Affordable housing, employment, health care, and public transportation were the focus of three candidate forums sponsored by Northern Lakes CMH and the Consumer Advocacy Council (CAC) during October.
Consumers facilitated the events in a large variety of ways, including determining the questions to be asked of candidates:
- HOUSING – Affordable housing is a concern throughout Northern Michigan. What is your experience regarding this issue? What can you do, if elected, to advocate for the developent of affordable housing?
- EMPLOYMENT – People are losing their jobs every day due to the current economy. How can the government body to which you hope to be elected stimulate the local/state economy to produce good jobs?
- HEALTH CARE – Approximately 48-50 million Americans are without access to health care. What do you propose to address this serious problem? Do you support mental health insurance parity?
- TRANSPORTATION – Public transportation is important to many residents of our community. It is a lifeline to get to work, shop, go to the doctors, or meet with friends. What do you see as the future of public transportation in the community you represent?
- EXTRA QUESTION – Considering the divisive partisan politics being played out at all levels of government, how will your election be different?
We thank the 19 candidates who participated and the community moderators who helped us! Here are the people who were involved:
In Traverse City on October 10, Jane Hayes was moderator. Participating were Grand Traverse County Commission candidates Bernol Soutar, Ross Richardson, Phil Scott, and Don Dierkes; Leelanau County County Commission candidates Richard Schmuckal, Jackie Freeman, and Melinda Lautner; Michigan House of Representatives 104th District candidates Wayne Schmidt and Roman Grucz.
In Cadillac on October 15, Ken Nydam was moderator. Participating were Wexford County Commission candidate John Saari; Missaukee County Commission candidate Richard Renner; Michigan House of Representatives 102nd District candidates Darwin Booher and Nate Heffron; and U.S. House of Representatives 2nd District candidate Fred Johnson.
In Houghton Lake on October 28, Joe Fields was moderator. Participating were Roscommon County Commission candidates Richard Shutter and Pam Stephan; Michigan House of Representatives 103rd District Dave Ryan and Joel Sheltrown; and U.S. House of Representatives 4th District Ashton Strohkirch representing candidate Dave Camp.