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Dan Kildee

Dan Kildee
Credit Courtesy http://dankildee.house.gov/about/

Dan Kildee is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan's 5th District as the Democratic candidate.

(Scroll below to see all the Michigan Radio stories he's been mentioned in.)

As part of our election coverage, we asked all the major-party candidates running for Congress the same questions.

4 Questions for Dan Kildee

1) What is the most important issue facing your district?

The most important issue facing my district is the water crisis in my hometown, Flint. The people of Flint have not had access to safe drinking water from their tap for over two years and they deserve justice. There are many forms of justice, one of them is making it right for the people of Flint. The state, having created this man-made crisis, needs to step up in a big way with more resources.

There are other critical priorities that I fight for everyday like growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs, including by rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and infrastructure; investing in education to ensure that every child -- no matter their zip code-- has the opportunity for a quality, affordable education, including higher education; and supporting America’s cities and towns so that we can build strong neighborhoods and safe communities, from Flint to Oscoda.

2) How do you plan to address it?

I’m fighting to ensure Congress acts to send federal aid to Flint. After a year of fighting, we made progress with bipartisan votes in the House and Senate supporting Flint aid. I’m working with Senators Stabenow and Peters to make sure Flint aid becomes law.

The federal government has provided more than $280 million for Flint from supplying bottled water and filters to expanding Medicaid. There is more work to do, and I believe that the state needs to step up to ensure that Flint has the resources to fully recover.

Additionally, we have a lot to do to grow our economy, fix broken infrastructure and ensure every child has access to a quality, affordable education. Whether it’s our economy, infrastructure or education, we must always be looking forward. We must have bold ideas that focus on new technologies and industries to ensure our vibrant and diverse communities succeed.

3) What book or movie have you seen/read recently that you would recommend

I recently read A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I greatly admire Ambassador Power and had the honor of working with her to bring my constituent,  Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, home from wrongful imprisonment in Iran. I’m proud to say that today Amir is home in Flint because of the tenacious diplomatic efforts of people like Ambassador Power who fought for years to reunite Amir with his family.

A Problem from Hell addresses the danger of indifference and inaction when it comes to genocide. The book tells the incredible story of people who worked to advance human rights and dignity. And it serves as a cautionary tale that history will not view kindly those who overlook human suffering and violence and that mankind has a responsibility to assuage these terrible ills when possible.

4) If you don't win the election, what will you do?

As I see it, I’ve always had the same job, sometimes with a different job title.  Whether it was my first job as a social worker at Whaley Children’s Center, serving on the Flint School Board, my time as Genesee County Treasurer or as CEO of the Center for Community Progress, my job has always been fighting for communities and people that have been forgotten or left behind.  I did it in my hometown of Flint working to revitalize neighborhoods as County Treasurer and I did it for older industrial cities across the county at the Center for Community Progress. If the people of the fifth district decided they didn’t want me to keep the title of Member of Congress, I’d find other ways to keep fighting for Flint, Saginaw, and communities like it across the state and nation.

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Environmentalists and their allies in Congress are stepping up their efforts to fight proposed cuts to federal Great Lakes funding and the EPA budget.

President Trump proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as well as effectively eliminating federal money for Great Lakes restoration projects.  The Trump budget would shift the financial burden of maintaining the Great Lakes onto the eight states in the region.     

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On May 9, State Representative John Kivela was found dead in a Lansing home from an apparent suicide. The Marquette democrat's death marks the third time in the past year a House member has died. Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss reactions from the Michigan State House. 

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

A Michigan congressman has decided against running for governor in 2018 and instead will seek a fourth term in the U.S. House.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township made the announcement Tuesday in an email to supporters. His decision leaves former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer as the highest-profile candidate in the Democratic field.

Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of Detroit's health department, has been aggressively seeking to raise his profile with Democrats. Three other lesser-known candidates also are running.

Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint has decided that he will not, after all, run for the Democratic nomination for governor next year. Sources close to the congressman told me last night that he had been wavering until last week, when House Republicans rammed through a health care bill that few understood and which made Democrats extremely mad.

Kildee, who has told me he loves Congress, had an epiphany then that his work was to stay in the House, where he has a safe seat, and fight for what is right for the nation.

