Hard work should equal financial security

Hard work should equal financial security

I’m Kristen McDonald Rivet and I am running to represent you in the State Senate to drive better opportunities and outcomes for you, your family, and our communities, as I’ve done throughout my career. I’ll show up, listen to learn, and hold to my word as I serve you and our district with integrity.

I grew up in Michigan in the small farming town of Portland. My sisters and I were the first in our family to go to college. After graduating from high school, I went to Michigan State University and earned a BA in history and later went on for a master’s degree in education and public administration from the University of Michigan-Flint.

But it’s the Great Lakes Bay Region where I chose to make my home. My husband, Joseph, and I have proudly raised all six of our kids here. There is something about our communities, a way of talking and taking care of each other. It’s just special.

My Dad taught me the power of a strong work ethic and the dignity in hard work. He believed that hard work should bring opportunity and financial security. Today, that is not the case for too many of us who are working multiple jobs and still falling behind. Working families need a bigger slice of the pie.

As Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet and Chief of Staff at the State Department of Education, I was one of the chief architects of Michigan’s early childhood system (Great Start) and the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. I’ve worked to develop youth employment systems, helped make childcare more affordable and increase good-paying jobs in our region. I have a record of getting things done.

I am a life-long advocate for children, working in philanthropy at The Skillman Foundation, leading the Michigan Head Start Association and the Greater Midland Community Centers. I have led strategies for better schools, place-based neighborhood revitalization and expanded youth development programs. It’s always been my belief that when community works together, we can make big things happen.

I currently serve as a Bay City Commissioner and provide strategic leadership to two non-profits focused on improving health, economic outcomes, and long-term prosperity in Michigan. I’ve learned much from working alongside parents, educators, and businesses, and I’m proud of the impact our work has had on millions of children and their working parents in our Great Lakes Bay Region and Michigan. It’s not flashy or loud work but it makes a real, positive and lasting difference.

This election is about freedom. It’s about economic freedom, where for everyone in our community, hard work should equal opportunity. It’s about the freedom to learn and feel safe, particularly for our children in our schools and neighborhoods. And, after an unprecedented removal of Americans’ Constitutional right to privacy, it’s also about the freedom to marry who we want and the freedom to make our own decisions about the future of our own families.

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