Meet the Candidate: Sarah May-Seward (MI)

7 mins read

Sarah May-Seward Michigan State House/Assembly 51st District

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a life-long resident in our district. I grew up in Highland and Milford and my daughter and I are both proud Milford High School graduates. I currently live in White Lake with my husband (Nick), a firefighter in Hamtramck, my daughter (Gabbie), and our dogs, cats, pig, pheasants, turkeys and chickens. I am a bartender in a local bar. I currently sit on the Citizens Advisory Committee for Oakland County’s Neighborhood and Housing Development and am a member of the Oakland Community Health Network Board. I have been a democratic precinct delegate in White Lake since 2018 and when COVID 19 shut down Michigan bars and restaurants I volunteered as the One Fair Wage Unemployment lead, helping tipped workers navigate Michigan’s UIA/PUA system.

Why are you running for office?

I am running to represent my community in the Michigan House of Representatives because we deserve a rep that cares about all of us, not just people that voted for them, and not just when election season comes around. I’m running because this is the community that raised me. When I was a kid without enough to eat, when our home burned down, when my adoptive parents weren’t safe for me, this community stepped up. It’s my turn to step up for them. I’m running because as a bartender and as a mom to a kid with disabilities, I don’t shy away from service, and hard work, and I certainly don’t turn my back when it comes to fighting to protect the people I serve.

What are the three biggest issues facing your community?

Three of the biggest issues facing my community are:
1) Water contamination
2) Lack of affordable, accessible housing
3) Absence of federal, state and county-funded resources and services

How do you propose to solve those problems?

1) We need to clean up the existing contamination first. There are both state and federal funds available for these projects, we just need representation that will put our beautiful lakes and rivers at the top of their list of priorities and fight funding to be earmarked specifically for us. I’m your girl. Then we need to enforce our environmental policies and laws regarding polluters, and ensure that they are responsible for and follow through with any necessary cleanup in a swift and thorough manner. 2) We need to overhaul how local municipalities zone their cities and townships. We need to ensure all Michiganders have access to safe and affordable housing that fits their needs. 3) It is currently a 40 minute or more drive to reach Social Security, MDHHS, Oakland County Health Department, housing assistance and counseling, community mental healthcare, etc. Without public transportation, access to help is a huge, sometimes impossible burden. I will be a fierce advocate for equal access to taxpayer funded programs and services for my community.

What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?

#1 in the previous questions discussed some environmental and climate concerns. I’d also like to look into creating “green communities” with the intention of rolling out the program through the entire state. Compostable “plastics” have come a long way and small changes throughout a community can make a huge difference. I’d love to create programs that include community compost, that is picked up with our trash, but taken to a compost facility. Participating homes will receive bags of completed compost twice a year for their home gardens, and farms can purchase at a discount to aid in fertilization (minimizing the effects of fertilizer shortages).

What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?

As a gun owner, I believe that universal background, checks red flag, and safe storage laws would go a long way to protect our community while ensuring the 2nd amendment rights of responsible, law abiding citizens.

How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?

Criminal justice reforms such as cash bail reform and release and expungement of marijuana charges will provide relief for many in my community. Cash bail, in many cases, creates a system where punishments are more severe for people with low to mid income, while wealthy people are hardly affected. Release and expungement of pot charges will allow people to work and support their families without long term systemic effects such as discrimination for use of a substance that is now illegal in our state.

How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?

I won’t just work for “women’s reproductive health”, because women aren’t the only Michiganders who may need access to abortions, I’ll stand up and fight for ALL of us. I personally turned in around 100 signatures for the MI Reproductive Freedom petition, while helping many more find petitions near them to sign. I will never stop fighting for any Michigander who may need access to a safe and legal abortion. Running against a vehement anti-choice candidate is just part of the work!

What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?

I believe that voting in every election is one of our most sacred rights and responsibilities as American citizens, Ensuring equal access, without intimidation or harassment, is a fundamental responsibility of all elected leaders.

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