OPINION: Independent candidates needed to help clean up the partisan mess in Lansing
Your time to run for office is now. Please answer this open call to public service.
Democrats and Republicans have made a real mess in Lansing. In 2010, over 57 percent of eligible voters in Michigan did not cast a ballot. Every teacher, firefighter, trash collector and program manager who works for a public entity can give you a story of how partisan politics in Lansing have negatively affected their lives.
Students in any of the 48 school districts where the fiscal year ended in deficit have stories too. From Brighton, to Ypsilanti, to Galien Township, ask students how they feel about having more state dollars invested in prisons than in schools.
Say hello to your neighbors. Ask them about their experiences dealing with state government, your local government or school board. Chances are, the vast majority of the people you talk to will have been negatively impacted by decisions made by Democratic and Republican Party lawmakers in Lansing.
You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican to run for office.
Quite frankly, Michigan residents do not need more Democrats and Republicans. We want a diversity of opinions, positions, and a strong infusion of honesty and transparency.
Please consider running for state House as an independent, without party affiliation. You will need to collect 600 signatures from registered voters in your district and submit them for verification on or before July 19, 2012.
If you prefer to associate with a party, consider running as a Green, a Libertarian, or with the U.S. Taxpayers Party. Each will hold their state nominating conventions in June 2012.
There are many different paths to Lansing, and to public service. The most important decision you can make is deciding to serve. Campaigning for office is hard and rewarding work. We need your voice in this election. We need your voice in Lansing.
One independent serving in Lansing could help change the conversation. Five could be the decisive votes required to pass legislation in the House. Ten or more independent and third party legislators in Lansing could form a caucus to finally give voices to the silent majority of eligible voters and nonpartisans who receive no representation today.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We need you. When you ask nicely and with dedicated purpose, we will help you win.
Editor’s note: David Palmer is the founder of IndependentMichigan.org, and was an independent candidate for state House in 2010.