We need a leader who listens:

Since the start of the campaign, Sarah has been having conversations with hundreds of citizens in the 98th district, and these conversations have been with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

The listening sessions have included young voters and mature voters, business owners and scientists, parents, and teachers. They have involved farmers, immigrants, and people of different faiths, races, economic status, and sexual orientation.

The conversations have revealed the wonderful diversity in our community, and how much we care about each other in the 98th.

We need a leader who rejects the fallacy of false choices:

A true leader understands that partisan divide is not good for democracy, and that good ideas come from both sides of the aisle.

A true leader understands that public schools are critical to our state, and that we must work with educators and legislators to fix what is broken in our education system.

They know that we don’t have to choose between the 2nd amendment and safety. There is plenty we can do to keep our communities safer from gun violence at the state level – AND still affirm the right to own guns responsibly.

A leader knows that we don’t have to choose between supporting businesses and the rights of workers. Companies that have fair benefits and salaries have workers who are more productive, engaged, and committed. As a result, business benefits – which benefits the whole community. We can have healthy businesses AND healthy workers!

A leader realizes we don’t have to choose between corporate profits and a clean environment. There are ways for companies to flourish AND treat our environment more respectfully.

A leader is willing to LISTEN to and meet with constituents – even over disagreements. True listening implies a willingness to thoughtfully change your position. Leadership includes having the integrity to weigh all facts and ideas, then do what is right.

A good leader knows we are more united than divided in our common interests and guiding principles, and is driven by this foundational ideal. A good leader seeks to work together rather than retreating to ideological corners.

Sarah Schulz will be that leader for you! She will work every day to get our policies, our politics, and our priorities moving forward.

Let Teachers Teach

Our teachers need to be supported and resourced, our students need to have an equal chance at success no matter their zip code, and our schools need to be safe places that create the environment most conducive to learning.

Teachers feel devalued from having their jobs legislated by people with no experience in the classroom, their pensions threatened, their pay frozen, and their credentials questioned.

Educators are professionals with one of the most important jobs there is: teaching and supporting our children so that someday, our kids can grow and positively contribute to society. Yet, instead of helping teachers prosper, we have held them to effectiveness standards that are unattainable given the number of resources they have and the many factors that are beyond their control. 

No wonder Michigan is facing a critical teacher shortage! We need to support our teachers and find realistic ways for schools to be accountable for student success. We need to look at our standardized testing process and its impact on the students, the teachers, and the school climate.

Sarah plans to work with teachers to come up with performance metrics that help them achieve student success. She believes in a system that respects the teaching profession.

Increasing School Resources

Our schools need resources to keep them competitive in the national and global market. These resources take the form of teachers and support staff of course, but they also include health, nutrition, and counseling support. Let’s give our children the best possible jump-off point to achieve their dreams.

Higher Education and Trade Schools

Sarah supports increasing funding for higher education, but also increasing support for our trade and vocational schools. As a Human Resources executive, she knows every person has skills to bring to the table, and we should be investing in those skills, whatever they may be.

Working Families

Sarah Schulz stands with working families as they seek secure, stable futures through hard work and good jobs that allow for savings and retirement. People should not have to have three jobs to earn a living wage. 

Protecting Pensions

Our pensioners have worked their entire lives to receive their benefits, and we must fulfill those promises. Our public servants, like police officers and firefighters, deserve to retire with peace of mind. I will protect current and future pensions, and fight to repeal the Pension Tax.

Living Wage

We are told that higher wages mean fewer profits, but that’s not true. Sarah’s 17 years in human resources have taught her that the most productive and efficient workers are those who feel safe and secure in their financial future. Sarah will fight for legislation to empower Michiganders with a living wage.

Equal Pay

In her current position, Sarah worked hard to achieve 100% gender pay for equal positions, though in the greater labor market it is typical to see salaries for women at less than 80% of men. Sarah believes in equitable pay, and once in Lansing, will fight to make sure workers are compensated equally throughout Michigan. 

Right to Work

Sarah’s dad, uncle, and grandfather were all auto workers and active union members. Sarah grew up in Flint, where everyone’s dad wore their local numbers proudly on their baseball hats and coats, and where the story of the sit-down strikes was taught in elementary school.

Sarah’s husband is in the teacher’s union. Her sister is in the nurses’ union. She has spent her career in HR because she believes that work – the thing we dedicate more time to than even our families – should be humane, rewarding, safe, and fair. Sarah believes that unions help us achieve those goals, and fully supports repealing Right to Work.

Overtime Fairness

Michiganders work hard. We keep the world moving. Employees that go above and beyond should be compensated. Sarah supports legislation that raises the salaried overtime threshold amount to twice the full-time annualized minimum wage. This will allow more people to take advantage of the overtime benefit, and be rewarded for their Michigander “never stop” attitude.

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Complete Care

Sarah stands for Complete Care for everyone – including quality child care, health care, and elder care – because no one should worry about their loved ones getting the care they deserve.

