State Rep. Candidate Wants to Focus on Economy
Goodrich resident Ryan Starski is running for the 51st District House of Representatives.
In the following days, Fenton Patch will introduce the area candidates running for public office in the upcoming election.
Today, we meet Ryan Starski, Democratic candidate of the 51st District House of Representatives, who will challenge Steve Losey for the position in the Aug. 7 primary for the right to compete for the position in November.
You can read about other candidates and the latest election news on Fenton Patch.
How long have you lived in the area?
Goodrich for 14 years
Why did you want to run for office?
I am seeking this seat because Michigan has been falling apart; our residents are leaving the state in droves to find jobs elsewhere and are communities are losing their foundations. I want to see families stay together. When a kid comes back from college, they should be able to stay close to their family when finding a job and starting a family. We are the only state in the United States to lose people in the 2010 Census. Many of the people leaving were young adults finding jobs or starting new businesses in other states, starting families in other states. It isn’t only the recent college graduates leaving but also people who have been laid off. The jobs lost in the last decade in Michigan have pushed many families that were rooted here, to leave.
What personal and professional experiences make you qualified to hold that position?
I worked for Republican candidate James Swenor when he ran against Paul Scott for Michigan State Representative in 2008. In 2009, I worked for then, Democratic State Senator Hansen Clarke in Lansing.
What is the most important issue and what do you intend to do about it during your term in office?
The economy is the most important issue. So much so it is the foundation for my three points of my platform. The first is to remove the tax on retirements and pensions. In bringing this up, it will probably spring a lively discussion about the tax structure in Michigan, the property tax and sales tax included. I don’t want to be a politician to say to remove a tax without explaining where the revenue will be made or what we will cut, I want to tell you what I think will happen with the information I have to make sure the constituents understand and to be as open as possible with the information. The second is to focus our current tax breaks for businesses that will provide jobs for recent graduates or people who have been laid off. The reality is there are many jobs in Michigan, but many of those jobs are minimum wage and a family can’t live off minimum wage nor can a recent graduate pay off the student loans that range from $30,000 to more than $100,000 of debt. We need to focus on jobs that are going to keep people here and be able to raise or sustain a family. The third is to maintain the budget for education. Educations being the building blocks for future generations and without raising an educated generation our businesses are not likely to succeed when the generation turns into adults. School boards need to know how much money they will receive to run the next school year and unfortunately our legislature has turned it into a political football so they don’t always know. What I am proposing is that an amendment be submitted legislatively to have education have a hard minimum percentage (Suggested idea by an attendant at my town hall meeting in March). We all want our children to succeed, especially in education. I am proposing we make sure partisan politics doesn’t undermine our kids’ future.
What is your vision for the area, where do you see the area in 10 or even 20 years, and what does the area need to do now to realize that vision?
I see a thriving community. I see graduates coming back to the community because they can find jobs close to their families. I see jobs being provided at every level and our community growing. I do not know how long this will take but it is something I want to see and will work to make it happen. In order for this to happen, we as a community will have to trust and support one another regardless of party affiliation and prejudices. We need to support our small businesses, help those struggling with job loss with resources that enable not unable, make sure our farmers are supported, ensure our roads are up to date, and be active in local politics with an open mind but passionate motives. We are all part of a community, we encourage people to be the best while helping the least of us rise, because a community is not graded on how much success at the top it has but how well off the least among us are.