News Archive: 6/20/14

Kristy Takes Part in the Canton Dems Candidate Forum

Kristy Pagan discusses her plan for a stronger Michigan

6/20/14

Officials of the Canton Democratic Club scheduled Wednesday’s candidate forum in an effort to give voters a sense of where their candidates stood on various issues ahead of casting their votes in the Aug. 5 primary.

“We wanted the public to be informed, so they can make intelligent decisions on Aug. 5,” said Steven Sneideman, the president of the Canton Democratic Club. “The format lent itself to (candidates) being able to express themselves.”

The primary of note for Democrats comes in the 21st State House race. Candidates answered questions on various subjects, most notably road issues and education reform.

Kristy on Education Reform

Pagan, a Canton native who graduated from Salem High School, called schools her “number one priority,” saying residents are telling her to “make sure schools are fully funded.”

Pagan, who worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, said she’s “really focused” on reducing class sizes, especially at the elementary school level, creating innovative programs like Plymouth-Canton’s STEM Academy (she sits on the advisory board) and supporting teachers.

“Making sure teachers have a voice in the political process, especially through their union,” Pagan said. “I’m an active supporter of organized labor, and I think negotiating with unions in good faith should be a top priority.”

Pagan, who worked on the higher education reauthorization act for Stabenow, said making college more accessible and affordable has to be a priority.

“We have more student loan debt than credit card debt in this country, and that’s unacceptable,” she said.

Kristy on Road Problems

Pagan agreed roads are terrible – “I’ve lost three tires myself this winter,” she said – and suggested a three-pronged attack to fix them.

First, she’d create yearly use fees for those who drive alternative-fuel vehicles (a move she said is recommended by the House Democratic Caucus). She’d also increase taxes on diesel fuel trucks, “especially those who have a significantly higher toll on our roads,” and move some of the gas tax from the general fund into the transportation fund, then replace the money in the general fund by “increasing taxes on wealthy and large corporations.”

“Statistics show we need $1 billion a year to fund our roads,” Pagan said. “We need to invest in long-term infrastructure in Michigan and make sure our road repair doesn’t happen every winter and every summer.”

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