The first item deals with information and questions on the structural deficit, the second contains ideas about early childhood specific issues and the third gives you resources and addresses. Please take the time to use all three sections in your own way and ASK candidates, in person or in writing, about these issues. Thank you in advance for making a difference for Michigan’s children and families.
Michigan has a structural deficit that will only continue to increase if not addressed. This is an issue for the gubernatorial candidates and the Michigan Legislature.
· Almost all of you are employees of organizations that have seen a steady decrease in state appropriations,
· The most vulnerable populations bear the brunt of the reduction in state and local services, and
· This situation will not change until the legislature tackles the structural deficit, i.e., changes the tax system.
Therefore, we are suggesting – and requesting -that within the next three weeks you send a message about resolving the structural deficit to your legislative candidates for the House and Senate, and to gubernatorial candidates Rick Snyder and Virg Bernero. See sample #1.
In addition, candidates need to be reminded about our concern for the continuation of early childhood programs in the state. We want to ensure that (when looking at ways to fix our structural deficit) our legislators keep in mind how early childhood programs will effect the success of Michigan in the long run. Please contact candidates to ask questions regarding these issues as well.
For more information and the resources about election advocacy for children used for these letters, please visit these websites:
· Michigan’s Children Election Advocacy Toolkit http://www.michiganschildren.org
· Sandbox Party Voter Education Guide http://greatstartforkids.org/candidates/
· The Center for Michigan http://www.thecenterformichigan.net/special-report-where-bernero-and-snyder-stand-on-early-education/
· Michigan Council for Maternal Child Health http www.mcmch.org
· Zero to Three National Center for Infants Toddlers and Familieshttp://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy/
· Michigan Head Start Association http://www.mhsa.ws/legislativewatch.asp?id=8
Virg Bernero for Michigan
P.O. Box 10067
Lansing, MI 48901
Rick Snyder for Michigan
124 E. Washington St.
Visit www.rickformichgian.com to send
To find a full list of candidates and their contact information in your district visit www.votesmart.org and search by your registered zip code.
Sample Letter 1
Until Michigan’s fiscal house is put in order, we will continue to lurch from one crisis to another. What is it you propose to do to resolve Michigan’s structural deficit? Please address the following questions:
a. Do you support changing to a graduated income tax from the current flat tax that punishes working families and protects the very wealthy? A graduated income tax would provide relief to a substantial percent of Michigan families and yield an additional $600 million in revenue each year.
b. Do you support closing outdated corporate loopholes and tax giveaways -totaling $35 billion – five times the amount of the state’s general fund?
c. Do you support auditing the $16 billion in state government contracts that are currently not reviewed?
d. Do you support modernizing the state sale tax to include services, a move that would generate more than $1.6 billion annually?
Sample Letter 2