With family and supporters all around, freshman State Representative Jeremy Moss of Southfield was ceremoniously sworn in Monday evening at Southfield City Hall. Moss now represents the 35th District, serving Southfield, Lathrup Village, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin.
“In August of 2005, I first walked into Room 799 of the House Office Building in Lansing – which houses the officeof the State Representative for Michigan’s 35th House District – to begin a legislative internship during my sophomore year of college at MSU,” Moss said in an interview just before the swearing in. “Little did I know that what was supposed to be just a semester-long internship would turn into a legislative staff position with then-State Representative Paul Condino, or that I would subsequently work on several campaigns with Mayor Brenda Lawrence and then return to Lansing in 2011 as the District Director for our previous State Representative Rudy Hobbs.”
Not only did Moss spend his early 20s learning the ins and outs of Lansing, he also served as the youngest member of Southfield City Council, elected at the age of 25 in the Nov. 2011 election.
“I’m excited to be returning again to Room 799 to represent the residents of Michigan’s 35th House District in the State Legislature,” he said.
Moss hopes that he can play a role in restoring local funding. “Lansing leaders have consistently stripped the funding to cities, villages and townships that impact the quality of life in our local communities. I took a leading role as a City Councilman to fight against these cuts in order to maintainsafe neighborhoods and fix local roads. As State Representative, I’ll work to make sure that the money that should be going to local communities isn’t being used to plug holes in the state budget,” he said.
“I’m hopeful that – despite Republican rule in Lansing of all branches of government – that I’ll be seen as a pragmatic and reasonable policy maker on the Democratic side of the aisle.
“Prior to taking office as State Representative, I served a term on the Southfield City Council. City council is a non-partisan position and I was able to effectively work with the Mayor and six other strong personalities on the City Council to build consensus to pass good policy for my constituents. That’s the way I intend to operate as a State Representative.”
Moss has already gone through orientation with freshmen from both parties. Turnover in Lansing can be problematic, but there is hope too.
“Term limits are one of the most significant obstacles toward producing good public policy,” he said. “State Representatives can only serve a maximum of six years (three two-year terms) so it’s difficult to build the relationships and trust needed across the aisle. As a result, there are many new members of this current Legislature who will need to learn to navigate around Lansing.
“I hopeful that short-term partisan rhetoric won’t be used as a substitute to promote a long-term legislative agenda that will help Michigan residents. The easy route would be to look at another representative and see their D or R label and assume that’s all they are. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of my colleagues and build the relationships needed to effectively advocate for my district.
“I think younger people don’t let social issues drive a wedge between us. I don’t expect to fight a political battle on marriage equality, contraception and reproductive choice with my millennial colleagues. These issues are mostly settled among the younger generation.”
Moss, like the other incoming legislators, is ready to go to work.
“The millennial generation is very impatient – and that can be a good thing in terms of public policy. We’re ready to act with a sense of urgency to get things done,” he said.
Keep up with Jeremy Moss and his work in Lansing at http://votejeremymoss.com/.