LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Sheila Troxel is the Democrat running for Michigan's 64th state House of Representatives district. The 64th district is made up of Jackson and western Jackson County. To see her opponent's answers to the same questions, click here.
*Responses have been lightly edited for grammar
1. Tell us about your personal life and your personal background.
I grew up in a small, rural, working class town as one of four kids. As a young teen, my parents divorced and my mother was left taking care of four children on her own. I remember my brother and me working to help pay the rent or buy groceries. Through these experiences I learned the value of hard work and independence.
These lessons, hard work and perseverance, helped me find a happy and fulfilling life. But I didn’t do this alone. I met great people along the way who helped give me a hand up when I needed it the most – teachers in high school who encouraged me, and my coworkers at McDonald’s who helped me as I worked hard to support myself and get into college. I learned to work with others to grow and expand my opportunities.
2. What inspired you to run?
Having had the opportunities to raise myself out of poverty, I want to give back to my community and help others have these opportunities as well. As a financial educator working in local schools, I have seen the talent and drive our students have to seize a better future.
3. What are the biggest issues affecting your district and Michigan right now?
As I have knocked thousands of doors throughout this campaign, there are a handful of issues that are of particular importance to the community such as roads, access to affordable healthcare, clean water, and a lack of skilled trades training. These are issues that communities face across Michigan and require pragmatic and forward-thinking solutions to address them.
4. What will be your biggest priority in Lansing if you are elected?
Working with my fellow representatives, regardless of background or political affiliation, to find pragmatic and effective solutions to our community’s challenges.
5. What experiences will make you an effective legislator?
As the Director of Financial Education for CP Federal Credit Union, I have worked with families and children to create financial plans to budget for what they need and save for what they want. I will bring this financial experience with me to ensure that our taxpayers’ dollars go where legislators say they will and that they are used effectively.
Additionally, growing up in a working class family I understand, from first-hand experience, some of the issues facing many families in our community. This gives me the perspective needed to truly fight for the interests of working people.
6. What characteristics or principles will make you an effective legislator?
This is my first time running for office, allowing me to advocate for our community without being stuck in the political muck. Not only do I bring experience from involvement in community organizations, but as a financial educator I will bring much needed fiscal common-sense to Lansing.
7. What most informs your policymaking?
I will strive to take in as much information as possible before making a decision, so that I can develop a complete understanding of the facts on an issue and thus the ramifications of my decisions. This is critical for a legislator, as the laws that they pass deeply affect the lives of their constituents. I am interested in passing pragmatic and well developed policies that improve the lives of Michiganders, and I will work with anyone else who wants to put solutions before ideology.
8. What is the most important duty of a state legislator?
Ensuring that the resources and policies set for my constituents address their needs and help to improve their lives.
9. How much do you value bipartisanship and compromise?
I am for creating pragmatic solutions, regardless of party lines. It's time for our leaders to stop pointing fingers and start working together. Here in Jackson, we are all just trying to make life better for our families and our community. We need cooperation at all levels of government — city, county, state, and federal — if we are going to thrive. We need our government to work for all of our working families, students, seniors, and communities. Because when we work together, we all win.
10. Why should people vote for you?
Because it’s time to start electing people who can make independent, common sense decisions and not follow strict party lines. We need someone with vision, compassion and goals for a better Michigan. That person is me.
As a first-time candidate, I’ve heard more and more from people that they are tired of politicians over-promising and under-delivering. Instead of promises, I have priority areas that I want to address while in office and I fully understand that to achieve our goals, I need to work with other legislators to make this happen.
In my campaign, I have maintained integrity and authenticity. It is important for us to do what we say we are going to do, while including the voices of our constituents in the process.