Ernie Whiteside

Michigan State House, District 56

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Ernie served in the USAF for 13 years before being honorably discharged at the rank of TSgt (E6). He was a medical laboratory technician and while serving he earned an Associate’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Ernie has lived in Nebraska where he managed and supervised laboratory, X-ray and EKG services at a small rural hospital for 7 years. The company Ernie worked for restructured and he found himself looking for work again. Since then he has been an assembler, a security guard, a route sales manager and a field organizer. He walks between the two worlds of “made it” and “left behind”. He wants Michigan to move forward socially, politically and economically toward a more just and sustainable future.

Ernie is a grassroots progressive whose local political activity has its roots in the 2011 effort to recall Governor Rick Snyder, and later Senator Randy Richardville, because of their support for business tax reforms. Those reforms have left Michigan fiscally unable to fulfill its obligations to maintain critical infrastructure, provide basic public services, and to keep its promises to pay some state employees’ retirements. The reforms burdened low-income earners and retirees while dramatically reducing taxes on corporations. In short, the Republicans in Lansing prioritized the profits of corporations at the expense of human well-being. Every socially good, useful and important thing that the government can, should and must do have been pushed off in the name of austerity and budgetary constraints. In a fake effort to make government more efficient, Republicans have made massive moves toward privatizing public services and waged war on labor unions.

Ernie is running a small donor sponsored campaign. He supports state-level single-payer health insurance; affordable and debt-free education, a $15 minimum wage and legislative efforts in support of paid parental and sick time. Ernie wants to bring criminal justice reform; he supports an end to mass incarceration and legalization of medicinal, recreational and industrial cannabis. Ernie will fight for public health and public safety. He also supports measures that protect the environment for future generations. Clean water must be available to everyone and Michigan must move away from fossil fuel and toward the clean, renewable and efficient energy of the future. Ernie identifies as a regular guy and will fight for working class people like himself.

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