Hilliard has ideas for 4th Congressional District

Midland Daily News
John Kennett
July 23, 2018

As a native of Michigan’s 4th Congressional District, Jerry Hilliard is running as a Democrat to represent those people with whom he has a special relationship.

“My campaign has always been for us, not for me,” Hilliard said. “My main goal is to rebuild the middle class. When we have a strong middle class, the poor have opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty. It is actually good for business because now they have stronger markets to sell.”

The Midland Progressive Democrats recently held a town hall meeting for candidates from the 4th Congressional District and invited all three candidates. Hilliard and fellow Democrat Dr. Zigmond “Ziggy” Kozicki accepted. Incumbent John Moolenaar, R-Midland, stated that Congress was in session that day and therefore he had to be in Washington, D.C.

Hilliard and Kozicki square off in the Aug. 7 primary election. The winner will face Moolenaar in the Nov. 6 general election.

Following graduation from Harrison High School, Hilliard received a bachelor’s of science in business education, physical education and biology from Central Michigan University. Later, he earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan-Flint and a master’s degree in sports administration from CMU.

Following a successful business career at Nabisco Inc., Hilliard taught at public high schools and Mid Michigan and Lansing community colleges.

His thoughts on the issues:

First legislative priority

Hilliard would propose Medicare for all.

“In the U.S., Michigan is ranked near the bottom in childcare, infant deaths and maternal health,” he said. “Our young people and young mothers don’t have insurance and don’t get the care they need. If you are always worried about bankruptcy because of medical bills, how are you going to be successful?”

Legislation of marijuana

“It should be legalized and regulated like alcohol. I feel that society is ready for it to be legalized,” he said.

Gun related legislation

Hilliard supports the Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“I think we should outlaw assault rifles or at least have very, very strict regulations. I think all schools should have two entrances, the first with a metal detector. If it goes off, it would lock down the second door and the first door. We should have fences around the schools that don’t look like prison fences. We need to have metal detectors on those fences and more video coverage outside the school,” he said.

LGBT rights

Hilliard is very emphatic in his support of rights for LGBT persons.

Income inequality

Calling income inequality “the problem of this generation,” Hilliard would support a higher minimum wage. He would also push for strong unions.

“Whatever you feel about unions, the alternative is to be exploited,” he said. “Wages go up when we have unions and wages go down when we don’t.”

Constituent relations

“I would have an open-door policy. I feel that we need somebody in there that understands the plight of the average person. We don’t need to ridicule our opponents but listen to them. If you just listen to others, a lot of times you can get them to come onto your own side,” Hilliard said.

Divisiveness in Congress

“It will take some bargaining. We can’t do it overnight unless we can just overwhelm the Republicans at the ballot box, which we could do. Having been a salesman for 22 years, the way you make other people go is that you make them think it was their idea,” he said.

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