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Mallory McMorrow is completing her first term as a state Senator. A resident of Royal Oak, she is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in industrial design, and has been involved with the Royal Oak and Oakland County Democratic Clubs. Prior to her Senate career, she worked in product design and advertising for Mazda, Mattel, Gawker Media, and Hearst, among other companies.

Abortion ballot issue

Voters are going to 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 support the ballot initiative. The fall of Roe and the retreat to Michigan’s 1931 would be devastating to women, girls, and all people who need to access reproductive care in Michigan – reaching as far as families seeking IVF treatment, stripping women of the ability to participate fully in our economy by determining if and when to get pregnant, and – because the 1931 law states that abortion is a felony – sending doctors, women, and family members to jail. It’s imperative that we protect the right to abortion and the wide array of reproductive health services that people need.

Voting rights and policies

Voters are also going to 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.

I support the initiative. This proposal expands on the efforts that were supported by a wide majority of voters in 2018, and are critical at a time when there are efforts to restrict access to voting.

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.

I will be supporting this ballot initiative. Michigan ranks dead-last nationwide in a study on ethics and transparency from the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity, due in large part to lack of required personal financial disclosure by lawmakers. The measure would also allow legislators to serve up to 12 years total in either both or one chamber, rather than treating one chamber as a stepping stone to the other, allowing the opportunity to build experience and institutional memory while still respecting the structure of term limits.

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 am opposed to legislation that bans discussions about topics on racism and gender-based issues. The recent onslaught of attacks against teachers and curriculum have created a difficult and often toxic environment for teachers to teach and for students to learn. We have a responsibility to have open and honest conversations about our nation’s history, how we all exist in the world, and the parts we play in society. We do our children and our communities a disservice when we shield them from learning about how to have hard or uncomfortable conversations. These are important lessons and tools for kids to bring with them into the future, and to grapple with the complex world around them.

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.

The state of Michigan can and should leverage federal infrastructure dollars to both mitigate the impact of this debt and invest the critical dollars needed to upgrade our water infrastructure, and separate the combined sewer system to better manage more extreme flooding and extreme weather incidents that have become the norm instead of the exception. Additionally, the state must pass legislation to create a more streamlined process for municipalities to create stormwater utilities – legislation by Senator Bayer that I’ve cosponsored. Currently, Oakland County communities pay millions in legal fees and settlements from a handful of law firms who take our communities to court over this issue – taxpayer dollars that are enriching these few firms but not being used to fix this growing problem.

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.

Yes. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our communities, state, and system of democracy. I’ve built close relationships with our clerks and election officials and know that Michigan leads the nation in election security. Sometimes our preferred candidates win. Sometimes our preferred candidates lose. It’s incumbent upon all of us to trust the voters to decide what’s next, to accept the results of each election, and to operate from a place of truth.

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?

I’ve consistently supported efforts to strengthen and protect the citizens petition initiative process, such as allowing voters to request their name be removed from a petition should they feel misled, and preventing signature collectors from lying about what an initiative does. It violates the Michigan Constitution to include policy restrictions within appropriations bills and I support efforts to challenge those efforts when they arise.

Top five issues

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

1. Excellent education for every child: Increasing equitable investments in K-12 and higher education, safeguarding public dollars for public schools, ensuring teachers have the resources they need. 2. Protecting fundamental and civil rights: Protecting reproductive rights, voting rights, and ending attacks on the LGBTQ community. 3. Protecting our water, environment, and fighting climate change: Shifting to clean energy for a more sustainable future, ensuring our infrastructure is more resilient to climate change, strengthening penalties on bad actors who pollute our water. 4. Reforming economic development, empowering workers and families: Companies go where the talent is, so we need an approach that invests more in workforce development, paid leave, childcare, and small business support versus our traditional top-down approach. 5. Ending gun violence: In 2020, gun violence became the leading cause of death for children. We need common-sense gun reforms like red flag laws, safe storage requirements, and universal background checks.

Why select you?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) in this contest? Please be specific.

In this moment, with so much under attack – from reproductive rights to discrimination against the LGBTQ community, to racial justice and the accurate teaching of our history, to the critical threat of climate change and voting rights – you deserve someone in Lansing who will fight for you every single day. Through it all, we’ve never lost sight of our people. We’ve held dozens of town halls and events, hosted a near-weekly Livestream with direct access to experts, helped over 1,000 people access their unemployment benefits, and supported policies to help all of our residents and small business owners navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve brought millions of dollars back to our district to support parks, pedestrian safety, infrastructure projects, removal of lead water service lines, and so much more. I’ve got a strong track record of fighting every day for my constituents – and against outright lies, hatred, and fearmongering – and would be honored to do so again over the next four years.


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