Doctor's office
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Relieved Republicans have pushed their prized health care bill through the House. The mostly party-line 217-213 vote advances a bill that addresses their longtime pledge to erase the 2010 Obama health care law.

“Today, I voted to keep the promise I made to the voters of my district to rescue Americans from the collapsing health care law that has raised premiums and deductibles and replace it with a better health care system,” says Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Flint residents are upset that the city has started threatening to put liens on homes that are delinquent on their water and sewer bills.

Last month, the city of Flint sent out notices to more than 8,000 water customers.  The notices advise customers to either pay their delinquent water bills, or the city will put a lien on their home.   The delinquent bills amount to nearly $6 million.   

Pre-schoolers playing at a table.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the city of Flint will mark the third anniversary of its ill-fated drinking water switch. 

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Long ago, way back in, say, the 1980s, there was something quaint about most elections in this country: Candidates did not actually begin running until the year of the election itself. We hold primaries in August and general elections in November, and it was thought that if you declared your candidacy in January, say, that would give you enough time to persuade voters.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee has re-introduced legislation to change the federal rules governing lead in drinking water.

Lead exposure has been linked to serious health problems in children and adults. 

The current federal action level is 15 parts per billion. Kildee wants the EPA to reduce that benchmark to five parts per billion by the year 2026.

Kildee’s bill would also tighten rules regarding water testing, service line inventories and improve public education

Ckay / Creative Commons

President Trump's proposed budget cuts to Great Lakes restoration has some Michigan lawmakers and small business owners concerned.

When it comes to ethics and integrity in government, Michigan is a disgrace. That’s not just my opinion. A little over a year ago, the Center for Public Integrity ranked our legislature worst among the fifty states in an analysis of state government transparency and accountability. We have few restraints on legislative behavior.

Capitol Hill
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Last week, House Republicans submitted their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The bill, which has been under intense committee debate, has drawn criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, health care organizations, doctors, and others. But it is largely supported by House Republicans and the White House.

Some of the bill’s provisions would be enacted as soon as it is put into law, including the elimination of individual and employer mandates. Others would be delayed until 2020, such as limiting the Medicaid expansion and a repeal of subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s congressional delegation is showing bi-partisan opposition to reports the Trump administration plans to slash funding for the Great Lakes.

Published reports say the White House wants to slash spending on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 97%, from $300 million to $10 million.  The initiative is part of an Environmental Protection Agency program for funding that pays for pollution cleanup. 

President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress delivered themes and promises that are very familiar.
Screen grab from YouTube.com

President Trump's first speech before a joint session of Congress delivered themes and promises that are very familiar. It was delivered in a tone many have remarked was more presidential and more aspirational.

Rep. Paul Michell (R) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D) joined Stateside to give a perspective of last night's speech from both sides of the aisle.

From the Republican side, Congressman Paul Mitchell, who represents Michigan's 10th District, said the speech "captured the aspirations of Americans."

Harrietta Hills Trout Farms co-owner Dan Vogler wants to produce up to 300,000 pounds of trout at the historic Grayling Fish Hatchery.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, is proposing a ban on certain types of fish farming in the Great Lakes region.  

In Fenton today, Kildee said federal laws are needed to replace a patchwork of state laws in the region that are insufficient to regulate the aquaculture industry.    

“These fish farms create all sorts of pollution…and increase the likelihood of significant impact on habitat,” says Kildee.  

Here are Kildee’s two bills:

Imagine that you got into politics, won a few local elections, and before you knew it were your party’s leader in the Michigan Senate.

That’s how things worked out for State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, a former high school social studies teacher who, at age 39, got that job a little over two years ago.

Ontario Power Generation

Members of Michigan's congressional delegation have sent letters to the Trump administration and the Canadian government in hopes of stopping a planned nuclear waste site along Lake Huron.

Ontario Power Generation wants to store low and intermediate level radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron.  The utility insists the plan is safe and other options are too expensive.

The Canadian government is taking public comment on the proposal.    

Michigan Democrats take issue with Trump's EPA directive

Jan 25, 2017
Courtesy Nan Palmero / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some of Michigan's congressional representatives are worried about new rules from the Trump administration.

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and Representative Dan Kildee wrote a letter to the president expressing their concerns about a directive that forbids the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from ordering any new contracts or grants.

The lawmakers fear that this directive could "jeopardize much-needed federal funding for Flint."

