Jon Hoadley: Representing Daily Lives in the State House

Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) is running this year for State House for District 60, and, if elected, this will be his third and final term for the House. For Hoadley, a seat in the House is about representing the common man.
"I've always ran," Hoadley said, "because I believe in a Michigan that believes in people. I want to tell the stories of the people who work and live in our community and state."
A lot of this interest in the daily lives of people stems from Hoadley's background. He comes from a family of educators and tries to bring that perspective into his politics.
"How can kids compete globally, especially when there are laws in place to take money from schools to support corporations?" Hoadley said.
He extends that critique of corporation-based funding more generally, too.
"It's about raising wages," Hoadley said. "Ending giveaways to the most profitable corporations at the same time our small businesses aren't getting those breaks. Your profitability should be based more on how you work."
Hoadley's primary platform focuses on social justice and the environment. Along with other LGBTQ voices in the state legislature, Hoadley fights for equality in the State House.
"We have to be at the table when decisions are being made. I continue to do that work whether that's standing up for those who dream or making polluters pay," he said. "These are things I've been really proud of doing."
Something Hoadley is not as proud of is the state of federal affairs currently.
"I am incredibly disappointed that we have President Trump," Hoadley said. "I think his words and actions represent some of the worst examples of what leadership can look like. And putting other people down to put other people up. Telling blatant lies. This is not America at its best."
However, despite these critiques, Hoadley remains hopeful and inspired by everyday people, people who fight against Trump's agenda, whether it's rallies, protests or even just word-of-mouth. To Hoadley, these are examples of people challenging that system.
"They are saying 'I don't like where the country is going, and I can see the result if I'm not involved.' People all over the country are coming to help," he said.
Hoadley said it's a good sign that more LGBTQ people are running and winning in places across the country.
"It's not just one place that elects an LGBT candidate. We see that success all over the country. It's diversifying the faces and voices of who are LGBT candidates."
However, Hoadley thinks we need more of that diversity here in Michigan.
"I'd love to see even more running in Michigan in particular and every corner of our state. We're telling compelling stories of people's lives. That's what we should be doing in the first place."
Still, in America, running for any office as an LGBT candidate is tricky.
"It's important to note that in plenty of places being an LGBT candidate still sets you potentially back from the starting line, and you have to push forward a little more to overcome those challenges. When you find LGBT candidates that you agree with, since a lot of times those candidates have to do just a little bit extra, do a little bit extra and support them. Support them in social media. Tell others about them," Hoadley said.
Hoadley encourages members of the community to support LGBTQ candidates by paying attention to the organizations that are looking at these candidates, such as the Equality Michigan PAC and the Victory Fund.
"Reach out to these organizations," Hoadley said. "By seeing how these kinds of organizations interact with candidates, we can see how to better support LGBT diversity and representation in political roles."
When asked what the biggest takeaway from 2017's political environment for him is, Hoadley said this: "We win when people get involved."
Connect with Jon Hoadley online at


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