Jennifer Kurland, 37
Background: Wayne County Radio show host
Party: Green Party
At age 19, Kurland became immersed in environmental issues as a canvasser and field manager for Clean Water Action. That focus drives her campaign today for governor.
“I am the only Green Party candidate who has actively campaigned for this office,” Kurland told Bridge Magazine. She said she’s been putting in 40 to 50 hours a week on candidate forums and grassroots appearances.
“We are only going to get bigger.”
On power sources: “We must completely transition over to clean, green, renewable energy,” she told the League of Women Voters. “We can fully meet our energy needs with wind, solar, and hydropower. We must charge the full cost of pollution permits to include the health effects to the public, cleanup, and require full disclosure of all chemicals and pollutants released.”
Michigan generates just 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, so that leaves her goal a long ways off.
Enbridge Line 5: “We must immediately shut down and decommission Enbridge Line 5, and halt all current pipeline projects for future, stringent environmental assessments before future approvals or completion of any pipeline projects.”
Economic development: “We must increase the minimum wage to $15-an-hour immediately, and permanently fix the minimum wage to other indicators like inflation, housing, and food costs. Climate change is real and green jobs are the jobs of the future. We can put our tradespeople to work making wind farms, solar panels, and becoming innovators of hydro power.”
Civil rights: “We must give the Michigan Civil Rights Commission teeth. This includes expanding Elliot Larson to include all LGBTQIA citizens, and the ability to have some level of enforcement capabilities.”
Criminal justice: “We must end the drug war, end the cash bail system, and transform our prisons and police policies to those of community policing.”
Education: “We need to make public colleges and universities free to any Michigander who wants to further their education,” she states on her campaign website. “The entire state should be a ‘promise zone’”.
It’s unclear how Kurland would fund a free college plan, estimated in 2013 to cost about $1.8 billion a year.
“Once we end the drug war and reform our prison system, we will have additional money already allocated in the budget that should go to public education,” she stated.
On K-12 education, she adds: “There must be an end to for-profit charter schools.”