As the November election draws nearer, Americans won't be voting just for a presidential candidate, both state and local candidates will be voted upon, too. In Michigan, there will be dozens of candidates running for the first time and for reelection across the state. Between The Lines has reached out to pro-equality candidates to get a sense of their goals and priorities for the LGBTQ community if they are to be elected. To get a full list of the pro-equality candidates running, visit mivoterguide.com.
Here, Brandon Currin answers questions about why he would be a good fit for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.
Why are you running and why do you think you're a good fit for the office?
I am running to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I am a teacher. I understand the importance of working together. I am a great fit for this office because I know the community. I teach in the community. My family owns a small business in this community. I am Ingham County, and it is time for me to stand up and fight for the values that I believe this county has.
What experience do you bring to the table that makes you stand out from the other candidates?
What I love about the 6th District is that it encompasses seven different school districts. As a teacher, I understand the importance of building a strong foundation and building relationships and a community. I think we need to do more outreach as a Board to connect with all people but especially the youth in the district. This will only lead us to create a better and more prosperous county.
What are your top three priorities for your county?
One: To create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Two: To reach out and have the community more involved in the county. Three: Build up the infrastructure.
What's an issue you wish more voters were aware of in your area?
I think we have seen a loss of community in my county. We are more siloed than ever before. My district combines the urban, the suburban and the rural in one. I feel like we have a gap in experiences that needs to be united. Yes, we can talk about the roads, the parks, the zoo and so on and so forth, but we need to bring back a connected feeling between all of us. That is no easy task but I believe it is what we need to do to keep our population growing.
Given your own experience as a member of the LGBTQ community, how will you support LGBTQ constituents?
I grew up in a transition generation. Coming out was hard for me because I grew up in a rural town where homophobia was widespread and accepted. Now, working in the school I graduated from, I see how much we have grown. However, we have not done enough. We need to look at all the ways to increase inclusivity for the LGBTQ community. We need to provide outreach to get more LGBTQ citizens on boards and task forces. We need to fight for representation in all aspects. The current Board of Commissioners is diverse and has members of the LGBTQ community, but we can do more. I want to be that voice and that person at the table who will fight and hopefully be a proud role model for the youth out there. I did not have that growing up, but hopefully, we can work together to achieve this voice.