Endorsement Statement on Grand Rapids’ 2nd Ward Commissioner Race

Ward commissioners in Grand Rapids, Michigan, similar to city council members in other municipalities, are primarily responsible for legislating on behalf of the city.

First-time candidate Milinda Ysasi is running for an open seat in the 2nd Ward. Her candidacy offers a fresh vision needed for helping transform the area into a welcoming place for immigrants, people of color, and those seeking economic and business opportunities.

Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second largest city, and while the population is approximately 15 percent Hispanic, its Latino families are underrepresented in city politics. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus spoke with Ms. Ysasi on our podcast to better understand how, if elected, she would represent her constituents over the next few years and legislate on behalf of her ward. (Note: We also extended a separate podcast invitation to her General Election opponent; no reply was received.) When asked why absentee voters should care about this election, Ms. Ysasi responded with a point that particularly captured our attention – that no matter where voters live, it is in all of our best interests to have elected officials in office who care deeply about clean water regulations and environmental protections. We strongly agree.
Upon hearing Ysasi’s plans and ideas for Grand Rapids, our 23-member Steering Committee unanimously decided to endorse her candidacy for 2nd ward commissioner.

And while congressional and other high-profile officeholders often take the majority of the media spotlight, those public servants in local government are closest to the people and are often the key decision-makers in improving residents’ quality of life. With years of experience in civil service, Ysasi actively volunteers with a number of non-profits in the fields of education, housing and Hispanic issues. Her vision of improved relations between law enforcement and the community, opportunities for jobs in transportation and infrastructure projects, and having accessible housing and health care in the 2nd Ward is compatible with having a brighter future for Grand Rapids.

It’s easy to see why Ms. Ysasi has received the most primary votes and is supported by Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, former county commissioners, former ward commissioners, and others in the #YsasiPosse: she is sincere in wanting her city to be a welcoming place for visitors and is determined to fight for all Grand Rapidians. On November 5th, voters from the 2nd Ward have a chance to make their voices heard in the western part of the Great Lakes State. Latinx candidate Milinda Ysasi has a grand vision for Grand Rapids, and voters both at home and abroad are urged to cast a ballot in favor of protecting the environment, developing the waterfront, and working closely with both law enforcement and leaders in the community; vote Ysasi for 2nd Ward Commissioner.