State Representative Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) announced his candidacy for the 2018 Senate election in Michigan’s 11th District on Tuesday in a video posted across his personal website and social media accounts.
“I’m running for the State Senate because we need legislators who will act with a sense of urgency to turn this state around. No one in state government should remain complacent when we rank dead last among all fifty states in ethics and accountability,” Moss said.
A lifelong Southfield resident, Moss is currently in his second term representing Michigan’s 35th House District. Moss became the second openly gay member of the House when he was elected in November 2014, and previously served as the youngest-ever member of the Southfield City Council from 2011-2014.
In addition to fighting against harsh cuts to local governments and school districts, Moss has been active in bringing transparency to state government through the expansion of Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Moss was awarded “Legislator of the Month” earlier this year for his work in making the governor’s office and state legislative bodies subject to open record laws.
“The way the laws have been written for 40 years bars the public from having access to the records in the State Legislature and Governor’s office to see how and why decisions are made,” Moss said. “There’s no way to request that information, and it was kind of a shock to me. I’m willing to take on big institutional changes even as it impacts my office in Lansing.”
Moss said his run for Senate is the next step in his fight for issues such as government transparency, among other things.
“I’ve been able to get a lot of things done in Lansing, and this Senate run is a continuation of my dedication to my constituents who I serve,” Moss explained. “I’m running for Senate so I can continue to tackle big issues and be a voice for good government.”
The 31-year-old candidate has also been vocal in his advocacy for LGBT rights, comparing Michigan to Alabama and Mississippi in terms of its pro-equality rights. In 2015, he fought against a bill passed in Lansing allowing faith-based adoption agencies to turn away prospective LGBT parents for religious reasons.
If elected, Moss would be the first openly gay senator representing Michigan. Moss said the results of last Tuesday night’s election, in which 55 percent of LGBT candidates who ran won nationwide, shows that LGBT candidates “can be competitive in any district.”
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had an openly gay voice in the Senate,” he said. “As we talk about the issues we need to tackle as a community, especially expanding civil rights to the LGBT community in Michigan, it has to be a two-chamber strategy – we have to make sure we have LGBT voices in the Senate.”
Moss added that his Senate campaign will utilize a grassroots approach that prioritizes the interests of voters over those of large corporations.
“I’m going to run a grassroots campaign – that’s how I got elected to city council and state representative,” he said. “The voters will outweigh the influence of any large corporate donors if they’re out and mobilized and ready to vote.”
Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver will serve as Moss’ campaign treasurer.
“I’m not just endorsing Jeremy, I’m stepping up to take an active role in electing him as our next State Senator. Jeremy’s been there for us, especially when northern Michigan developers came to southern Oakland County neighborhoods to drill for oil. He immediately set to work on bipartisan legislation to fight against that kind of environmental injustice. There is no one better to continue to advocate for us in Lansing,” Siver said.
The 11th Senate District includes the Cities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge and Southfield, and the Charter Township of Royal Oak. Incumbent State Sen. Vincent Gregory (D-Lathrup Village) cannot seek re-election due to term limits.