By Harleigh Markowitz
Haley Stevens is among the most inspirational, considerate, and passionate women that I have had the privilege of meeting. Haley Stevens is an exemplary individual who has dedicated her life to helping those around her, which is why I am thrilled to share her story as she runs for the congressional seat in Michigan’s 11th District.
As a democratic progressive, Ms. Stevens serves as an advocate for women’s rights, job creation, public health, and people. Throughout her life, Ms. Stevens has served in a number of capacities helping the greater good. During the recession of 2008, Ms. Stevens worked at the US Treasury Department serving as the chief of staff on the Auto Task Force. At the beginning of her career, Ms. Stevens engaged in the creation and organization of The Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers as well as The White House Office of Manufacturing Policy. Shortly after the election of 2016, Ms. Stevens began to explore a run for congress. She was concerned with the direction of the country, particularly the metropolitan-Detroit area of Michigan, where she is from. From the very beginning of her campaign, Ms. Stevens noticed that certain voices were missing from the political process, and that the current representative, incumbent Dave Trott – R, was out of touch with the people in Michigan’s 11th district. As someone with a career in economic development, and specifically a career in manufacturing economic development, she was concerned that America’s economic advantage is slowly being chipped away. Ms. Stevens feels that
America’s ability to innovate has propelled our nation forward, and that we need legislatures to provide economic opportunities for everyone in order to drive that innovation further. Ultimately, Ms. Stevens decided to run for United States Congress as she feels that Michigan needs an advocate. Ms. Stevens feels that she can serve the members of her community given her background in economic development and manufacturing as well as her perspective as a woman.
Upon being asked about her campaigning experience, Ms. Stevens says that running for Congress “has been a blessing and a great honor”. When asked what she has enjoyed most about running for Congress, Ms. Stevens immediately responded that one of her favorite parts of her campaign is that she loves working with students, as there are so many students who she feels are connected and are truly a part of her race. About 20% of her constituency is under the age of 18, and she would like to represent those who are not able to vote, but are a vital part of our society. Ms. Stevens shares that one of the most surprising things for her in terms of this campaign is that public service truly begins on the campaign trail. Running for United States Congress truly means something to the people, in that you are able to connect as a listener and a collaborator in the role of candidate just as you would from the Congressional seat.
Ms. Stevens says that she feels incredibly inspired by the youth-driven movement to respond to gun violence. On January 3, 2018, Ms. Stevens published a commitment on social media saying “In exactly one year – on Jan. 3, 2019, we will swear in a new Congress. On that day, I will take action on something that needs to cease being a daily part of our lives and must be addressed immediately – and that is gun violence. On January 3, 2019, I will send a Dear Colleague letter to the new class of the 116th US Congress outlining my plan to begin an immediate dialogue on addressing gun violence in America. We must end loopholes on the background check system, finally pass a bill to crack down on bump stocks and preserve current protections against gun silencers. This madness must stop, and it begins with a new class and generation of leadership. Please join me in demanding and working to deliver something better.” In response to the stand taken by students addressing gun violence, Ms. Stevens says that “we are seeing students leading and inspiring and political engagement from those who largely cannot vote but are still getting involved. As someone who has regularly thought and engaged with students in various ways, I tell them all today that I am standing with them and marching with them; they have a partner, a friend, and an advocate in me.”
Upon being asked about how being female has influenced her campaign, Ms. Stevens feels that she has experienced so much positivity around her campaign as a woman running for office. She feels that right now is an incredible time to be running. She takes her experiences and marks them with this moment in time where we are
calling women’s issues to the forefront and shining a light on topics like sexism and sexual assault in a way that we have not done before. As a woman who started her campaign fairly early, Ms. Stevens found herself as part of this new movement or wave of feminism taking place. Ms. Stevens feels that there is this remarkable energy taking place around her campaign, and she has been met with lots of enthusiasm about her race.
Ms. Stevens recalls that the vote that took place last spring in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act is an assault on women’s health as it has the dual effect of reducing access and increasing costs. Ms. Stevens shared that what she found most astonishing about the repeal was the celebration at the White House with members of Congress and the President gloating over a change that would result in great hardship. Ms. Stevens had launched her campaign about a week before the vote, and she can remember watching in disbelief that standing behind the President were solely men, including Dave Trott, the Republican incumbent of the district in which she is running. The silver lining of this situation was that day, hundreds of individuals reached out to her campaign and contributed to her race, realizing that Ms. Stevens would advocate for the change that the population wished to see.
Ms. Stevens’ main goal as a representative is to bring politics back down to the people, as she believes that we have lost sight of what policy making means to individuals. Ms. Stevens has made a commitment that upon her election she would like to sit on the White House Education and Work Force Committee, since a large portion of her district is comprised of students. She wants to best support the future of her district by supporting educational opportunities both in-school and post high-school, particularly surrounding college affordability and giving support to those who would like to go into the sciences and pursue jobs in the fields of technology and innovation. Ms. Stevens would also like to work on a part of the infrastructure bill that addresses improvements in infrastructure as well as innovation and job creation opportunities in metro-Detroit. “I want to be a member of Congress who advocates for a bright and prosperous future that makes all of the great things happening in our country shine.”
Recently, Ms. Stevens’ campaign was featured in TIME Magazine and was included in the cover article called The Avengers: First They Marched, Now They’re Running. In addition to being featured in TIME, Ms. Stevens’ race has been highlighted in numerous newspapers and magazines all throughout the state of Michigan as well as recognized nationwide.
When asked to give advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career in politics or anyone who aspires to make a difference, Ms. Stevens says that “to anyone looking to get involved in government, public service, or policy-making that there is no better time than now to raise your voice. Life will lead you on many different and exciting pathways, but there is always an on-ramp to get involved in the political process. Your voice is needed, and the time is now.” Ms. Steven’s line is always open to young women or students looking to get involved. Reach out to her campaign at haleystevensforcongress.com or connect on social media.
Haley Stevens is a phenomenal woman who has been a tremendous inspiration to me, and I know that she will be a remarkable asset to our nation as she represents us in the United States Congress.