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Our 2023 Election Candidates



A Midwesterner by birth and Ferndalian by choice, Donnie Johnson earned a BA from The George Washington University, a JD from The Catholic University of America, a LL.M. in Tax Law from Georgetown University, and a MLIS from the University of Maryland.


Currently the Associate Budget Director for the City of Detroit, he has served in the Detroit city government for nine years. He serves on the Ferndale Housing Commission, Civil Service Board, and was Chair of the 2022 resident-led Ferndale Facilities Task Force. 


A passionate advocate for engagement in municipal government and for vulnerable communities, Johnson formerly served as Ferndale Precinct 9 Chair and as a member of the Affirmations Board of Directors, where he served as Treasurer.  In his spare time he can be found gardening, cooking, reading science fiction, and supporting the Ferndale Cat Shelter.


"Together we will do the work worth doing to preserve what makes Ferndale special while creating opportunities for everyone to make it their home."




Rolanda's passion for Ferndale and her aspiration to make positive change for the city and its community members have inspired her candidacy for City Council.  Her guiding principle of 'Listen, Learn, Lead' demonstrates her desire to understand the issues that are important to people and seek solutions on their behalf. 

She is a community builder by nature and works tirelessly to ensure that everyone feels seen, heard and valued.  Rolanda comes with over 20 years of leadership experience managing a large business in a high-pressure environment. 

Rolanda's fierce and ongoing advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community is demonstrated in her roles as the Vice Chair for the Unity Fund, as the Event Chair for a Ferndale Pride fundraiser, as a leader for a workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, as the former Vice Chair of OCDP's LGBTQ+ committee, amongst others. This year she also met legislators at Michigan's State Capitol to encourage them to pass a bill banning conversion therapy, in which they created, passed bills to do so.




My career path has been in the vein of public service.  In law school, I served on the Board of Directors of the Free Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC). FLAC is a non-profit organization that provides legal services to low-income seniors and victims of domestic violence. I subsequently worked as a Legislative Aide at the state level. I am now an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Wayne County. It’s a tough job, but there is nothing more rewarding than advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves.

In Eastpointe, I’ve been involved with the Civil Service Commission, Arts & Cultural Diversity Commission, Housing Commission, 8 Mile Kelly Homeowners Association, Tax Reversion Committee, and Ethics Ordinance Committee. I am currently serving as a board member on the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe. I also participate in the litter clean-up events through the Beautification Commission and continue to maintain the flowerbed I adopted at 10 Mile and Gratiot.

I am proud of our city, but there is more to be accomplished. I remain committed to investing in infrastructure, ensuring efficient and transparent spending, and strengthening the bonds that make us a community. I promise to maintain respect and work with others to meet our goals. I know we can build a bright future if we work together.




I am continuing my pledge to serve my community.  Ferndale has been my home for more than 30 years.  I am a graduate of the Ferndale Public School system.  I am a small business owner that continues to practice law in the tri-county area – including defending those that need help the most as a Public Defender. 

I have served the people of Ferndale as a Councilmember and on many local Commissions and Committees: FernCare, Ferndale Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Healthcare Coalition and more.


I campaigned for the Ferndale anti-discrimination ordinance that added LGTBQ status as a protected class, my law practice is a proud sponsor of Ferndale Pride, Hazel Park Pride, and Encore Men's Chorus.


While serving a temporary term on the Ferndale City Council,

I was instrumental in making conversion therapy a criminal act.

Our 2022 Election Candidates
Jeremy Moss

For Michigan State Senate
District 7

Sen. Jeremy Moss is the first ever openly gay member of the Michigan Senate and is running for re-election. He is a champion of pro-equality legislation and a government ethics watchdog. He is continuing those efforts in the State Senate while also working to restore the harsh cuts to local governments and school districts that have impacted the lives of working families, retirees and students.

Mike McFall

For Michigan State Representative

District 8

Mike was first elected to the Hazel Park city council in 2019, and has worked hard to push the community forward on issues including funding for our firefighters, advocating for inclusion and respect, and working collaboratively with anyone who cares about helping our area and our neighbors thrive. 


“I will fight for voting rights and oppose every effort to disenfranchise voters or to place barriers between voters and their ballots.”

