2020 KCDP endorsee – JEN STREBS

Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners, District 4

2020 KCDP endorsee – Jen Strebs

Jen Strebs is a summa cum laude graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in both American Public Policy and Psychology. She is a Program Coordinator and Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional at Residential Opportunities, Inc. She was raised in Battle Creek, and moved to Kalamazoo in 1997. 

“Here I began my work with adults with developmental disables and found deep purpose in supporting our most vulnerable community members to live out fulfilling lives. It is humble work, not prestigious in status or pay, but one of sacrifice and love for others. I have spent years protecting the vulnerable, empowering them to determine their own futures, and I have advocated for them to be valued as full members of our community. 

“I continue in that as a working mother of two…. I am fighting for the future world they will live in. The future all of the children deserve to live in. A future where systems of racist oppression are dismantled and everyone has a real opportunity to live into their potential. A future where we create sustainable economic growth that doesn’t demand we make a choice between providing for our families or having a planet that is habitable. A future where healthcare is a right afforded to everyone in America. 

“Over the past few years I began to focus more earnestly on organizing our community members into action and expecting our local elected officials to be accountable to the people and to bring results. Realizing that waiting for someone else to make change was no longer acceptable, I sought appointment and then was elected as a Trustee in Kalamazoo Township where I have served for the last 3 years. 

“America is in a crisis of conscience. I won’t accept the premise that solutions to big problems cannot be found. I refuse to submit that the promise of our democracy will be left unfulfilled. And I will not stand by and watch Black and Brown members of our communities continue to have their concerns ignored. I am ready to Fight for Equity.

Jen has been an involved activist for 15 years supporting Democratic candidates and progressive initiatives. She has helped build several grassroots organizations to bring people into an active role in our democracy. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Public Media Network, the County ID Advisory Board, the County Equity Taskforce, the Public Transit Human Services Committee, and the Regional Water and Waster Water Commission. She previously served on the Kalamazoo Township Election Commission, and was Chair of the Bronson Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council.

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