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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: State House Candidate Says Voters Will Cast Ballot For Person, Not Party

Gordon Evans

Alberta Griffin says when she felt like she didn’t have a voice she decided to run for state House to help write the laws for others who also don’t have a voice.

Griffin is a faculty member in Western Michigan University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration She also owns a small business AGS Data that she says analyzes data to improve the human condition. Griffin is one three Democrats on the ballot in the 61st State House District, which includes the city of Portage. 


Griffin says mental health and guns should be viewed as separate issues. She says common sense gun control is needed. Griffin says that people should take training and pass a test to own a gun, just like driving a car. Griffin says she comes from a family of hunters, who believe in preparation. She says mental health touches everyone, but most people are not likely to harm another person. Griffin says reducing stigma will helps families dealing with mental illness.


Griffin says she would support local units of government raising money to improve their roads. She says infrastructure improvements can happen at the city or township level, similar to schools and other local millage proposals.

Auto Insurance

Asked about Michigan’s high auto insurance rates, Griffin says examining data is important. She says accident rates, health care expenses and health and well-being of Michigan residents influence auto insurance rates. Griffin says she’s not sure that she would end the state’s system that provides life time coverage for people seriously injured in catastrophic car accidents.


Griffin has a daughter at Moorsbridge Elementary School and two home schooled children. She says there are varying standards and resources based on where children attend school. Griffin says if Michigan wants to improve education outcomes throughout the state, it will require resources available to children at all schools.


Asked about the ballot proposal which would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, Griffin says she has a “mixed view.” She says if marijuana is legalized then convictions of people currently serving prison sentences related to marijuana should be rescinded.


Griffin says she supports the Voters Not Politicians proposal to change how district lines are drawn for Congressional and state Legislative districts. She says lines should not be drawn to favor a political party’s chances to win an election.


Asked how she would be able to win in November when Republicans have been entrenched in the 61st state House district, Griffin says people will be voting for the person, not the party. Griffin says she knows the community because she’s been a part of it for 20 years. Griffin says she believes in the “blue wave” this November. She points out Hillary Clinton won Kalamazoo County, and the district was close in the 2016 election.

Interview with Alberta Griffin - extended web version

Discussion of other issues can be heard in the extended web version of the interview.

Water Quality

Griffin says it’s important to ensure Flint, and other cities have quality water. She says replacing lead lines throughout the state depends on availability of dollars, but it should be a goal. Griffin favors shutting down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.

Renewable Energy

Griffin says Western Michigan University is an innovator in renewable energy. She says that knowledge has to be spread throughout the state. Griffin says the state can provide incentives for finding and promoting renewable sources.

Charter Schools

Although she one of her children attended a charter school and Griffin says it was a great experience, She says they shouldn’t be run by for-profit companies. Griffin says charter schools should exist under the same rules as the public school system.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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