In the wake of her Nov. 8 general election victory, the newest State Representative from the 52nd State House District evidently plans on spending only a single term in the state House before she takes on her next goal — winning election to the state Senate in 2018.
That’s the only way you can explain the missive Donna Lasinski, currently a member of the Ann Arbor school board, sent on Nov. 20 to officials in the 16 Washtenaw Co. townships she will represent for the next two years. The 52nd District is what is considered a “marginal” enclave, with plenty of Republicans and independent voters in it — it’s virtually a 50-50 R/D district, although it’s sent a Democrat to Lansing to represent it for almost all of the past two and a half decades, with the recent exceptions of Republicans Gene DeRossett from 1999-2004 and Mark Ouimet in 2011-12.
But apparently “reaching out” to voters of all persuasions isn’t part of Lasinski’s game plan. Instead, she’s looking ahead to when the seat of term-limited Rebecca Warren (D-Ann Arbor) will be open two years from now. The 18th state Senate district includes most of Washtenaw Co. that Lasinski will NOT be representing for the next two years, including heavily Democratic Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and their close-in suburbs on the eastern side of the county.
Lasinski could be facing a 2018 Democratic state Senate primary that might include her state House predecessor, Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), who gave up her seat in the 52nd district at the end of this year to run unsuccessfully for Congress. Or maybe Barbara Fuller, whom Lasinski edged by 337 votes in the Dem primary this past August. Or maybe Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), her fellow incoming freshman state rep; or perhaps Ronnie Peterson (D-Ypsilanti), another freshman just elected in the 54th district.
In any event, Lasinski’s email to all township officials in western (and northern) Washtenaw Co. 10 days ago doesn’t seem tailored to appeal to her new constituents in the 52nd. Let’s not say anything more — let Lasinski’s message speak for itself:
“Good morning, ____ Township leaders.
I am writing to share with you a pledge that Washtenaw County Elected Officials (Editor’s Note: all Democrats) are signing onto in order to publicly stand with members of our community who may be feeling marginalized or unsafe in light of recent hateful events that have happened.
This is not a partisan political statement (sic); it is a statement of shared community values for our constituents.
I am asking you to fill out this GOOGLE form by Sunday, Nov. 20, at midnight if you’d like to publicly add your name as a supporter.
If you have any questions or would like more time, please let me know. Thank you for your consideration.
REPRESENTATIVE ELECT – 52ND HOUSE DISTRICT734/997-7265
Full Statement Text:
We, the undersigned Elected Officials of Washtenaw County stand together against hate. We stand with everyone in Washtenaw County, in solidarity with the many diverse identities we all hold. While the following enumeration may not capture every group in our community, we stand in opposition to all hateful words or acts against any and all peoples of our community regardless of the political views they hold.
We stand with American Indian people of Washtenaw County.
We stand with Arab and North African people of Washtenaw County.
We stand with Asian people of Washtenaw County.
We stand with Black people of Washtenaw County.
We stand with Latinx (sic) people of Washtenaw Cunty.
We stand with immigrant and Refugee people of Washtenaw County.
We stand with LBGTQ+ people of Washtenaw county.
We stand with Muslims, Jews and people of all religions in Washtenaw County.
We stand with People with Disabilities of Washtenaw County.
We stand with veterans of Washtenaw County.
We stand with Women and Girls of Washtenaw County.
We pledge to use every power vested in our respective offices to protect the safety and dignity of everyone in this community. We pledge to engage, empower and listen to those who are most vulnerable.
We pledge to do everything in our power to defend this community against any policies, actions, or statements that discriminate against or target any individual or group.
We pledge to do everything in our power to ensure that Washtenaw County is a safe and welcoming community to everyone.
We pledge to stand united.”
It is unknown at this time how many “township leaders” in her new district signed onto Lasinski’s statement.