quality education for everybody, make sure healthcare is affordable and ensure children have healthcare thanks to the ACA, improve and maintain LGBT rights, keep environmental standards strong, make sure medical and social services are funded well and are accessible to veteran and get corporate money out of politics.
Grettenberger has been endorsed by both Democracy for America and the Women's Campaign Fund. She is also a member of the Michigan Education Association.
Visit her campaign website at http://grettenbergerforcongress.com/.
Currently working as an EMT for Lapeer County EMS, Morrish is no stranger to struggle and battling the odds. He has served on the Lake Ville Community Schools Board of Education, started and co-chartered a Compassionate Friends Chapter, served as Community At Large Member for Flint Civil Service Commission and helped fundraise and volunteer for associations such as Relay for Life, American Heart Association, The Special Olympics and the Mott Park Neighborhood Association Neat Street Project. Morrish is also a National Representative for the National Association of Government Employees and International Associations of EMTs and Paramedics.
Knowing that he is up against "some top runners" with name recognition and experience in the political spectrum, Morrish is keeping his platform strong, focusing on change.
"We need change. If we are going to keep voting in the same people, we are going to have the same government," Morrish said. He is trying to convey to voters that the same actions will garnish the same results. He says he's been getting good feedback.
At a recent NAACP forum with all the candidates, Morrish came out in support of marriage equality instead of just gay marriage. Him and his partner have been together for 14 years and both have daughters who, according to Morrish, are doing great. "They aren't demented," he joked.
Morrish is passionate about repealing the Emergency Manager Bill, freeing Flint and many of the other Michigan cities who currently have an Emergency manager so they can function with the representatives and city officials that were voted into office by the people.
He believed something needed to happen with Flint, but appointing an Emergency Manager was not the right course of action.
"As a voter and resident of the city of Flint, I feel democracy is gone with this guy," Morrish said. "They are totally ignoring the city's charter, they are destroying contracts with labor unions. To me, that is not a city manager; that is a dictator. I would think that they would assist the elected officials that we put into office. They get too many powers."
Morrish On The Issues
Once elected into office, Morrish will work to repeal Right to Work, The Emergency Manager Law, see that Flint is removed from the "Worst Cities in America" list, work towards marriage equality and work on bettering education.
Morrish is currently endorsed by the National Association of Government Employees, International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, SEIU Local 5000 and Michigan Nurses Association Political Action Committee.
Visit his campaign website for more information and to get connected at http://www.morrish4michiganstaterep.com/.
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As an openly gay man, Fred Hoffman said, "I really didn't know if there would be an issue." And while he wasn't waving rainbow flags when he was recruited by Chrysler in 1988, he was told being gay wasn't a problem.View More Automotive
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