We are fortunate in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to live in prosperous communities that place a high value on education. We are also fortunate to be among strong public school systems, robust community colleges and world-class universities.
At a time when global economic challenges are growing and the world is changing fast, we can leverage our world-class learning communities to help Michigan re-design its economy and build a new foundation for the clean, green and nano technologies of the future.
When I talk to corporate leaders who’ve chosen to locate or relocate to Ann Arbor, they tell me that a talented labor pool is the most important factor in deciding where to locate. Employers - especailly great employers with high-paying jobs - are looking to locate where they can find and recruit great employees; they want their families and their employees’ families to enjoy great schools and a high quality of life.
I believe that this is the main reason why Ann Arbor has weathered our current economic climate better than our neighbors. Ann Arbor is an education community and smart people are a competitive advantage that we would be wise to cultivate. Spark, our local economic development organization even uses the tagline, “the address for innovation.” The experts know it – an educated workforce equals economic opportunity.
Just like those business leaders and many of my friends and neighbors, education is what brought me to Ann Arbor. I came to the University of Michigan to study Political Science and to hone my interest in government and how it works (or doesn’t). Now, as a father, the “culture of education” is what I value most about the Ann Arbor community. The Ann Arbor Public Schools and the University of Michigan are the most crucial pillars of our community’s continued success. Unfortunately, support for great learning institutions like these is waning in Lansing. We need leadership in Lansing that will stand up for what’s most important to us, our children and the future of our state: great schools and universities.
I believe that providing a strong and robust public education is the most fundamental role of state government. A strong system of public education promotes our prosperity, our cultural vibrancy and our quality of life. Educated citizens are happier, healthier and more successful. At its best, public education also levels the playing field – offering equal opportunity: black or white, rich or poor.
That’s why, as your Representative in Lansing, I fight to make Michigan schools and Universities the best in the world. Investing in education provides tangible benefits immediately, and in the long term.
In Lansing today, I see a willingness to shortchange what should be our first and best investments. I will make improving investment in public education a focus of my work in the state legislature. For more information on my specific proposals to support the Ann Arbor Public Schools, please click here. For more information on my specific proposals to support our colleges and universities, please click here.