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

As Governor Rick Snyder prepares to deliver his seventh State of the State address, a potential candidate to replace him has called for ethics rules that would align Michigan with what the federal government requires.

Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) has proposed a federal law to require state lawmakers to disclose their sources of income and possible conflicts of interest. That’s the same standard applied to members of Congress.

We used to be a pretty big deal in Congress but, now, Michigan’s House delegation is in a re-building season.

A new session of Congress has been sworn in in D.C. and for the first time in generations none of our Michigan Representatives are committee chairs.

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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

One Democratic Michigan congressman says he’s willing to keep an “open-mind” about Republican plans to replace Obamacare.

Large crowds gathered across the nation on Sunday, including in Warren, to oppose the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act.   

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee is concerned a quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave 20 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Michigan, without health insurance.

Kildee wants to see how Republicans will keep some popular provisions of the health care law in place.

Flint residents packed a town hall meeting yesterday to hear a “progress report” on their drinking water.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents packed a town hall meeting last night to hear a progress report on their water.

As EPA Region 5 Acting Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan said on Stateside on Wednesday, an array of scientific tests and data show that the water is improving, but as people were told last night by the EPA, Flint's tap water isn't safe to drink unless its been run through a filter.

The new president, Congress and state Legislature still haven’t been sworn in but Campaign 2018 is already underway.

Former state Senator Gretchen Whitmer is the “first” candidate to launch a 2018 campaign for governor of Michigan. Whitmer is a Democrat who spent more than a dozen years in the state Legislature before being term-limited out in 2014.

A lead service line removed from a Flint home. Lead service lines were useful because the metal is flexible and can bend - making installation easier.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It has been well over a year since the world learned that Flint was in the throes of an environmental disaster.

In the early months of this year, the Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of political leaders promising aid and vowing this would never happen again: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, President-elect Trump.

So here we are, at year's end, and Flint hasn't seen a penny of that promised federal aid to help replace its damaged lead water pipes. And now there's a new curve ball that could threaten that federal funding.

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congress returns to D.C. this week to begin a three-week-long lame duck session.

Congressman Dan Kildee says funding for Flint is at the top of his list of things to get done before the end of the year.

“We’ve really been working on this for almost the entire year to get Congress to take action, and until we get it done it continues to be my number one priority,” Kildee said.

The funding could help pay to replace thousands of lead service lines damaged because of the water crisis.

The former Wurtsmith Air Force base.
Mike Fritcher / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Congressman Dan Kildee wants the Air Force to do more to help Oscoda residents whose groundwater is contaminated by perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs. The Wurtsmith Air Force Base used firefighting foams containing PFCs on its property in Oscoda for decades. The base is now closed.

Kildee sent a letter to the Air Force this week, outlining a long list of concerns.

Flint city leaders say water crisis is far from over

Nov 15, 2016
What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's water crisis became national news last year, but city officials want you to know it's still not fixed yet.

This week, Congressman Dan Kildee introduced new legislation to improve lead standards in drinking water, and the Flint city council approved Mayor Karen Weaver's renewal of emergency status for Flint.

Weaver says city residents still don't have safe tap water.

“In case somebody doesn't know, unfortunately the fact of the matter is that we still cannot drink our water without a filter,” Weaver says. "And that’s a huge issue.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator says there are some things that Congress has to address when it returns to work this week.  

Sen. Debbie Stabenow says her top priority during Congress’ lame duck session will be lining up federal money for Flint.

“We have a promise that was made to me by the Speaker of the House and the Republican Majority Leader that before the end of this year we would pass the money that’s critical to fixing the pipes in Flint,” says Stabenow.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s elected leaders once again have the ability to file a lawsuit against the state for its handling of the city’s water crisis.

Today, the city’s state-appointed oversight board reversed a policy that effectively blocked the city from filing lawsuits.  

Back in March, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver filed a notice with the court, saying the city was potentially looking at suing the state of Michigan for decisions and mistakes made by state employees that led to Flint’s drinking water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s congressional Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice today asking for a review of a legal provision. The provision seemed to prevent the city of Flint from suing the state of Michigan without the state’s approval.

But it appears the state is prepared to strike that provision anyway. If it does, that could allow Flint to sue the state over the water crisis.

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