Who am I?

My name is Kristy Pagan and I am running for Michigan State Representative in the community that raised me. I grew up in a strong union household - my dad worked at Ford Motor Company for 37 years and belonged to UAW Local 600, and my mom worked at Meijer grocery store, where she was a member of UFCW Local 951 (I am proud to have earned the support of both the UAW and UFCW for my election to the Michigan House). My parents taught me that if you work hard, get a good education and serve others, you can do anything. While a student at Salem High School, two of my close friends became pregnant. This experience motivated me to work on teenage pregnancy prevention programs and study to become a health teacher. However, once I got into the classroom, I realized that teachers and students needed a voice in the political process.

After college, I continued my education in Washington, DC., where I also had the opportunity to work as a legislative aide for Senator Stabenow in education policy. Through Senator Stabenow's mentorship, she encouraged me to get involved with campaigns and connected me with EMILY's List. For the past six years, I have been traveling the country and working in Michigan to elect progressives and pro-choice candidates to public office. Now, I am using that experience to run for office and serve my hometown community.

Why am I running?

I am running for State Representative because my entire life has led me to a life of service for others. I want to be a strong voice for my hometown, fight oppression, and engage people in the political process. For the past four years, Republicans have controlled our state. Even in our State Senate, not one Democrat has to show up and they can pass policy. This is unacceptable. A one-sided government does not work for the people and progressive do not have a voice at the table. I want to be that voice.
During the time I was deciding to run, Michigan passed the so-called “Right to Work” legislation in a lame-duck session. This further fueled my passion to restore what is right in the auto-capital of the world – a strong unionized workforce. Republicans have recently by-passed the legislative process through gaining signatures from only 3 percent of Michigan’s population to outlaw abortion coverage from private insurance companies. On top of all of this, the judiciary made banning same-sex marriage illegal, but the Republican Governor and Attorney General refuse to recognize this ruling.

House Republicans have now targeted my seat as the #1 FLIP for them in 2014. They have recruited a well-funded candidate to run in the general election against whoever comes out of our primary race. It is imperative that we keep this seat under Democratic leadership and support more progressive leaders across Michigan.

My Goals

My top three policy priorities are: protect and invest in public education, create jobs my keeping young people in Michigan, and fix our roads (Michigan ranks dead last in per capita road funding in the country). There are the issues I hear most as I go door-to-door in my community.

I also believe leadership starts with listening. We must fully fund our schools, hold charter and cyber schools accountable, lower class sizes and support our teachers. By investing in STEM programs and encouraging entrepreneurship, we can turn Michigan around and create jobs. We need a long-term strategy to fix our roads and that starts with fully funding Michigan’s transportation budget. Lastly, repealing the pension tax will help guarantee retirement security for thousands of Michigan residents.

My DFA Values

Community: I was born and raised in the district I am running in. The schools I attended are the ones I would be fighting for. In my district there are four for-profit charter schools, with a fifth one being built, that take over $19 million a year in education funding to line the pockets of a corporation. I would fight for equal standards for public and charter schools so these for-profit schools have to show they are actually educating students before receiving funding. Additionally, my retired constituents that are now faced with a pension tax, so our Republican governor could give $1.8 billion in tax cuts to his corporate buddies, are my friend's parents. I rallied them this year on Tax Day to speak out on this issue and will continue to fight for them in Lansing.

Security: As a state representative, I would work to protect our internal resources, both natural and economic, so we are less dependent on other countries. I am blessed to be from the Great Lake State and to have a state protected lake in my district. It is important that we protect these resources from corporate threats such as privatization of our land, air and water. We also need to work to keep our biggest economic resource, our young talent, at home. I plan on achieving this by making it easier for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Liberty: In Michigan, women and the LGBT community are still fighting for equality. We had one of the strictest anti-choice bills take effect this year in the form of “rape insurance”. Our Republican Attorney General is continuing his crusade against marriage equality even after a federal judge has deemed it unconstitutional. If elected, I will be a strong voice for protecting women’s health and upholding marriage equality for all.

I know the deeper problem in Michigan is that those in our legislature do not reflect the diversity of our great state. I have recruited a campaign staff of young, diverse, individuals and am teaching them how to run a campaign in hopes that someday they will run themselves and shape the future of our government.

My Campaign is People Powered!

I am running a people powered campaign by engaging as many people as possible in the political process. Every day, I am out knocking on doors and recruiting members of our community to be part of our campaign. I considering myself a strong organizer who believe in the ladder of engagement model: start people off in small, easy steps and move them up the ladder. My campaign team and volunteers grow every day, and each person owns a piece of our campaign. I am proud to live and lead by this model.

Additionally, I am continuing my outreach to the most diverse part of my community: at the Hindu Temple and Muslim Mosque. I am at each place of worship at least once a week, engaging the community and seeking feedback as I run for office. Many leaders within the Indian and Arab American community have stepped up to help me run and win. I am working very hard to be the representative of the people and to know exactly who I seek to serve.

Voice support


  • Matt Blizek, IL
  • Timothy Johnson

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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