08/03/2012 06:05 pm ET Updated Oct 03, 2012

A True Progressive for Michigan's 14th Congressional District

As your representative in Congress, I will continue to champion bold progressive solutions that create jobs, cut student loan and mortgage debt, cut crime, reduce our prison population, and restore financial security for the people of our region.

These are no ordinary times. With unemployment, foreclosures, and household debt crushing our communities, we need to put an end to the stale old brand of partisan politics that has failed our community again and again. We need bold action to rebuild our neighborhoods and give people hope so that they have power over their lives.

In my next term, I will continue:

  • Fighting to reinvest $10 billion in our region over five years through the bipartisan "Detroit Jobs Trust Fund," which would take all federal tax funds collected from Detroit residents and businesses and direct them to education, local tax reduction, and essential services. This unprecedented proposal has won support from across the political spectrum.
  • Cutting student debt for millions of Americans with the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. This bill has inspired a powerful movement of the people, including a national petition that has received well over a million signatures and has been recognized as a powerful way to jumpstart the economy by restoring people's purchasing power.
  • Stopping foreclosures with the Save Our Neighborhoods Act, a bill that would allow many homeowners to stay in their homes by suspending the foreclosure process for up to three years. With this act and actions to stop Fannie Mae evictions, I have been considered one of the nation's strongest advocates for struggling homeowners and distressed communities.
  • Reducing crime by creating opportunity for people who have been left behind in our community. I've sponsored legislation to create job opportunities for citizens returning from prison as well as to intensify efforts to stop illiteracy among both students and prison inmates. I recently sponsored a congressional resolution with bipartisan support to finally end the crisis adult illiteracy.

If completing all this work seems too ambitious, please consider what I accomplished in my first term. Even as a member of the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, I:

  • Won $10 million in public safety funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's State and Local Programs.
  • Secured $5 million for Homeless Assistance Grants to help provide housing for homeless people and to renovate abandoned buildings.
  • Won $5 million for low-income mothers to buy food from farmer's markets, such as Detroit's Eastern Market.
  • Secured $5 million in grants for firefighters to keep their jobs and better serve our community.
  • Negotiated a $4 million grant to Wayne County to provide new equipment for local heroes including paramedics.
  • Restored several million dollars in grants for Detroit's public safety under the Urban Areas Security Initiative.
  • Coordinated the creation of the "Information Technology Boot Camp" to get Metro Detroiters trained to fill more than 3,000 open jobs.
  • Served as the leading advocate for M-1 Light Rail, the first public transit system connecting Detroit and the suburbs. I was also a leading advocate for the job-creating New International Trade Crossing, a high-capacity bridge to Canada.
  • Sponsored legislation to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and reinvest spending in our communities here at home.
  • Received perfect 100 percent legislative ratings from the AFL-CIO, United Food and Commercial Workers, Planned Parenthood, The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club Clean Water, the American Civil Liberties Union, the AIDS Drug Assistance Advocacy Association, Federally Employed Women, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Children's Health Fund, and the American Nurses Association as well as an "A" rating from the National Education Association.
While my opponent has sought to market himself as a reliable rank-in-file Democrat, he has voted in his three and a half years in Congress with right-wing Republicans to extend the Patriot Act, to extend the Bush Tax Cuts, and against a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I've decided to take on these difficult battles and stood firm as a true progressive in Congress in order to help restore people's hope and hope in Metro Detroit. I was raised by a single mother who cleaned houses and received government assistance; I lost my mother by my teens and then I lost hope due to unemployment in my 20s.  I understand the struggles people in our community are enduring. This is why I fight for everyone to have a good job and a safe community.

On August 7, please join me in this mission to fight for dignity, fairness, and opportunity. Please support my candidacy for the U.S. Congress.

Power to the people!