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Michigan Representative District 9

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

    Sylvia Santana
    (Dem)

  • James Stephens
    (Rep)

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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 Detroit
Age 36
Family Harvey Santana (spouse) Sofia, Olivia, & Samuel (children)
Education Eastern Michigan University B.B.A., Finance
Vehicles owned Chevrolet Traverse
Professional Experience Worked in the financial industries for several years including, home mortgages, taxation, valuations, claims, and commercial lending.
Political Experience Alumni, MPLP 2015 Fellows Alumni, CPL 2012 Fellows Worked on several campaigns in City of Detroit -Kenneth Cockrel re-election to City Council -Freeman Hendrix- Mayor of City of Detroit, volunteer & poll worker -OFA, 2008 & 2012 -Leslie Love Smith for Southfield School Board, Advisory role -Rashida Tlaib -re-election State Representative, volunteer Harvey Santana for State Representative 2010,2012, &2014 David Knezek for State Representative, 2012
Race/ethnicity African American
Campaign Website http://www.votesantana.com
Incumbent? false
The state of Michigan is ultimately responsible for the financial health of a school district and to financially struggling municipalities. If the state decides to appoint an EM the state should also revisit PA4 and amend the law to require EM's to work with the locally elected legislative body. We know that EM's avoid contact with the legislative body and ultimately this leads to deep mistrust.
Revenue Sharing is a deeply debated subject in Lansing. The city of Detroit has over the years lost millions of dollars in revenue sharing because of consistent changes to the revenue sharing formula. Some will argue that the reason Detroit went into bankruptcy is because of the cuts to revenue sharing.
Emergency management duties should include a logic model and a plan for economic revitalization for failing cities. Public Act 4 should be repealed and/or revisited. PA4 should require the EM to work with the legislative body and not to ignore them. The fact that an EM is being appointed to the municipality is a clear indication that there is significant financial distress. The common formula for an EM is to cut the budget, reduce services and privatize where they can to achieve immediate costs savings. The EM's do this with the expectation that the accounting sheets are balanced but there is never a plan for long term growth on the revenue side.
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It is obvious that the Governor's office completely mishandled the entire disaster. At every level there was a level of blunder. As always, elected officials should stand and tell the people the truth when something of this magnitude happens.
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The Federal government's response was inappropriate with the lack of financial investment to fix the problem.
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In recent years the Michigan legislature has made changes to the MBT and in my opinion it is too early to fully understand the benefits if any to our state economy.
Yes.
Charter schools should be held to the same standards as public schools.
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