Due to state-mandated term limits, Rebekah Warren's tenure in the Michigan State Senate is coming to the end. But, she believes her work in Lansing is far from over. WEMU's David Fair talks to Warren about her announcement to run for the Michigan House of Representatives.
Warren's official press release Announcing candidacy:
WARREN KICKS OFF FOR THE 55TH HOUSE SEAT
ANN ARBOR – Term-limited State Senator Rebekah Warren kicked off her campaign for the 55th District State House of Representative seat last evening at Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor. The 55th District encompasses parts of the cities of Ann Arbor and Milan and Ann Arbor, Augusta, Pittsfield and York Townships. It is currently held by Adam Zemke, who is also term limited.
“Standing up for our values in today’s environment requires a steel backbone, and winning progress takes honed policy craftsmanship and real political savvy,” Warren said, announcing her campaign. “Now more than at any time in recent memory, progressives need experienced, tempered and trusted leadership in Lansing – to defend the progress we’ve made and advance our cause in an increasingly hostile environment.”
Warren has served eleven years in the state Legislature in both the House and Senate. Prior to becoming a legislator, she was a nonprofit director and a staff member in the House of Representatives.
Known for being both progressive and pragmatic, Warren has developed a reputation as a strong liberal who can work across the aisle to find common ground and make a difference on the major issues facing Michigan. Inside Michigan Politics has ranked her among the Legislature’s most liberal members throughout her service, and no currently-serving Democrat has had more bills signed into law, despite the fact that she has served in the minority party since 2010.
Warren’s legislative record is impressive for its breadth, but she is also widely recognized for advancing complex pieces of policy. She shepherded the passage of the Great Lakes Compact – called by Inside Michigan Politics “the most important environmental legislation in 40 years”– and its accompanying Water Withdrawal statute, for which she received Trout Unlimited’s Hexagenia Award – making her only the second woman in Michigan history—and the only legislator ever- to be honored this way. She helped create the Parks Passport legislation which shored up funding for the Department of Natural Resources, and working closely with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Warren advanced a major package of mental health and wellness policy reforms that restructured how the state approaches mental health, substance use disorders and autism and, more recently, established a licensure system to ensure that only qualified professionals will be providing autism spectrum disorder treatment.
“I am very proud of all the things I've been able to accomplish in a divided Legislature, but my work is unfinished, and our community and our values need aggressive representation in Lansing,” she said. “I will always be a consistent, progressive liberal, and I will always prioritize getting things done, working across the aisle when we can and should do that.”
As she kicks off her campaign, she is proud to have the support of many of the area’s trusted elected officials, including State Representatives Donna Lasinski and Ronnie Peterson, and Yousef Rahbi and Washtenaw County Commissioners Felicia Brabec, Andy LaBarre and Conan Smith.
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