FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brad O’Conner
ANN ARBOR, MI January 27, 2022 - Carrie Rheingans (she/her/hers), a health policy expert and instructor at the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Social Work, announced that she is running for the newly drawn 47th Michigan House of Representatives district. The district includes western Ann Arbor, Scio Township, the City of Dexter, the Village of Manchester, and several townships in southwestern Washtenaw County and southeastern Jackson County.
Carrie hopes to bring to Lansing her decades of experience working to advance health equity to help move Michigan through the pandemic, which has exposed the rifts in how the basic building blocks of everyday life are organized.
“I’ve spent the last two decades of personal activism and my professional career addressing health disparities, many of which result from social and economic policies around housing, community safety, and education set at local, state, and national levels,” says Carrie. “I’m worried about our community’s recovery from the pandemic, and, like so many systems in our country, when I dug deeper, I saw the stark and unfair differences in ability to weather and recover from the pandemic between races and economic groups. I wanted to take my public policy expertise to bring more of my neighbors along as we progress together.”
Rheingans currently works as a project director for the Michigan Public Health Institute and a lecturer for the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She is a member of the Washtenaw County Board of Health and the Washtenaw Emergency Medical Services Commission, and serves as vice-chair of programming for the Ann Arbor Democratic Club. She earned a B.S., M.P.H., and M.S.W. from the University of Michigan.
Carrie’s candidacy has already been endorsed by numerous local elected officials and community leaders, including:
Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor
Washtenaw County Commissioner Katie Scott
Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge
Washtenaw County Commissioner Jason Morgan
Washtenaw County Commissioner Andy LaBarre
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Erica Briggs
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Ali Ramlawi
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Linh Song
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Julie Grand
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Kathy Griswold
Ann Arbor City Councilmember Travis Radina
"Carrie's decades of social justice work represent Ann Arbor's progressive values,” said Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. “She understands how to move us forward on COVID recovery and climate action and will work every day to protect our democratic processes and advance equity. Ann Arbor will be fortunate to have Carrie Rheingans representing us in Lansing."
"Carrie is a valuable member of the Washtenaw County Board of Public Health and it has been great serving with her in this capacity,” said County Commissioner Katie Scott. “She brings public health and policy expertise to bear, as well as a strong push for historically excluded community members to lead us forward as we begin thinking about recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Rheingans’ extensive community and personal experience allowed her to see in real-time how the basics of everyday life are linked to each other and must be in place for people to thrive. “No matter where we live or how much money we have in our wallets, most of us work hard for our families. We need jobs and childcare, health and behavioral health care services, safe communities, and we need to know our voting and civil rights are protected. I will fight to ensure these basic building blocks for Michigan to thrive with healthy people, healthy families, and healthy communities.”
Rheingans lives in western Ann Arbor with her husband and five-year-old daughter.
“My family worries about day-to-day expenses like housing and food costs, and in our family, we include child care in those calculations. We’ve had our daughter, who just entered young fives in Ann Arbor Public Schools, going to daycare and preschool in Ypsilanti since she was three months old, because we couldn’t afford the centers near our home,” she explains.