U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and candidate Brenda Jones (D) recently completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey.
Both candidates were separately elected to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District following Rep. John Conyers’ (D) resignation in 2018. Jones, the president of the Detroit City Council, won a special election to complete Conyers’ term while Tlaib won the general election to succeed Jones, which was held on the same day. The two are the only candidates on the ballot in this year’s Aug. 4 Democratic primary.
Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.
One question in the survey asked candidates what they perceived to be the greatest challenge the United States faces in the next decade.
Tlaib answered, “The fact that we haven’t truly addressed the economic inequity in our country. It has led to so many broken systems and injustices, many of which are rooted in structural racism. We must make the decision as a country that we will center the most vulnerable and marginalized. We continue to center wealthy individuals, corporations, and profit. We have so many crises happening across the country because of misplaced priorities.”
Jones answered, “Post COVID-19, the greatest challenge for our nation will be the balance of equity, opportunity and resources for people of color and those from impoverished neighborhoods. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant disparities in access to health care, funding for hospitals in minority and impoverished neighborhoods, small business resources, educational resources in minority and impoverished communities and fair employment policies for essential workers such as vacation, sick time and a high quality living wage. Elected officials must work collaboratively over the next decade to address disparities and inequality to ensure everyone across America has access to a quality standard of living.”
Tlaib and Jones each also answered featured local questions provided by The Detroit News. One of those questions asked how the candidates would foster a more bipartisan and cooperative atmosphere in Congress.
Tlaib answered, “I would ask members to walk into a room, not as a Republican or Democrat, but as a son, mom, daughter or whatever family role they play. I would ask that they function from that place so that their decisions would remain focused on the people they love, and on real change for the better. The system now is so tainted with special interest groups and others who aren’t thinking about our residents, but how they can make more money.”
Jones answered, “My ability to work across the aisle to create coalitions, develop partnerships and work collaboratively to reach a common goal. I will remain professional, listen to the position of everyone and remain dedicated to developing policies, passing legislation and bringing resources to those in the 13th District, the State and the United States.”
In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.
To read their responses and for more information on the race, click here.