Haley Stevens was born and raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan, merely one city under the auspices of Michigan’s 11th District. With a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in social policy and philosophy, Haley was primed to make an impact in the policy of manufacturing to bolster job creation within her home town.
“I remember in college under George Bush picking up those science books…because I was concerned about having to preserve fact over demagoguery,” the 33-year-old stated in a recent speech to the crowd of Detroit March for Science.
Haley’s knack for social policy led her to work in Democratic politics in Michigan, namely supporting the reelection efforts of Senator Debbie Stabenow and Governor Jennifer Granholm. These staunch efforts by Haley launched her Democratic political career by expanding the breadth of her contacts. Her venture for social change and quest for scientific innovation landed her a critical role as chief of staff on the Auto Task Force in the Obama Administration during the Great Recession.
The Auto Task Force was a goal-driven group under the U.S. Department of Treasury that was responsible for returning the auto industry to a financially stable state. It was created to counteract the negative effects the Great Recession had on Chrysler, General Motors, and automotive consumers. While she served in this position federally, her work in reviving the auto industry saved her local home-state of Michigan 211,000 jobs. As one of the only women on the task force, Haley assisted in negotiating the $80 billion dollar federal investment loan that preserved the auto industry and was repaid in interest. Her day-to-day decisions assisted automotive companies in avoiding liquidation, which protected the general consumer both nationally and in Michigan.
Her work on the Auto Task Force left her highly regarded by her peers. During this time period, Haley also played a critical role in establishing the Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers and the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy, both of which helped Michigan, the hub of the automotive industry.
More recently, Haley has led a national workforce development program to promote digital manufacturing jobs across the United States. Her leadership over the national workforce development program has led to the first digital manufacturing training opportunity within the United States. She has since left the position in order to come home and run for the United States House of Representatives in Michigan’s 11th congressional district.
The Stevens campaign is pushing manufacturing and science as the two trademarks of the election due to Haley’s extraordinary background in the fields. She has taken a science-based strategy on the campaign trail, which is in stark contrast to the current direction of the Trump Administration and her opponent, David Trott. While Stevens was pushing tough negotiations as chief of staff of the Auto Task Force during the Great Recession, David Trott churned out thousands of evictions and reigned in the title of the “Foreclosure King”.
Stevens has stressed the necessity for open communication and accessibility with citizens, citing her time on the auto task force as a clear exemplification of her ability to work as a sounding board for concerned constituents. David Trott, on the other hand, has been heavily criticized for a lack of constituent communication and accessibility. While he held a town hall earlier this year, it was the first of its kind in several years and was scheduled very early in the morning at a location with a minuscule carrying capacity. Due to these compounding problems, hundreds were stranded outside in the freezing cold.
Healthcare will also be a key campaign issue in the 2018 election, as congressional leaders have failed to pass major healthcare legislation despite their campaign promises. This primal failure is now leading to a national showdown at the mid-term elections that could make or break healthcare coverage for the next decade. Haley Stevens has been a continued advocated for paid family leave, expanded women healthcare protection, and a Medicare-for-all plan.
The Stevens campaign has a long way to victory, as Michigan’s 11th District has been a Republican stronghold since 1967 for all but two months. Despite this, with angry constituents and a clear campaign message, it is very clear that Haley Stevens is up for the battle.