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A conversation with Emily Dievendorf, a candidate running to represent District 77 in the Michigan House

Posted at 11:00 AM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 11:55:55-04

LANSING, Mich. — There are three Democratic candidates running in this primary election to represent District 77 in the Michigan House. Right now, let’s take a look at Emily Dievendorf. She’s a local business owner and social activist vying for your vote.

“I am Emily Dievendorf, and I have been involved in politics and civil rights for over 20 years now," she said.

Dievendorf runs a bookstore right near downtown Lansing. Originally, she’s from Kalamazoo and went to Michigan State University, and she tells me, she happily stayed in Lansing. In the decades since, Dievendorf has worked as a staff member for Democratic state representatives, led Equality Michigan as their executive director and served on multiple boards like the Lansing Association of Human Rights.

“I am the only candidate in this race that has that extensive experience in public policy and in advocacy," she said.

What two to three issues does District 77 need to prioritize first?

“District 77 needs to prioritize very basic things," Dievendorf said. "People are worried about a living wage just making sure people are getting paid what they deserve and what they need. People need to have access to adequate health care, and they need to know that their kids are getting a public school education that has all the resources that will ensure that they get a quality education.”

Beyond those three issues, Dievendorf said she’d also like to take a more holistic look at the state budget and address gun violence in the district.

Do you support abortion rights?

“Yes, I support abortion rights, I absolutely do," she said. "It is going to be one of the battles of this next decade to who knows how long. As a civil rights leader, what I know is that there is no way of anticipating how long a battle like this is going to take."

Do you support marriage equality?

"I do support marriage equality, I am one of the people that ensured marriage equality got to the Supreme Court," she said.

Dievendorf said she was on the front lines of pushing for marriage equality here in Michigan, even organizing local clerks to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court granted marriage equality to all.

“That was one of the battles of my life," she said

Dievendorf’s candidacy has been endorsed by people like Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, alongside groups like Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and Moms Demand Action.

“I am running for office because I am also the only candidate that knows Lansing this in-depth, that has worked on the ground that has a deep understanding of the needs of our most vulnerable communities," she said.

To learn more about Dievendorf before the Aug. 2 primary visit her webpage.

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