Due to Michigan's absurd term limit rule for state legislators (6 years for state Representatives, 8 years for state Senators), Andy Meisner, the highly-respected rep for my district (the 27th) is term-limited as of this year.
The good news is that it's a solidly Democratic district (something like 65% Dem, I believe), and we have several good people running to replace him.
One of these candidates, Mark Richardson, sat on the steering committee of Citizens for Religious Freedom, which, as you'll recall, was the group dedicated to defeating the disturbing Berkley Nativity Display Proposal. I'm happy to say that we were successful in defeating it last November!
Mark and I got to know and respect each other over the course of the nativity battle, and he has since asked me to develop his official campaign website. I should note at this point that no, I'm not doing it for free, but I'm proud to do so, as he's a good guy and would do a great job as state Rep.
His official issue positions haven't been posted yet (they're on the way!), but reading the official press release (below) should reassure you that he's especially solid on environmental issues. I can personally attest that he's quite progressive on many other issues as well.
His official campaign launch is next Monday evening at Sila's restaurant here in Berkley. If you live in the district--or just happen to be in the area and want to lend your support--it'd be great if you could stop by!
For the rest of you, of course, the best way to help would be to toss a few bucks his way!
MARK RICHARDSON TO RUN FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE
MONDAY, JANUARY 7: Berkley resident and assistant Macomb County prosecutor Mark Richardson will formally announce his candidacy to succeed State Representative Andy Meisner at an event to be held on Monday, January 14, 6:30 p.m., at Sila’s Restaurant in Berkley.
Richardson said that key themes in his campaign will be addressing the state’s economic climate and restoring and protecting its natural resources. "I truly believe the future of our state depends on finding innovative solutions to energy use and supply, land use, and water quality problems. That, in turn, will lead to the creation of new businesses and industries, more jobs, and a better quality of life. State government must give people the tools to make all these things happen."
Richardson has been endorsed by former Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga, Berkley Mayor Marilyn Stephan, and Berkley City Councilmember Phil O’Dwyer.
"One of my highest legislative priorities will be reforming Michigan’s antiquated tax structure," Richardson said. "It is critically important to the future of our state to have a fair, equitable, and stable tax system. We simply can’t afford to repeat the budget debacle we saw in Lansing last year. We have to close wasteful tax loopholes and make the system simpler and fairer."
Richardson also expressed his desire for an enhancement of mass transit, especially along the Woodward corridor. "Not only will mass transit be beneficial to the environment, but it will also create jobs, make us more competitive in the world market, and increase property values," Richardson stressed.
A graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State Law School, Richardson rose to prominence as an environmental attorney, representing groups such as the Sierra Club, the Detroit Audubon Society, the American Lung Association, and several municipalities during his years in private practice.
In 1998 Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga hired Richardson to serve as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Water Quality. Richardson was the only assistant prosecutor in Michigan and one of very few local prosecutors in the entire country to specialize exclusively in environmental cases.
As Chief of the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Water Quality Unit, Richardson prosecuted environmental lawbreakers and represented Macomb County in civil actions in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He also helped develop governmental policies and programs and laws to protect the waters of southeast Michigan and the Great Lakes.
Richardson currently serves as Chair of the Clinton River Public Advisory Council, a group that works to restore and protect the Clinton River. Richardson has also served as a policy advisor to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. He has been a Director and Committee Chair of the American Lung Association of Michigan. He is a member of the Michigan State Defense Force.
"I have dedicated my career to protecting the interests of ordinary people as a prosecutor, as an attorney, and as a public policy advocate," said Richardson. "I have the experience and the dedication to lead the fight for better jobs, better schools, better health care, and better communities on behalf of the people of the 27th district."
"Andy Meisner has done a good job representing the people of this district in Lansing," added Richardson. "It’s unfortunate that term limits are removing experienced and dedicated people like Andy from office. I will be proud to succeed him."
Richardson and his wife Susan have two grown children. They have been involved in many community activities in Berkley including Berkley Dads Club, Berkley Moms Club, Berkley Hoops, scouting, and other volunteer groups.
The 27th State House District includes the southeast Oakland County communities of Berkley, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, and Pleasant Ridge.
Campaign Website: http://www.richardsonforstatehouse.com
On the web: http://www.richardsonforstatehouse.com