MAAP 2020 CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS
Michigan Asian American Progressives (“MAAP”) is a progressive grassroots organization focusing on civic engagement and intersectional community organizing for Asian American women and families in the State of Michigan. Our issues include youth and women empowerment, increased language access, revenue generation and increased resources for our communities especially for culturally competent health care, education, immigrants, and low-wage workers, particularly through this current pandemic.
After a careful evaluation of local, state and federal candidates, MAAP members voted to endorse the persons who will best champion the key issues important to our organization. Each candidate was required to respond to MAAP’s platform, providing their work plans to implement policy and changes that benefit the Michigan Asian-American community in the following areas: immigration, economic justice, education, healthcare, transformative justice and an inclusive democracy.
Our chosen slate is a compilation of the candidates we feel will represent the best interests of the Michigan Asian-American community.
MAAP endorses Sommer Foster for Canton Township Trustee. As the first African American and the first woman of color elected to the Canton Township board in 2016, she brings with her a wealth of experience.
Foster was the Director of Political Advocacy at Equality Michigan and worked with State, County and local governments, including working with over 15 communities to write inclusive policies and ordinances. In 2014, she worked with Trustee Steven Sneideman and Former Supervisor Phil Lajoy to pass a Human Rights Ordinance prohibiting employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. Foster also worked with the Canton Public Safety department on the Canton Response to Hate Crimes Coalition and helped organize the first Not in Our Town Rally to stand against hate, bigotry and to promote safety and inclusion for everyone.
As a member of the Canton Township board, Foster wrote a Welcoming Resolution to affirm that Canton is welcoming to all people, including immigrants. She has been a vocal advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community, by working with the Inclusion Task Force and Creating a "June is Pride Month" resolution.
As Canton Trustee, Sommer Foster will work towards justice, inclusion and opportunity for all in her community.
MMAAP endorses Tania Ganguly for Canton Township Trustee. Ganguly brings extensive experience in community advocacy, including the Canton Inclusion Task Force’s “You Belong Here” initiative which seeks to keep Canton a diverse and inclusive place to live and as co-chair of the parents’ committee for the Plymouth Canton Community Schools Talented and Gifted Program.
She is presently on the board of the Canton Democratic Club and Officer-At-Large for the Michigan Eleventh Congressional District Democratic Party. Ganguly has been a tireless organizer, working in the last three presidential elections and has worked as an organizer for One Fair Wage. If elected as a Trustee Tania Ganguly will work to keep Canton a thriving, growing, and welcoming place to live.
ANN ARBOR SCHOOL BOARD
MAAP endorses Ernesto Querijero for Ann Arbor School Board. Ernesto is an experienced educator who is committed to long-term student learning. He believes the role of public schools is to prepare students to be fair and responsible leaders, innovators, civil participants, and problem-solvers in the world to come. He has always fought for student support, student access, and student self-advocacy, which in itself is a learned practice. Public schools must offer students a variety of opportunities to demonstrate their learning.
As an active educator, first-generation Asian-American and a proud union member, Ernesto Querijero is an ideal candidate to join the Ann Arbor School Board.
ANN ARBOR CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2
MAAP endorses Linh Song for Ann Arbor City Council. Linh is a social worker, long-time activist and leader with extensive experience in executive oversight, multimillion-dollar budget management, infrastructure and strategic planning. As a candidate Linh is committed to providing an expert listening ear to the Ann Arbor community as their representative and to enact a progressive agenda with policy decisions based on sound, evidence-based criteria.
MACOMB CITY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2
MAAP endorses Mai Xiong for Macomb City Commissioner, District 2. Mai is an experienced business owner and community leader dedicated to building an inclusive and welcoming community for all in Macomb County by supporting targeted public health efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to business owners, advocating for environmental resource protection and working to raise the minimum wage and providing educational access for all.
MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 4
MAAP endorses Abraham Aiyash for Michigan House District 4. As the first son of immigrants to represent Hamtramck and Detroit with roots in District 4 and the only candidate with experience in Lansing with more than ten years of community organizing, Abraham will work toward COVID-19 relief, a sound Water Affordability Plan and the passing of the late Isaac Robinson’s outstanding legislation. He is the only candidate to propose a comprehensive plan on how to build a justice system that attacks anti-Blackness and xenophobia.
MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 21
MAAP endorses Ranjeev Puri for the Michigan House of Representatives District 21. Ranjeev is an MBA, Canton homeowner and father of two whose goal is to work as hard for Michigan’s future as his immigrant parents worked to provide for their family. Ranjeev will work for a progressive agenda of criminal justice reform, the right to universal healthcare, investment in public education, environmental protection initiatives, support for small business and other key issues to ensure a just, welcoming and thriving community for his constituents.
MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 38
MAAP endorses Kelly Breen for Michigan House Representative for District 38. An attorney, mother, activist and Novi City Council member, Breen will work towards policies that foster inclusion, equality, justice, access to health care and equal pay for equal work.
MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 39
MAAP endorses Julia Pulver for Michigan House Representative for District 39. An experienced nurse and organizer, Pulver has committed to work towards healthcare, a clean environment and better wages and job protections for every single person in the 39th district. Pulver supports universal healthcare, a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body, economic justice for all, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights.
MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 72
MAAP endorses Lily Cheng-Schulting for Michigan House Representative for District 72. As a candidate, Cheng-Schulting recognizes the importance of a healthy, more equitable community. A proven disability and human rights advocate, Cheng-Schulting created the Disability A-Team of West Michigan which led the movement which resulted in nine special education schools changing managers from a single school district to the much larger Kent County ISD. As an immigrant from Taiwan, she has integrated into the community as a wife, mother of an autistic son, attorney, activist and advocate willing to openly fight for marginalized communities, economic and social equity.
REPRESENTATIVE RASHIDA TLAIB
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 13
MAAP endorses Representative Rashida Tlaib for Michigan’s 13thcongressional district. Representative Tlaib has a proven record of advocacy with an emphasis on people-powered movements and social justice. Her work includes the introduction of the Automatic Boost to Communities Act during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide monthly stipends to citizens as well as bills on prohibiting medically-necessary debt from being placed on credit reports, to prohibit discriminatory non-driving factors from being used in rate setting for auto insurance companies, and much more.
CHIEF JUSTICE BRIDGET MARY MCCORMACK
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT
MAAP endorses Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack for re-election as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Chief Justice McCormack’s record of administration speaks to continuing reform of the justice system, with various initiatives to foster change towards a more equitable application of the law to all Michiganders.
Under Chief Justice McCormack the Justice for All Task Force was formed to ensure that any person, regardless of income, is able to use the legal system to advocate for themselves and their interests. Chief Justice McCormack also co-chaired the Governor’s Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Reform, which collected statewide data about Michigan’s jail populations to present to the Michigan Legislature in the effort to reduce recidivism.
As Chief Justice, Bridget Mary McCormack will continue to work for a Michigan Supreme Court that is independent from political influence and promote accessibility to just representation for all Michiganders.
MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT
MAAP endorses Elizabeth Welch for the Michigan Supreme Court. As a candidate, Welch brings extensive experience as an attorney, dedicated public servant and a fighter for justice. She has practiced as an attorney to serve individuals, nonprofits and small business, counseled municipalities to recover the costs of the opioid epidemic, served as a long-time East Grand Rapids School Board Trustee, and is the Former President of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. As a bridge builder and advocate, Welch is ready to bring her diverse experience to the highest court of the state and uphold fair and safe working conditions, equity in education, the protection of natural resources and a fair application of the law to all in Michigan.