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Noah Arbit

For Michigan State Representative

District 20

Born and raised in West Bloomfield, Noah Arbit is a veteran organizer, public servant, and community leader. Noah has worked for Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan legislature; in 2019, he founded the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus to take on hate and bigotry in our communities, and most recently served in the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. Noah grew up attending Bloomfield Hills Schools and earned his degree in political science. He and his family are congregants at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.

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Brendan Johnson

For Oakland County Commissioner

"I am trained to work with people from all backgrounds and with myriad interests and motivations. I love bringing people together.


We need someone in Oakland County that will work across differences to find the pragmatic, common-sense solutions we need to improve our county and state. Protecting our communities, beautiful green spaces, and excellent schools are only some of my priorities. I’m running to make government work for you. We need to trust that our water is safe, our roads are reliable, and our children have a safe environment in which to learn. These are the things that come from good governance. I will use my experience to bring about the best solutions for all of us, and I will be proud to represent you."

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Amanda Shelton

For Oakland County
Circuit Court Judge

"Representation matters. Electing qualified people from historically marginalized communities to the court, like the LGBTQ+ community, matters because it sends the message that inclusivity does not end on the courthouse steps. Now more than ever, I believe this message needs to be heard by all who interact with the courts in Michigan. If elected I would be proud to serve as a well-qualified and openly gay woman on the Oakland County Circuit Court bench."

Jason Hoskins

For Michigan State Representative

District 18

Jason’s experiences in school and with the ACLU helped prepare him to be a key staff member for two state legislators - Former State Representative Rudy Hobbs and State Senator Jeremy Moss.  Working in these offices allowed Jason to gain a breadth of knowledge of state issues and their effect on the Southfield community.  Jason is currently serving as a council person in Southfield.


"One of the first things I did as legislative staff, was work on legislation to expand a powerful economic development tool cities can use to clean up vacant properties and put them to better use. Together we the people achieve more than any single person could ever do alone.”

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Jason Morgan

For Michigan State Representative

District 23

Jason currently serves as a Washtenaw County Commissioner, representing central Ann Arbor, Burns Park, and Central Ann Arbor. First elected in 2016 and re-elected twice with nearly 90% of the vote, he was elected Chair of the Board in 2019 and served as the county's first-ever LGBTQ chair.

"I promise that I will tirelessly fight for a Michigan that works for everybody. No matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or socioeconomic status, you should be able to thrive in our beautiful state."

Maurice L Turner

Candidate for Mayor

Highland Park, MI

"I believe that everyone deserves a seat at the table.  The city of Highland Park was historically built on diversity with many different nationalities and lifestyles of people from all over the world coming here in the early 1900's to live out their American dream.   My life has been marked by a commitment to service, equity and community.  I have spent 15 years as a financial counselor and marketing specialist for GreenPath Financial Wellness, one of the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofits financial and housing counseling agencies.  There, I helped build and support GreenPath’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access work and strategy.   I am proud to represent Highland Park as a hard working and ambitious black man and who is also part of the LGBTQ+ family.  Our city deserves a leader who is willing to fight for everyone and is able to build relationships, partnerships and alliances to bring our city back as a competitive community amongst our neighboring counterparts."

Our 2021 Election Candidates
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Brett Nicholson

Candidate for Pontiac City Council, District 2

“I believe it is my experience as a gay man that incites an undying passion to create equality and opportunity for the people who need it most. As a council person I will ensure the voices of our rainbow family are at the table in an area that has been severely unrepresented.”

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Gabriela Santiago-Romero

Candidate for Detroit City Council

Gabriela is currently the Policy and Research Director at a state-based movement organization. She pushes for statewide policy change that centers community’s basic needs in partnership with multi-racial grassroots organizations in Michigan. 

"Our community is resilient and we always have each others’ backs. Whether it’s putting together backpack drives for the little ones starting school or coming together to support our neighbors that have lost their home to a fire or foreclosure, we show up for each other.""

Denzel McCampbell

Candidate for Detroit City Clerk

Denzel has been involved with numerous social justice issues around access to clean water, paid sick time, equitable development, racial justice, campaign finance reform, and ending partisan redistricting.  He’s committed to fighting for issues rooted in uplifting community and returning power to the people.

