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Michigan Representative District 38

Choose one candidate. Representatives in the Michigan State House serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $71,685.

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  • Candidate picture

    Kathy S. Crawford
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Amy McCusker
    (Dem)

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Biographical Information

How should the state assist other municipalities and school districts whose solvency is threatened by its financial obligations to current and future retirees?

Is the way the state funds our cities adequate to ensure safety and service delivery? If not, what changes would you support to our municipal finance model?

When cities are struggling, what is the appropriate way for the state to intervene? Should state intervention – through the emergency manager law or some other avenue – come with dollars attached? Why or why not?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the state’s response.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the federal government’s response.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you believe Michigan’s tax system is generally fair? If not, what changes do you support?

Would you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

What changes, if any, would you support in the way Michigan authorizes and regulates charter schools?

Do you favor amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you support state-level laws modeled on the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act?

Have you signed any public pledge to support or oppose any organization’s public policy objectives, such as outlawing abortion or barring any increase in taxes?

Do you support legislation to minimize or eliminate the influence of political parties on drawing lines for legislative districts?

Do you support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Do you support the renewal and/or expansion of renewable energy mandates for Michigan energy producers?

Do we incarcerate too many people in Michigan? What would you change in the criminal justice system?

City of residence Novi
Age 73
Family Husband Hugh Crawford, married for 51 years; We have three grown children, Doug, Amy and Kelly; and four grandchildren, Alexis, Devin, Mya and Amina.
Education High School graduate
Vehicles owned 2
Professional Experience A professional in the field of aging for more than 30 years; employed by OLHSA as Director of programming for 35 senior citizen centers in Oakland and Livingston counties; employed by City of Novi in 1981 to plan and implement Novi Senior Center and comprehensive services for Novi’s older adults. The very successful program resulted in building Novi Senior Center and senior housing (Meadowbrook Commons); was one of the founders of Michigan Association of Senior Centers; assisted State of Michigan in writing rules to certify professionals in field of aging; and was Michigan’s second Senior Center Director to become certified. Appointed by Congressman Thad McCotter to be delegate to 2005 White House Conference on Aging; appointed by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to conduct workshops for citizens regarding identity and theft.
Political Experience • 2007: Elected to the Novi City Council and served three years • 2010: Elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for District #9 • 2012: Re-elected for a second term on the Commission • 2014: Elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives for District #38 (98th Legislature)
Race/ethnicity White Female
Campaign Website http://www.kcrawford.org
Incumbent? true
We need to pass the same type of pension reform that the state legislators approved in 1996 – for all school district employees and for all city and state employees who still are operating under a defined-benefit pension program. In 1996, the Michigan state legislature passed a first-of-its-kind bill that froze the state employees’ defined-benefit pension fund for new members and created a defined-contribution pension system for future hires. Members already in the defined-benefit system were allowed to remain and their benefits continued to accrue as originally promised. New workers' pension contributions were put into a personal account for them to manage on their own.
Fixing the pension problem (see above answer) is one way to help support and manage the cost structure for local cities. I support a comprehensive reform plan where, in order to receive statutory revenue sharing, cities and municipalities must participate in an economic vitality incentive program that includes increased transparency to citizens, benchmarking successes, consolidating services and pension reform. State budget resources are limited. The amount of revenue sharing dollars for our cities remains inconsistent from year to year. Reforms are necessary.

I believe the City of Detroit bailout is a great “case study” in how the Emergency Manager law should work to help struggling cities. Kevin Orr was a model Emergency Manager. I believe Kevin Orr’s Leadership during a difficult bankruptcy process helped save the City of Detroit. We need a strong southeast Michigan economy, and the City of Detroit is a major part of that strategy.
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The health and welfare of Flint residents is a top priority, and I am committed to a coordinated approach with resources from state agencies to address all aspects of this situation. The State House already has approved close to $100 million to fund the Flint water crisis. We need to streamline government bureaucracies to deliver better customer service to Flint taxpayers.

