EDUCATION: What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?
Sherry A. Wells: The 1963 Michigan Constitution created the State Board of Education to oversee education and to advise the legislature about funds needed, which advice has not been taken. Michigan ranks low in Education, especially Special Education. Michigan pays $35,000 per prisoner, but barely $10,000 per student. A progressive income tax would be fair and help fund schools. Schools should not be organized for profit, but only for investing in students. There needs to be wrap-around services; and community outreach, involvement, and oversight. Teachers need respect, pay, and better conditions for learning for their students.
ECONOMIC SECURITY: What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general, and given the pandemic?
Sherry A. Wells: What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general, and given the pandemic? A guaranteed basic income would be a “stimulus” for the economy--as Will Rogers put it in 1930, that money “trickles up” the next day. Michigan lacks skilled tradespersons to work on its infrastructure and health care workers to provide needed services--we must invest in training programs. I would implement the original Green New Deal, proposed by the Green Party, not the watered-down version. It provides for more jobs in renewable energy fields. I would give challenge grants.
ELECTIONS: What state policies do you support regarding Michigan elections, voting, and campaign funding? Do you support mailing ballots to all eligible voters?
Sherry A. Wells: States have control of the election process. I support the ballot measures that were passed. There must be an audit process--I've seen how elections should be done and was a challenger at one which was not. I support the National Popular Vote or to divide Electoral Votes by percentage, not “winner take all.” I’d implement Ranked Choice Voting (www.rankmivote.org), which assures that the winner will be so by a majority of votes. Green Party candidates pledge to take no corporate or PAC contributions—a good policy for all. Voting “at home” also gives one time to study the ballot and research--such as VOTE411.
ENVIRONMENT/ENERGY: What actions or policies do you support to protect Michigan’s water, air, and land for current and future generations? What is your position on energy efficiency and renewable energy?
Sherry A. Wells: I would implement the original Green New Deal of the Green Party (www.gp.org), not the watered-down version being touted. I would forbid fracking, favor renewable energy--which also removes oil and gas pipelines from the equation. I would hire more bridge and dam inspectors and put teeth into that law. I would make polluters pay. The Regional Transit Authority must be allowed to adopt a three-county plan to begin transit improvements for access to jobs and education. I would give challenge grants for creating solutions to use recyclables, especially plastic.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: How would you address the racial, economic, health, education, etc. inequities, including Michigan’s 20% of children and 17% of seniors living in poverty?
Sherry A. Wells: In addition to all of the above answers (all of these issues are connected): states may provide a single-payer health care plan; Michigan should--prevention is far cheaper and better. A guaranteed minimum income could pay (reasonable) rent and water bills with lower “welfare” administration costs homelessness and reduced court caseloads caused by inadequate income more so than by “deadbeats.” That money stimulates the economy. There must be community benefits clauses in every tax adjustment agreement for business.
GUNS: Do you believe that Michigan has a gun violence problem? If so, what measures would you support to alleviate this problem?
Sherry A. Wells: Yes, every time a gun is part of a suicide, a domestic violence death, a child getting access to one. We must pass the Red Flag Law that my current (and term-limited) legislator, Robert Wittenberg, proposed. We need education about gun safety. We need stronger background checks and to enforce laws against gun trafficking and fraudulent purchasing. Personally, I see no reason for assault weapons, but some voters want me to be sure that does not lead to prohibitions on all guns. My promise to voters is: "I will listen to you, learn from you and legislate for you."