2021 Equity PAC Endorsments

Every election cycle is a significant opportunity to advance equity in our local community. It’s a chance to support equitable policies and elect leaders to fight for the outcomes needed to reimagine broken systems. As we continue through the uncertain times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, that opportunity is more important than ever. With that in mind, Equity PAC is happy to announce our endorsement of 4 candidates seeking elected office in Kentwood in the November 2nd, 2021 General Election!

Every election cycle is a significant opportunity to advance equity in our local community. It’s a chance to support equitable policies and elect leaders to fight for the outcomes needed to reimagine broken systems. As we continue through the uncertain times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, that opportunity is more important than ever. With that in mind, Equity PAC is happy to announce our endorsement of 4 candidates seeking elected office in Kentwood in the November 2nd, 2021 General Election!

Emily Bridson has been serving as a 1st Ward Kentwood City Commissioner since 2017. She is currently a member of the Kent County’s City/County Building Authority, Kentwood Arts Commission, and Vice-Chair of Kalamazoo County’s Solid Waste Committee. Emily Bridson has also served on the Kentwood City Planning Commission as well the Parks and Recreation Commission. Her institutional knowledge and intentional approach to engagement and accountability are qualities that resonated with both the Leadership Team and Community during the interview process. We believe as Mayor, Emily Bridson’s experience and vision will be vital in crafting equitable policies in Kentwood and are excited to support her candidacy. 

Leonica Riley Erwin will be familiar to supporters of Equity PAC. We endorsed her 2020 candidacy when she ran for the Kentwood Public School Board. Leonica has spent decades advocating for equity and inclusion. She knows the importance of partnering directly with affected communities to help address issues around mental health, substance use, and domestic violence. Her direct lived experience and vision are precisely the type of leadership needed on the Kentwood Commission. It’s why we endorsed her in 2020, and we couldn’t be happier to support her again in 2021.  

Meochia Thompson is a new candidate for Commissioner in Kentwood. While it may be her first campaign here in Michigan, her vision and approach are thoughtful. Her passion for community engagement and commitment to honestly representing the diverse community of Kentwood stood out to us during the interview process. “She is as authentic a candidate as I can remember!” one endorsement survey responder wrote. We couldn’t agree more and are pleased to support Meochia Thompson for 1st Ward Commissioner in Kentwood.

Dan VanderMolen is also a new candidate for Commissioner in Kentwood. He is currently on the Kent County Community Action Advisory Governing Board and the United Church Outreach Ministry board. He also has experience serving on the board for Garfield Park Neighborhoods Association. Through the years, he’s partnered with organizations and community groups to address economic disparities, food insecurity, and unhealthy living standards. If elected, we believe his clear vision and dedication will be an asset to the commission and advancing equity in Kentwood. 

 

Equity PAC is committed to supporting these four candidates through financial resources and volunteers as needed. If you’d like to get involved, consider making a donation and/or tell us how you’d like to get involved by emailing us at [email protected]!

To view a map of the voter precincts and wards in Kentwood, click here

Don’t know where you need to vote? Follow this link and enter the information to find out. 

If you have questions on how to vote Absentee, follow this link

 

Our Process

Equity PAC started the endorsement process earlier this year, asking candidates to submit applications for endorsement. The Leadership Team then reviewed those applications and held virtual interviews with the applicants. After the interviews, the Leadership Team decided what candidates would go on to the Candidate Forum.

Equity PAC held a virtual forum via Facebook Live stream on July 28th. Immediately following the forum, the public was invited to provide endorsement feedback to the leadership team. Then, on August 5th, the Equity PAC leadership Team convened to consider all input and key equity priorities to make our final decisions. 

We thank all candidates who applied for endorsement and those who participated in the public forum. The transparent action of applying and expressing your opinions as a candidate requires courage. Public discourse is vital to a healthy democracy. To everyone who participated in the forum - from candidates to the public to those working on the technology behind the scenes - your contributions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  • Russell Olmsted
    published this page in Blog 2021-08-06 16:03:02 -0400

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