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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jen Hilzinger for Troy School Board

Here in Troy, the Tea Party has made our local politics into a blood sport. For the the Tea Party, politics is a matter of “us” versus “them,” with little room for diversity or cooperation.

Which is why it's refreshing to have Jen Hilzinger as a candidate School Board.

If you don't know Mrs. Hilzinger, you should. She's a woman of principles. She's co-chair of the Troy School District Diversity and Inclusion Council. If you don't know what that is, it's simple: The group exists to foster inclusion and diversity, so all of Troy's kids have a place and chance to learn.

As if that's not enough, Mrs. Hilzinger was the founding president of Families with Children from China Metro Detroit, after she and her husband adopted two children, from Korea and China, respectively. Currently, she's serving on advisory council for the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network. Most recently, she's help create the Troy Alliance Against Hate Crimes.

But make no mistake. Mrs. Hilzinger is no pushover. During the recall of Janice Daniels, Mrs. Hilzinger was out collecting signatures when she he was followed and verbally harassed by a Daniel's supporter. But did this stop her? Nope. Because she wants to ensure Troy is a place of diversity, has excellent schools, and keeps a friendly mix of amenities.

Diversity is what attracted Mrs. Hilzinger to Troy.  She wanted to live in a cosmopolitan community where different languages are spoken and the schools are excellent.  She looks at Troy and knows that we're small, but "we've got the whole world right here."

Which is why Mrs. Hilzinger has an eye on the big picture. She knows that what happens in Lansing and on the School Board affects what happens in the classroom. She knows that the teachers are the front line when it comes to maintaining excellent schools. She knows that a net loss of money spent per pupil is the wrong direction for the school district.

Everything about Mrs. Hilzinger proves that she is a woman dedicated to education, diversity, and inclusion. There is no "us" versus "them" for Jen Hilzinger.  There is only "us."  Jen Hilzinger has my vote for the Troy School Board. I hope she has yours.   

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