Elder and Child Care

Like most working families, when Sarah’s children were in full-time daycare, the daycare costs were more than their house payments. When it was time to move her grandmother into assisted living, her family struggled to find a place that was affordable, and that could give her the care she deserved. 

We need a system that will protect our most vulnerable citizens. Our seniors and our children deserve access to high-quality healthcare, and families deserve access to child and elder care that allows them to contribute to society without worry. That is why Sarah supports a plan for universal family care.

Medicaid Expansion & The ACA

Medicaid Expansion has increased coverage to over 600,000 Michiganders. Healthcare creates a more productive and healthier workforce, and disease doesn’t discriminate – anyone can become ill, and they shouldn’t be penalized with higher premiums that don’t cover pre-existing conditions. The ACA has areas that need to be re-worked, but it also provides a more fair and comprehensive health insurance system. We must work across the aisle to fix the areas that are broken. 

We need to guarantee and expand access to quality healthcare for all. Sarah will work to protect Medicaid Expansion in Michigan.

Mental Health Resources

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and we need to treat it the same way. Sarah will proudly stand against the privatization of our state’s mental health services, working with our mental health professionals to determine the resources they need to support their critical work. 

Opioid Crisis

The Opioid Crisis is quickly becoming one of our nation’s biggest health crises. Between 2015 and 2016, deaths due to overdose increased by 54%. We must not ignore this issue anymore.

We need to invest in treatment, and programs that de-stigmatize addiction, so that those who need help will reach out and receive it. We must also work with doctors and pharmacies to track opioid prescriptions.

21st Century Infrastructure

Sarah stands for a 21st century infrastructure program because only by investing in our state can we build a future for our children, and make Michigan competitive in the global economy.

Michigan’s Roads

The State of Michigan needs to invest in its roads. Our roads carry our families and they carry our trade. Driving to the Upper Peninsula is truly a part of the Michigan Story, and that experience of the Michigan roadways is something that we need to protect. Sarah promises to support our investment in Michigan’s roadways.

Broadband Internet Access

A 21st-century infrastructure is one that allows us to connect to each other faster and easier than ever before. Whether it be for your small business, your child’s homework, or connecting with your grandparents in Florida, investing in our broadband internet access makes a more productive and connected state.

In our district, there are areas that do not even have access to at least 10mps. Sarah believes in increasing support for expanding access and competition in broadband markets.

Water Safety

Sarah feels a special connection to the City of Flint because it was her childhood home. She’s expressed sadness and anger towards what happened to that great city, but Flint is not an outlier. Our water infrastructure is aging quickly, and we must be proactive, not reactive.

We must invest in our water infrastructure, and investment is one of Sarah’s top priorities.

Local Revenue Sharing

Our local governments provide services that our State or Federal Governments cannot, and because of this they are so important to our communities.

They pick up the trash and mow the cemeteries of our loved ones. They provide services that keep our communities moving, but over the last 10 years, revenue sharing has dropped by around $100 million.

We must restore our local communities, and to do this, Sarah pledges to restore our local revenue sharing payments to at least their 2008 level.

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Green Industry

Sarah believes the green industry has the power to provide the jobs of the future, while helping guarantee a stable and clean earth for our children by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Green Technology

Midland is the City of Modern Explorers, and the newest frontier for our industry sector is green technology. Michigan once built the cars that carried the United States into the future. Sarah believes that with investment and public-private partnerships, we can build the components to create the green industry of the future in the 98th district.

Our district can create the jobs of the future. Sarah believes in supporting our businesses and our future, and that our future can be in green technology.

Job Training

As our economy grows and advances, so do the skills required to take part in it. The labor market is constantly changing in this global economy. To stay competitive, we need a skilled workforce.

Local industry wants to hire local people, but they need the skills. Job training programs are vital to a healthy workforce and keeping people in this great state.

Environmental Justice

We are the Great Lakes State, and our great lakes are our most prized resource. We must protect them and preserve them for future generations.

Sarah will support our future governor’s decommissioning of the dangerous Enbridge Line 5 Oil Pipeline as we search for a safer solution for our children and for our state’s tourist economy. Sarah will also support Michigan’s entrance into the US Climate Alliance. 

Sarah on the 2nd Amendment:

I’ll be the first to admit that the issue of gun safety – like almost all issues today – is a complex one. It is certainly not black and white for me.

On the one hand, I have personal experience with gun violence. When I was 16, my favorite uncle was walking into a convenience store in Flint, MI, when 5 young people rushed out. He stood in the parking lot as the people who had just robbed the store got into their car. When they got on the street and stopped at the corner, one of them leaned out the back window and shot him in the stomach with a shotgun.

My uncle picked himself up off the parking lot and staggered into the store to ask the clerk if she was okay before collapsing on the floor and dying. I wasn’t there in that parking lot that night – but I have imagined that event so many times that it is almost like I was there. Though it was 25 years ago, the scene often flashes across my mind almost every night as I lay my head on my pillow. And, so when I was 16, I saw firsthand what guns can do to a person I loved, and how that effect can devastate a family. My uncle had two children who were 6 and 4 when he died, as well as a wife and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and parents and friends. None of us made it through that night untouched.

