Christina M. Kafkakis – Michigan – State House – District 49
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. My paternal great-grandparents were immigrants who traveled through Ellis Island, and my paternal grandfather was one of the GM Sit-Down Strikers. I graduated from Carman Ainsworth High School and went on to become the first woman in my family to graduate from college, attaining a B.S. degree from Michigan State University. I worked in quality control, technical services, and then sales in the food, biotech, manufacturing, and engineering industries, before opening my own portrait photography business in 2009. My husband and I met at MSU, married in 2005, and have four children, all in Brighton Area Schools.
Why are you running for Office?
I am running in the newly drawn 49th district in the Michigan House of Representatives. As a resident of Livingston County for over 20 years, parent of four children in public schools, and a small business owner, I can bring a fresh point of view to the table. Constituents deserve a legislator with a unique voice, who represents their best interests and fights for what matters most.
What are the 3 biggest issues facing your community?
Supporting Public Education, Public Health, and the Economy.
How do you propose to solve those problems?
Collaboration — not valuing partisanship over people — is key to successfully representing constituents. I am running because I believe in the politics of possibility. I value Elissa Slotkin’s model of commonsense legislation, and working across the aisle.
If we work together, we can build a Michigan that works for us all.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
As residents in the Great Lakes State, we have a special responsibility to lead efforts to protect our fresh water. We must hold polluters accountable and invest in new technology and renewable energy.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
We need to pass legislation to require background checks on all gun purchases and secure storage practices. Prosecuting irresponsible gun owners whose devices are used in crimes would also have a significant impact.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
There are too many people incarcerated in Michigan. We need to make changes in our criminal justice system to guarantee that it is fair — we’ve seen this firsthand in Livingston County.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
Affordable and comprehensive health care for all is something that I’m personally vested in since I’ve had an experience with overwhelming medical bills. I also want to make sure that every woman has the opportunity to determine her future — from family planning to economic security.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
I will fight any attempt or effort that undermines or suppresses a voter’s right to vote.
As a small business owner, I have had the privilege of getting to know and collaborating with other entrepreneurs and community members. As parents, my husband and I built our “village” with fellow parents and neighbors, and as a volunteer, I’ve been honored to work side-by-side with other charitable-minded people.
When we invest in our communities, the whole state benefits: our economy improves, our families thrive, and we set ourselves up for a brighter future.
A great community comes together and works toward one common goal, while bettering everyone in the process. At the core is the ability to listen to one another, to review all the facts and data, and to show each other respect.
By building and sustaining relationships, and joining forces with our peers, we learn from each other and gain support. Working together to create a course of action will benefit our district as a whole.
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