On August 6th a primary election will be held for the City of Grand Rapids. Milinda Ysasi is a candidate running for the 2nd ward city commission seat being vacated by Commissioner Ruth Kelly. Equity PAC is endorsing Milinda Ysasi in that primary election.
Photo credit: Dreams by Bella
Milinda brings a locally and nationally informed approach to equitable policy making. We trust that when she has to make hard decisions, she will look for wisdom from all corners of the community. We also trust she will make decisions that consider the uneven racial, economic, and political history of our community and the consequences of that history on people, today. She has demonstrated over and over again that she will look to the people for guidance. – Jeremy Moore, Equity PAC
The future of Grand Rapids needs public sector innovation. Innovation starts with walking away from the approaches that do not work, and the approaches that the people most affected do not want. During Equity PAC’s public candidate forum on July 17, Milinda Ysasi went on record to say she would not support hiring more police because hiring more police doesn’t prevent crime.
Equity PAC has done the research and Milinda is right to look away from the same talking points about policing and equity-washing that have won previous elections. Grand Rapids must continue to build a city commission that will support the evidence of what works and make recommendations based on this evidence – this means finding ways to connect people to wealth building and jobs, affordable housing, and connections to power. Milinda has spent her career and free time doing this work.
Milinda Ysasi has my wholehearted support for Second Ward Commissioner. Her experience on both the Civilian Appeals Board and the Civil Service Board, her deep understanding of employer and employee issues, her work in both private industry and the nonprofit sector, her commitment to equity, and her track record in elevating voices and promoting leadership from historically and currently marginalized sectors of the community—these are just a few of the attributes that will make her an invaluable asset to our City Commission. Dotti Clune - 2nd ward resident, community leader, and part of the Equity PAC movement
Milinda also spoke many times at the candidate forum about developing and giving power to the next generation of leadership. She has spent much of her career walking this walk as evidenced by the growth of the Latina Network, a powerful network of women across Grand Rapids that she co-founded.
Equity PAC was formed on the idea that democracy means everyone should have access to the political process, and the arena of politics in Grand Rapids needs to be re-shaped because of a particularly disparate and racialized history. Too often the path for progressive candidates in West Michigan is laid out by political strategists and power brokers that hand-pick candidates, and do so thinking that they can win without engaging people of color, vocal citizens, or divested neighborhoods. The Equity PAC leadership has personally seen this behavior play out time and time again with progressive candidates at all levels, and these observations have become our own lessons learned. Milinda is creating community networks that give political power to the community. This is the essential work of a public servant.
Milinda is a strong and thoughtful leader with a long standing record of public service in Grand Rapids city government. She has direct experience serving the residents of the city on policing with the civilian appeals board, and human resources with the civil service board. She has also worked directly on innovation in equitable hiring in her work with the SOURCE and Cascade Engineering. All of this service speaks to the heart and origins of Equity PAC’s focus on policing reform and the cities’ need to diversify its hires. – Denavvia Mojet, Equity PAC
Milinda is endorsed by current Commissioner Ruth Kelly. Milinda, like Ruth, is a fierce leader and the kind of public servant the people of Grand Rapids will be proud they elected.
Equity PAC is proud to endorse Milinda. Vote for Milinda Ysasi in the primaries on August 6th!
On July 17th, Equity PAC held a public forum at LINC UP gallery for all applicants to Equity PAC who were running for Commissioner Ruth Kelly’s seat, who is term-limited. The forum was well-attended and live streamed. Immediately following the forum, the public was invited through the Equity PAC Facebook page, website, and email to provide endorsement feedback to the Equity PAC leadership team. We received a record number of responses to our candidate endorsement survey. On July 21st, Equity PAC leadership convened to consider all input, our observations from both campaigns, and key equity concerns in Grand Rapids. 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 seeking a competitive endorsement in a public forum requires bravery. Public discourse is a vital activity for a healthy democracy and the contributions from everyone that participated in the forum is greatly appreciated.
About Equity PAC
Equity PAC is a Michigan-based, independent political action committee. Our mission is to continually increase the number of equity-minded officials, policies and practices in Michigan. To do this, we mobilize time and money to support equity-minded candidates and ballot initiatives, provide education and advocacy of equity-focused policies, and encourage direct citizen action to address a number of equity issues.