Tim Sneller: Changing Tides

Jonathan W. Thurston
By | 2018-10-03T15:56:50-04:00 February 14th, 2018|Election, Election 2018, LGBTQA Races, Michigan, News, Statewide Races|

When supporting candidates for political offices, experience is usually a major factor in the decision-making process. Tim Sneller is a Democrat from Flint running for the State House, District 50, and experience is something he has plenty of. Sneller has lived in Genessee County all his life and has worked to represent the county for much of that time. “Prior to being a state representative last year,” Sneller says, “I was a staffer for various representatives and senators for 34 years.”
Sneller prides himself in being an LGBT candidate, connecting himself with other such candidates, Jon Hoadley, Robert VanKirk, and Jeremy Moss, who Sneller says worked to prohibit discrimination in adoption laws. “We’re the civil rights package,” Sneller says. “I introduced a bill to add sexual orientation into the state hate crime.” Civil rights have been at the core of Sneller’s platform, though he has worked on some labor rights as well. Much of his concern for the everyday man comes from his educational background at University of Michigan, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a secondary teaching certificate in 2002.
Sneller takes pride in just completing his first year in the State House. One of his goals in this role was to communicate effectively and represent fairly his district, which encompassed the city of Burton, Grand Blanc, the Township of Grand Blanc and Mundy, altogether around 90,000 residents, he estimates. One way that Sneller works to achieve better representation in his district is by having regular coffee meets. “One thing I’ve prided myself in is my 38th coffee hour,” Sneller says. At these meets, he allows people to come and just talk, sharing their concerns and suggestions for improving the area. And altogether, this is just one way that Sneller has worked to connect with the people he is tasked with representing. Some of his other methods of reaching have included: “Lots of meetings around the district this past year. Did a lot of door-knocking through the summer and legislative walks. Surveys on what people’s top priorities are. And my first bill passed the house this fall.”
Sneller has high hopes for LGBT diversity in the future of politics and is pleased to see the high success rate of LGBT candidates this year. “It’s a great way to move forward,” he says. However, in order to continue that success, he encourages citizens to shift their actions as well. “We need to become more active. You see what’s going on in the federal level. Look at the tax thing Trump just did!” Sneller looks back on his years of working for the government and notes the high presence of Republicans in Michigan seats. However, a change is on the rise, he says. “And people are now getting more involved. I see this happening with the LGBT community and even with women. People have to get active and get involved in the political process—only way you’re going to change things.”
To members of the community, Sneller suggests that people communicate with each other and have these important conversations. “Go out and have meetings. Get people to understand these issues. I hear all the time there are five or six major issues, especially health care and infrastructure. People should be outraged at all of this, at what’s going on in the state and in the nation. We gotta work hard.” Despite the mostly Republican past, however, Sneller sees Democrats increasing in energy. The once mostly red state has become what Sneller calls a now “purple state.” And the increased energy of the Democrats is responsible for that shift. “The tide,” Sneller says, “is changing.”
Connect with Tim Sneller online at housedems.com/sneller.

About the Author:

Jonathan W. Thurston
Jonathan W. Thurston is a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University and the editor-in-chief of Thurston Howl Publications. While he specializes in early modern animal studies in academia, he is currently working on a cultural exposé of HIV in 21st century America. He loves reading, ballroom dancing and frequenting Lansing's cafes.