Jason Hoskins

Candidate for Southfield City Council

Jason’s experiences in school and with the ACLU helped prepare him to be a key staff member for two state legislators - Former State Representative Rudy Hobbs and State Senator Jeremy Moss.  Working in these offices allowed Jason to gain a breadth of knowledge of state issues and their effect on the Southfield community.  Jason is currently serving as a council person in Southfield

Greg Pawlica

Candidate for Ferndale City Council

Gregg is currently serving as a council person in Ferndale.  The City of Ferndale scored 100 points out of possible 100 points as rated by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard. Undeniably this is a great accomplishment for the city and for its executive team.  Greg is lifetime supporter of the LGBTQ community with many years of involvement in various LGBTQ organizations

Our 2020 Election Candidates
Kevin Kresch

Candidate for State Representative,

Michigan 27th District

"As an attorney and former legislative aide, I am prepared on day one to be the progressive champion the 27th District deserves."


Berkley - Ferndale - Hazel Park - Huntington Woods

Oak Park - Pleasant Ridge - Royal Oak Twp

David Coulter

Oakland County Executive, candidate for 2020 election

Dave Coulter has always been a leader who listens, builds consensus, and then gets thing done. He’s the leader we need now.  David has a proved track record on LGBTQ policies and resolutions.

Dave’s priorities have been clear from the start: Preserving our great Oakland County economy, and reinforcing diversity, equity and fairness.

Cynthia L. Thornton

Candidate for State Representative, Michigan 7th District

Cynthia educates diverse groups about their civil and workplace rights, teaches LGBTQ cultural competency, advocates for “equitable equality,” builds bridges of understanding, and serves as President of Pride at Work Michigan.  In 2018, she was named Precinct Delegate of the Year and Rebel with a Cause, while she organized the first LGBTQ Committee in the MDP Black Caucus and the first LGBTQ Caucus in Michigan congressional district (the Mighty 14th).

Jody LaMacchia

Candidate for State Representative,

Michigan 46th District

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Brendan Johnson

Candidate for State Representative,

Michigan 45th District

Dennis Whittie

Candidate for 43rd District Court Judge

"As Americans, we are proud of the freedoms we enjoy. I believe it is vital that we protect our personal freedoms and fight to ensure that every Michigander is equally free from discrimination. 


Have the freedom to love whomever we choose.  I will use my voice to fight for the protection of all LGBTQ Michiganders through the expansion of the Elliot Larson law."

"When I'm in Lansing, I'll continue to fight for the rights of all Michiganders regardless of orientation or gender identity.

Expand Michigan’s Civil Rights Act to include protections for the LGBT community. For over 30 years, efforts have been made to attempt to amend our Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the existing protected classes within the Act. No Michigander should lose their job or home because of whom they love."

"My public service is extensive, and I have provided community service to all three cities that make up the 43 rd District Court: Ferndale, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights. I have served on various boards, commissions, and campaigns in Ferndale. Notably, I campaigned for the Ferndale anti-discrimination ordinance that added LGTBQ status as a protected class. In Hazel Park, I have been a Hazel Park Schools supporter through various activities and financial support. In Madison Heights, I was a police explorer that returned as an advisor/instructor to mentor youth. I would like to continue in public service as the next 43 rd District Court judge."

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Renee Richer
Rudy Serra

Candidate for State Representative,

Michigan 108th District

An openly LGBTQ candidate, Richer has a personal stake in expanding LGBTQ rights protections across Michigan. She’s paying close attention to efforts like Fair and Equal Michigan’s petition to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity protections.

"As a mother, an educator, and a small business owner, I know how hard we work in the UP to provide for our families."

Scary realities like those for minorities come from misunderstandings about them. That’s why for Richer, developing clear-cut and efficient policy is the only path toward changing them for the better.

Candidate for 43rd District Court Judge

"I was the first openly gay Judge in Michigan history. I am the only candidate with over two years of experience as a District Court Judge. I served on the third-busiest trial court in the U.S. [36th District Court, Detroit]. I was rated “outstanding” by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association. This means that I am one the best judges or lawyers available for judicial service, and I have a widely acknowledged reputation for fairness, judicial temperament, integrity, competence and diligence.


I have successfully defended hundreds of LGBT people from wrongful charges. I am the only candidate who has ever presided over a trial. I am the only candidate who has trained five new judges, the only one with a master’s degree in communication, and the only candidate with 27 years of experience as a licensed social worker. Judicial experience, communication skills and social work experience are the most useful things a judge can have."

Become our Candidate:

Are you interested in our support?   Contact us and let's work together to make a difference.

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