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"I am running for Washtenaw County Commissioner to represent District 2.  This includes the Townships of Webster, Northfield, Salem, Ann Arbor and most of Superior Township.  It also includes small portions of the Cities of Dexter and Ann Arbor."

 LIST OF ISSUES

Economic Inequity

      Washtenaw County is displaying an issue of economic inequity. There is economic disparity throughout different areas of Washtenaw County. Everyone needs access to all resources: housing, food, water, shelter, transportation, support systems, and identification. Each resident of our community must have the basic essentials for life, as these are also human rights. Each person should have all opportunities made available. Every person regardless of race, gender, sex, class, etc. should be viewed the same in all situations. Status should not be the identity of a person. Our elected leaders have made steps towards addressing this; however more work needs to be done. One of the main issues is lack of identification. Washtenaw County has created the Washtenaw ID Program which is available to all residents. This significantly eliminates barriers to services requires identification.

Bridge the Digital Divide

     Over 50 percent of Washtenaw County, let alone the state of Michigan lacks access to high speed internet connections. This is a major issue especially for who work and live in rural areas; such as farmers, businesses, and residents. Many families in rural areas are not able to work from home or complete homework assignments without traveling a distance to a library or other places with WiFi availability, sometimes this occurs late at night. Farmers and business are unable to conduct the services they need for survival; for example, credit card transactions or website commerce. We need to expand infrastructure into these rural areas so everyone can have equal access to high speed internet which in this day and age is becoming an essential for daily life.

Mental Health

     In November 2017, Washtenaw County voters approved the Mental Health and Public Safety Millage. This millage was to provide mental health training throughout the county and to ensure adequate funding. This millage raised the awareness that everyone who needs it should be able to access mental health services. There should be no stigma around the issue of mental health. Mental Health and Public Safety are meant to work hand in hand. The ties between mental health and public safety should be that of two departments working for the betterment of all.  When we have adequate mental health services, we have a safer community. 

Roads and Transportation

     Our roads are in a state of disrepair. The increasing size and number of potholes creates safety hazards that are becoming unavoidable. Drivers are now faced with the decision to slow down to a dangerously slow speed or swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid costly damage to their vehicles. The county commission and road commission need to work together to improve this top priority infrastructure.Many areas of Washtenaw County lack acceptable access to public transportation. This issue creates a hardship for residents, especially those in rural areas. It is a challenge for all who rely on transportation for daily life. Due to this, those without reliable transportation, must find and rely on alternative transportation to various activities.

Preservation of Natural Resources and Beauty

     Washtenaw County has so much natural beauty. We need to continue to invest in outdoor facilities and parks. We need to find ways to improve infrastructure and developments of communities without sacrificing this beauty. Our natural resources are currently being demolished and diminished for the name of progress. For example: It is tragic that trees that have been in existence since before the American Revolution are being destroyed to improve the safety of our roads.  

Paid for by Tom Brennan 4 Washtenaw, 1651 Sheffield Dr Ypsilanti, MI 48198