National security leader and congressional candidate Elissa Slotkin led the third in a series of “common ground” events in Brighton, bringing together Republican, Independent, and Democratic women to discuss shared values and priorities.
Slotkin welcomed participants and kicked it off by discussing why gatherings like these are a key focus in her campaign.
“These events are a powerful demonstration of our ability to have real conversations and find areas of agreement across the political spectrum — something that our elected officials in Washington don’t seem able or willing to do,” Slotkin said.
“In all my years here in Michigan,” said Mary Pope, who identifies as an independent voter. “I’ve never seen so much ugliness and political divide among families and communities, or in Washington.”
While the conversation covered a wide range of issues, one prevailing topic was the corrosive influence of money in politics.
“Money in politics undercuts every issue we want to make progress on, and it’s one of the key reasons why I’m not taking corporate PAC contributions,” Slotkin said. “And as someone with a national security background, the idea that citizens are bowing out of the democratic process because they’ve lost faith in our system is downright dangerous.”
Discussing healthcare costs, Mona Shand of Brighton, candidate for the 42nd state House district, shared that one barrier to progress is the “absurd influence the insurance companies have on legislation.”
Participants agreed that prescription drug costs and access to mental healthcare are key issues that Congress should address. Many of the participants shared heart-wrenching stories about a friend or loved one who had to fight to get the care or medicine they needed because of complicated or expensive healthcare plans.
Slotkin shared possible actions that Congress could take on these issues, including letting Medicare negotiate prescription drug costs like the V.A. does, and requiring greater transparency from drug companies when they increase costs for consumers.Slotkin will be holding similar events across the district over the coming months. If you are interested in attending the next Common Ground event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.