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STATE HOUSE/54TH district

Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills

SHADIA MARTINI

Democrat


Shadia Martini of Bloomfield Township owns Martini Construction, Great Estate Realty and Pigalle Salon. She has a degree in architectural engineering from Aleppo University and an MBA from University of Michigan. She is involved with National Association of Builders, National Association of Realtors, Muslim Unity Center, and on the board of Syrian American Council and Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services.


Abortion ballot issue


Voters will be asked whether they support cementing abortion rights in the Michigan Constitution when they vote this November. How do you plan on voting on this issue? Please explain your answer.


I am firmly in favor of protecting reproductive rights. The archaic 1931 law, which bans all abortion, even in the case of rape or incest, does not belong in the 21st century and does not reflect the views of the vast majority of Michiganders. In Lansing, I will fight tooth-and-nail to ensure that the right to an abortion is codified. I am proud to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood, #VOTEPROCHOICE, and Emily’s List for my dedication to this issue.


Voting rights and policies


Voters will also be asked to establish changes in voting policies, including early voting, absentee voting, and the use of drop boxes. How do you plan on voting on this issue? Please explain your answer.


Michigan voters voted overwhelmingly to make voting easier and more accessible in 2018. Current proposals to help “secure the vote” are spurred by election conspiracies from 2020 and are designed solely to make it harder for Michiganders to vote. I believe in continuing to reflect the will of Michigan voters in 2018 and maintaining our current voting laws, including early voting, no-reason absentee voting, and the use of drop boxes.


Term limits and transparency


Voters this November will be asked whether they support changes in terms limits and to enact financial transparency regulations for members of the legislature and administration. Are you supporting this ballot issue? Please explain your answer.


The proposal on the November ballot regarding term limits, if passed, would still make Michigan one of the states with the strictest term limit rules for state legislatures in the country. I will support either outcome that Michigan voters choose in November. I support efforts at mandating financial transparency for Michigan’s politicians.


Legislative bans on education topics


In 24 states legislation has been introduced to restrict or outright ban the teaching and/or discussion of certain topics such as race, racism, gender-based issues and how American history is taught in the K-12 public school system. Critics of these efforts to restrict what is taught in public schools say such legislation prevents open inquiry into important issues. Should the state legislature in Michigan dictate or restrict what is taught in public school classrooms? Would you support such legislation? Why or why not? Please be specific in your answer.


I oppose efforts to restrict or ban the teaching of issues surrounding race, gender, and history in our classrooms. In Syria, where I grew up, our curriculum was controlled by the government. We were lied to about history and about the world around us, to the benefit of the dictatorship. America is a free democracy, our children should be able to learn about critical issues without impediments or restrictions imposed by politicians with biased agendas.


Highland Park Water and Sewer debt


Highland Park, a member of the Great Lakes Water Authority, since 2012 has failed to pay for what now amounts to over $54 million in water and sewer debt, which means member communities in Oakland County will be placed in a position to underwrite this debt whether through increased rates for water and sewer or tapping budget reserves to accomplish the same. The state of Michigan has failed to deal with this issue. What do you think should be the solution to this growing problem of a GLWA member community failing to pay for water and sewer services? Please be specific.


I support the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling from earlier this month that will require Highland Park to pay their negligent debt. Communities in the GLWA should not have to be responsible for debt they did not accrue.


2020 presidential election results


Do you accept the presidential election results of 2020 in Michigan? Will you accept the results of the 2022 primary and general election? Explain why or why not.


I accept the results of the 2020 election in Michigan and I will accept the results of the 2022 general election. I grew up in Syria, a country where only one candidate was allowed on the ballot for president. I know what fraudulent elections look like: no such thing occurred in Michigan.


Right of redress


The Michigan House and Senate have in the past employed seldom used maneuvers to prevent the public from challenging laws that were enacted. Lawmakers accomplish this by attaching an expenditure provision to the legislation which then prevents citizens from petitioning to overturn the law. Citizens in Michigan are allowed referendum rights when it comes to legislation but not laws involving spending. Do you think that such legal maneuvers should be used by the legislature or do such actions diminish the rights of the public to challenge what lawmakers have adopted? What can be done to eliminate such maneuvers on the part of the legislature?


The legislature should not intentionally prevent Michiganders from challenging enacted legislation – this is unequivocally an infringement of guaranteed rights. Attaching extraneous expenditure provisions with clear intent to block the public from challenging legislation should be disallowed.


Top five issues


What would you list as your top five issues if elected to this position.


Reproductive rights; energizing our economy; lowering prices; funding our public schools; preventing gun violence.

DONNI STEELE

REPUBLICAN


Donni Steele of Orion Township is the Orion Township Treasurer. She previously served on the Orion Township Board of Trustees. Steele has a degree in business administration and management from Hillsdale College. She is the chairperson of the Paint Creek Trail Commission, treasurer of Polly Ann Trail Management Council, and is on the Orion Township Parks and Path Committee and Orion Chamber.


Abortion ballot issue


I support the 10th amendment to the United States Constitution which supports states’ rights. At the local level we witness preemptive state legislation constantly which can be very harmful to local governments – as example, the Highland Park water issue. Similarly federal mandates are harmful to state governments, which is the essence of this ruling. I support the state law which allows preserving the life of the mother and I believe the state of Michigan should create its own laws.


Term limits and transparency


I support longer terms for the House and Senate collectively; however, I believe the collective term(s) should be longer than 12 years. The leadership, wisdom and knowledge are not being maintained by the elected leaders, they are being maintained by the staff and consultants. By the time legislators learn to be efficient and effective, its time for them to go.


Legislative bans on education topics


Extreme measures on either side diminishes educational excellence. Education should be allowing our students to have critical and analytical thinking on all subjects. Outright banning or forcing teaches to teach these subjects has gotten us so far away from the basics of education. Education should be about excellence, achievement, preparedness all within a safe learning environment – both physically and socially. Our schools should have more learning freedoms and flexibility but the goal should always be the same – academic achievement and excellence. Our Michigan teachers should be the best of the best and be paid accordingly. Our universities should have excellent and rigorous teaching programs for our college students so we can attract the best students who will ultimately live and teach in Michigan. Monies spent for schools in Michigan is not indicative of the outcomes we are receiving from our students. I would legislate for “let’s go back to the basics – educational achievement and excellence.”


Highland Park Water and Sewer debt


The state should take responsibility for this issue and come up with a solution. The state made Highland hook up to GLWA and now the state must help these member communities. It is so illogic to assume your neighbors should pay for your water/sewer usage – in essence that’s what we are doing with Highland Park – the neighbors are paying their bill. One of my concerns as Treasurer of Orion Township is why hasn’t this been exposed sooner? Why hasn’t the Water Resource Commission of Oakland County exposed this, why are they not advocating on behalf of the communities which they serve? The state should immediately step in with all parties involved and collectively come up with a solution to ensure other communities will not be responsible for Highland Park’s water/sewer costs. Highland Park will never be able to afford this past debt and the state should make the paying communities whole for their past interference. However, moving forward, Highland Park needs to pay for their water and sewer. Unfortunately, at taxpayers’ expense this issue is being settled and exposed in court – what a huge waste of resources that could have been utilized to resolve this issue initially.


2020 presidential election results


Yes, and yes. We as a community; a county; a state and a nation – we must always look forward and work on making things better.


Right of redress


Clearly the government spends too much money and there is far too much overreach with the (peoples) funds. I believe in less government, less spending, less regulations and I would work on diminishing these maneuvers which prevents citizens referendum ability.

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