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Where was federal EPA oversight of our state departments BEFORE we learned about the Flint water crisis? I believe that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to coordinate with other federal agencies to provide resources and infrastructure improvements to Flint, as we work on short-term and long-term solutions for residents.
No.
No.
I believe in creating a job-friendly environment for private business development through low taxes, streamlining government bureaucracies and reducing unnecessary and job-killing government regulations. I support the elimination of the MBT. I think that was a great step toward restoring our economy after the “Lost Decade” under Democratic control.
It’s imperative to establish an oversight board for DPS to insure maximum student achievement performance for BOTH traditional and public schools.
I believe in “school choice,” especially for inter-city students who are not getting a good education from our traditional public school system. However, I support “caps” on all charter and cyber schools, so we have time to analyze and learn what works and what doesn’t work in the classroom BEFORE authorizing more non-traditional instructional delivery systems. In terms of regulation, we also need to establish a level playing field (including transparency and accountability reporting requirements) that all Public School Academies (PSAs) and community-governed Public Schools are required to meet.
I support the current Act, but I always will consider amendments brought forward. My decisions are based on whether there is a problem that has been clearly identified, based on current data.
I believe that interests in religious freedom should be protected. I always will consider legislation brought forward by committees. My decisions are based on whether there is a problem that has been clearly identified, based on current data.
No.
Elections matter. The 2010 election was a clear message from Michigan voters that Republicans needed to fix the “Lost Decade” under Democratic control. I believe that gerrymandering abuse is more prevalent at the Federal level. Look at some of our Congressional Districts in Michigan.
Although I don’t support the use of marijuana, I respect that voters passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), and we need to follow that law in conjunction with existing Federal legislation. I think what Michigan voters wanted was compassionate care of certain classes of individuals, but some facilities fail to do this. I support prohibiting anyone with felony convictions from working inside or operating dispensaries. I believe in requiring that all potential dispensary employees to undergo background checks.
Yes. I will support my party's presidential nominee.
I believe we should use Michigan’s resources and renewable energy to help create jobs, to reduce our dependence on Middle East Oil, to create price stability for families and businesses and to protect the environment. I support broad-based energy production, but that production must protect our state's natural resources. I support an "all of the above" energy policy. We should look for abundant and more diverse sources of energy right here in our state. I am in favor of the safe production and use of natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, solar, wind and bio fuels. We should expand domestic production of all of these sources of energy.
No single solution will prevent jail and prison overcrowding in Michigan. Adequately addressing this issue will require constant vigilance and effective communication between all stakeholders and policymakers. For example, we should encourage rational planning and collaboration efforts between the state and counties that emphasize efficient and effective utilization of jail and prison resources, and that do not compromise public safety. We also should encourage law enforcement agencies, statewide, to train officers and other personnel to recognize signs of mental illness and, in appropriate situations, encourage collaboration with mental health agencies for evaluation and recommendations.
City of residence New Hudson
Age 45
Family Married for 20 years, three children - Connor 17, Aidan 13 and Declan 5
Education University of Michigan, B.S. Political Science with History and English Minors, Walled Lake Western High School
Vehicles owned Chevy Silverado Chevy Camaro
Professional Experience Public and Government Affairs/Political Consultant, Community Services Director - City of Wixom
Political Experience Current VP South Lyon Community Schools Board of Education, Past Treasurer, worked on several Presidential, Gubernatorial, Federal, State and local campaigns
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Incumbent? false
This is obviously a huge problem and the toughest one we face. Pension reform is needed but if people were promised a pension they've worked hard, earned it and deserve that pension. It was fairly bargained, committed to and needs to be funded. In general the state needs to give school districts and municipalities more local control with raising revenue and fund revenue sharing and the school aid fund better. I also think we should look at what's worked in other states. Some cities and districts have shifted to a defined contribution plan for new employees. If this works for them, the unions and the employees locally it's an option. We also must ensure fair taxes and their distribution.
No. We need to give them more local control over raising tax revenue and an improved shared revenue model. Cuts in revenue sharing has put municipalities in a no win situation. The State has cut funding making their own budget look better. Cities aren’t able to fund necessary services such as safety, public works, etc. and are forced to cut them or go out for local bond/millage revenues. It puts even more of a tax burden on local middle class families who rely on their everyday services. I understand the Great Recession greatly impacted our state budget but my biggest concern is Lansing looking at fair taxing now. The Headlee Amendment, Proposal A, have not worked and we're paying for it.