On the other hand, I grew up around guns. My dad is a hunter. We used his 10-point mount as a coat rack when I was a kid. My sister is also a hunter, as is her husband. I have life-long friends who are police officers and friends and family in the military. Many people in my life are responsible gun owners, and they have every right to stay that way.

Here’s the thing – even though this is a complex issue, I fully reject the idea that we can’t do anything to make it better. I think complex issues require complex solutions, and arriving at those solutions is hard work, and will require deep consideration and collaboration – but they are achievable if our leaders do the actual work of leadership. There is no one solution that will solve everything that needs to be fixed about gun safety, but just because not one thing will solve everything, we shouldn’t throw up our hands and do nothing.

I believe it is the duty of our government to do the hard work of finding the balance between the right to own guns responsibly and the right to be safe.

We need to consider all angles of this issue — from background checks to school safety to mental health to domestic violence to red flag laws to technology to education. We should put all of it on the table and find the adaptive and multi-pronged solution that makes sense – that will keep us all the safest while protecting a fundamental right. That’s why I respect organizations like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – because they aren’t anti-gun, and they aren’t pro-gun – they are pro-gun sense and pro-gun safety. And I’m so proud that they have identified me as a Gun Sense Candidate.

There’s been a fundamental failure of the most sacred duty of government to protect its citizens – and in particular its children. We need to elect people who are willing to open up this discussion and actually consider what’s best for our communities. People who are beholden to the voters and not to the gun lobby or other special interests.

We need to elect leaders with the ability to find the complex solutions needed for complex problems and work with people with different views to understand their perspectives and arrive at a mutual decision. We sadly seem to be in short supply of these leaders in Lansing and in DC, and I hope with this next election we will change that. Because there is a way to arrive at the right mix of solutions that prioritizes safety and still affords the right to own guns responsibly.

I’m willing to work with my colleagues in Lansing on both sides of the aisle to find that solution. Our children are counting on us to get it right.

Sarah on Reproductive Rights/Abortion:

I am pro-life. By that, I mean that in addition to seeking to eliminate the need for abortion in our world, I am pro-health care, pro-education, pro-living wage, and pro-being a decent human to other humans after they are born.

If someone is singularly focused on birth and not feeding a hungry child, housing a homeless family, and making sure all children get a quality education, then that person is pro-birth, and not pro-life.

We must work toward a day where the need for abortions is eliminated. To do this we need to invest in education, contraception, and maternal health care.

We need to end the cycles of poverty and abuse and neglect. We need to eliminate health complications that put mothers’ lives at risk by investing heavily in maternal medicine research – especially for women of color who die in childbirth at rates 3 times higher than white women.

We need to turn elements of our culture that objectify women into a culture that elevates and respects them so that rape, sex trafficking, and sexual abuse no longer exist.

We need to create a society where all pregnancies are wanted, and all expecting mothers are safe during their pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum.

Until we eliminate any need to terminate a pregnancy, then the ability to do so must be available to women – and the decision should be the woman’s alone.

When I was in my 20s I worked for the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City for about 18 months as the HR Director and office manager. This was during the only 5 years of my life I lived outside of Michigan.

My job there was to run the back office, conduct interviews, make sure the coffee and copier toner got ordered and manage the receptionist and the mailroom workers.

CRR is a non-profit human rights law firm that represents clients in national and internal reproductive justice cases. In the short time, I was there, CRR represented women in the U.S. who had been denied their right to contraception, quality prenatal care, and abortion services.

CRR also represented women internationally who were the victims of forced sterilization as a form of ethnic cleansing. The mission of CRR was and is to use the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. They work to expand access to reproductive healthcare, including birth control, safe abortion, and prenatal and obstetric care. Though I was there only a brief time and my role was very limited, I couldn’t be prouder to have worked there.

We know that countries with the most restrictive abortion laws have the highest rates of abortion, and that easier access to birth control drives down abortion rates. We also know that in the United States one in 4 women will make the decision to have an abortion by age 45, and that a good number of those women are already moms. So, it is likely we all know a woman who has had to face that toughest of choices even if they haven’t disclosed it.

When asked about reproductive rights, the face of a woman who is very close to me comes to my mind. She was a mom already and the birth of her first child almost killed them both. She was told that she and her husband could never conceive again and when they did they were terrified – with good reason – that if they went forward with the pregnancy, their first child would be left without a mom. She agonized over this decision but made the heart-wrenching choice to terminate her pregnancy.

We must trust women to consult with their doctors and make the best decision in their unique circumstance. Government has no place in that conversation.

I agree with Sister Joan Chittister, a Catholic Nun, who said, “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

Factual articles regarding abortion:

Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal

US abortion rates fell 25% from 2008-2014

Abortion rates are at an all-time low, thanks largely to better access to birth control

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