Small business, education and agriculture are at the heart of my campaign

Small business, education and agriculture are at the heart of my campaign

Over the years, I have had many different titles in this community: student, athlete, coach, volunteer, mentor and small business owner, to name a few. Now, I am working to earn the title of state representative in the 77th district to add to my history of service.

Story Highlights:

  • (The writer is a former NBA player from Lansing. He is seeking the Democratic nomination for the new 77th District state House seat.)

  • I grew up in Lansing, went to Grand Ledge schools, and, after living all over the country, my wife and I have settled where we’re from because we genuinely care about the people here. I believe mid-Michigan holds the key to keeping our state on a path that prioritizes the well-being of all Michiganders. To make that happen, we will need strong, compassionate leaders, and we will need to work together.

What do we need in Lansing to support our families, bolster our economy and prepare for our future?

For these reasons and more, I will work with community partners to support our local businesses and provide more opportunities for people in our district to start and grow successful businesses. As a small business owner, I know that when we support small businesses, business owners have a chance to innovate, create jobs, and serve in ways that create opportunities and strengthen our communities.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the source of most job growth. Although Michigan’s economy is beginning to recover, the pandemic has had a significant and lasting impact on our small businesses. State and federal programs have helped, but mid-Michigan small businesses continue to face significant challenges in staffing and price inflation.

Students and teachers have suffered greatly due to the pandemic, and it will take systemic changes to help our kids recover academically, socially, and emotionally. I have over a decade of experience developing and mentoring young people in our community. I know that creating nurturing learning environments at home and at school can change lives and transform families in deeply impactful ways. We need to provide educators with the resources necessary to expand their ability to positively impact our children. 

Michigan needs to prioritize education funding along with college and career readiness to ensure our students have the skills they need to compete for good-paying jobs. As a state, we continue to fall behind on meaningful metrics such as student literacy, math proficiency, and post-secondary preparedness — and we can’t afford to wait any longer to invest in our children.

As a legislator, I will work with educators to address necessary reforms and fight to make sure there is increased funding to prepare our students for success. As the grandson of dairy farmers, I experienced firsthand the importance of local farming and the emotion and responsibility these hard-working people feel for the land, their animals, and their communities. Farming isn’t just a job — it’s a way of life and one that is often undervalued. 

Agriculture, food processing and related technology companies contribute $450 million to our local economy and provide more than 5,000 jobs to our residents. The success of farming and associated industries in our region is vital to the prosperity of our communities and families. I commit to ensuring that our farming families and agriculture remain a priority in our shared future.  I’m running for state Representative because I believe that the people of our great state are more similar than we are different. These three priorities reflect our commonalities and serve as a reminder that this campaign is about all of us and that the only way to lead effectively is to put people first. 

One of the things I enjoy most is learning from individuals and groups with different experiences than myself, which is why I want to hear from you.  There are many opportunities to get involved with this campaign. Follow us on social media; send us an email; attend a campaign event; talk to voters with us; become a financial supporter; and, of course, make sure you vote on Aug. 2nd! 

For this information and more, visit JonHorford.com 

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