It depends on the situation as to if dollars should be attached if a city is struggling. I do disagree with the emergency manager law. It is undemocratic. The biggest problem in Lansing is how local control has been taken away - with schools, municipalities, etc. Placing an emergency manager in charge, overturning the vote of local people, has been disastrous. Just look at Flint with the water crisis and DPS. The state was in control through emergency managers. These managers have total power yet no ties to the local community. We fail when we stop listening to voters and locals who know their communities.
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A severe lack of accountability defines the Flint water crisis. Every part of state government failed the people of Flint. When the state knew there was a problem it should have been dealt with immediately. Instead a blame game and political posturing began instead of immediately addressing and fixing the problem. It can also be argued that our lack of municipal funding and emergency manager law contributed to this crisis. No one was accountable and we will pay for this tragedy for generations to come. The reaction from our community though made me proud and gave me hope. Watching people come together to deliver water, etc. (not the state) showed the true spirit of Michiganders.
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While the state enforces laws on federal drinking water the EPA certainly failed as well. As soon as the EPA was notified that lead was high they should have acted swiftly and immediately. Pressure should have been put on the DEQ and other state agencies.
No
Yes. Like thousands of Americans years ago due to family matters and medical bills we had no choice but to file.
No. I think Michigan's middle class pays far more than their fair share and this is proven by us having the most shrinking middle class in America. Over the years we've had Prop A, the Headlee Amendment, instituted a sales tax and a pension tax, raised fuel taxes, etc. Due to lack of funding we also are paying for school bonds and local millage increases. It's not worked. We need to revisit these increases and ensure tax rates that help the backbone of our society. I'd like to look at infrastructure coming out of the sales tax not a fuel tax - do trucks pay a fair share? I also think local businesses need to be supported and rewarded for staying. It must be fair across the board.
I have mixed feelings on this. The Commission would be appointed not elected which bothers me as I think local elected control anywhere is critical. With that being said I think there’s a lack of accountability and oversight without some kind of local Board or Commission. The Governor, Mayor and legislators of both parties wanted to see the DEC so it could have been a compromise. As far as public and charter schools - again they should be held to the exact same standards. The DPS legislation passed was appalling.
Charter schools should be held to the same standards as our public schools. They are currently unaccountable, allow non-certified teachers, have no oversight or transparency and locals have no voice in them. Maybe some people are ok with their tax dollars having no accountability but I am not. Using our taxpayer money to make a profit off kids’ education with no accountability or transparency is absolutely wrong. Lack of oversight and standards is not good for any of us or the future of education. Same money should mean same standards.
Yes. Discrimination and violating a person's civil rights is wrong on any level. It's not who we are as Americans or Michiganders.
No. It’s divisive and as we’ve seen creates discrimination. Protection of religious freedom as well as separation of church and state is made quite clear in our Constitution. These state level laws have not been about religious freedom but violating people’s civil rights.
No
Yes - I think it’s a travesty on the part of both parties that a bi-partisan commission wasn’t set up. The way lines are set up takes away the voice of the people. It is undemocratic and creates a complete lack of accountability to constituents. We’ve seen it time and again – votes being cast based on political party because an elected official is in a “safe” seat. They are never held accountable to the voters. I also strongly believe legislative lines have attributed to the growing animosity between parties and lack of bi-partisanship. We need a commission and lines need to be redrawn.
I think this is an issue for Michigan voters to decide. I also think rules should not have been changed to keep it and other issues off the ballot.
I'm focused on my own campaign but will. For me it's people over party and asking what's best for constituents of the 38th.
Yes. I think it not only helps our environment - critical here in the Great Lakes State but also is vital to our economy. We need to be a leader in renewable energy and it's an avenue for job creation.
Obviously the criminal justice system is a huge cost to Michiganders.I definitely think reform is needed. Compared to other states we keep non-violent offenders incarcerated far longer and at a huge expense. We need to look at if an offender is truly a threat to our society and safety based on an individual basis. My biggest concern with our criminal justice system is our lack of a mental health system and substance abuse assistance. The state has cut these programs so deeply that prison becomes the alternative. Assistance, treatment and prevention in these areas is a far better value to society as a whole and fiscally than prison.

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