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Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00

5 candidates you need to know - Brian Banks

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State Representative District 1

I plan to represent Detroit in Lansing just like I would represent Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Shores, and Harper Woods - with honor and respect for the position of state representative. What makes my district so unique is the diversity of perspectives and life experiences. I appreciate that.

Education, jobs, safety, and seniors are key issues I plan to address for my Detroit constituents.

Education - Right now, we are in a unique position and this is an excellent opportunity for Detroit to move forward. As a state representative, I would like to increase education funding. On average, the state spends up to $12,000 per student but that same young person is worth $35,000 in our penitentiary. Something is clearly wrong here and I’d like to change it. State investment in education is only part of the solution, but it helps. We Michiganders are all in this together and investing in education, especially in Detroit, is pivotal to our state’s success.

Jobs - We need to invest in Detroit. As Detroit goes, so does Michigan. As state representative, I can go to companies and say here is why you need to invest in Detroit. We are recognizing the changing economy and we are ripe for investment. The influx of jobs coming to Detroit isn’t going to Detroiters and that is a problem we have to address. When Governor Snyder campaigned, he promised to restore scholarships for our students and create jobs. As a state representative, I want to help make that a reality.

We must invest in small businesses. If you can’t find a job, then make your own. There are programs in Tech Town that help budding entrepreneurs. I’d like to increase awareness and funding for these programs.

Safety - The safety of our citizens is a priority. Residents need to feel safe from disasters and secure that, in an emergency; they will receive prompt and competent assistance. I will work to create efficiencies in public safety by (1) Fighting for the adequate funding needed to adequately staff the public safety departments; (2) Working on various programs that will rehabilitate inmates in our correctional facilities, so that they don’t commit more crimes once they are released; and (3) Working with each public safety department to establish crime prevention workshops

Seniors - Last year, the state balanced its budget on the backs of hardworking seniors while providing tax breaks for businesses. That’s not fair. All of us need skin in the game if we want to move our economy forward.

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