Meet the Candidates: Jeremy Kaplan
During the countdown to the Aug. 7 primary, Patch is bringing you profiles of the candidates running for office in West Bloomfield.
I was born and raised in West Bloomfield and attended West Bloomfield public schools including Green Elementary (now Sheiko Elementary), Orchard Lake Middle School, and graduated from West Bloomfield High School. I went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Beloit College (WI).
I have been a progressive activist for the past eight years. My most recent work includes working as a field organizer for Resolute Consulting, an award-winning public affairs firm, and I currently work for Judge Shelia Johnson, a candidate for Michigan Supreme Court, as her community outreach director.
I have been a resident of West Bloomfield for 23 years.
My parents, Toni and Gary Kaplan, have guided me and provided me with their wisdom in which I have learned to use foresight, respect others’ rights and opinions, and stay true to myself and my core values.
Activities or key endorsements you'd like to mention?
I have volunteered my time and have been actively involved in the West Bloomfield Village Civic Association since 2005. I have been on the board of directors for seven years and chaired the community enrichment committee for two years.
In 2005, I received a community service appreciation award from the West Bloomfield Optimist Club "for upholding the dignity of youth, for showing sincere devotion to the welfare of others, and for generous and unselfish contributions to society."
Additionally, I am proud to be endorsed by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 1. I am also proud to have the support of great community leaders such as Dr. Nelson Hersh, Shane Pliska, Jim Manna, Arnold Reed, Dorian Coston, Wally Jadan, Avie Benadaret, and Dr. Lance Stokes.
Why are you running for Trustee?
I decided to run for township trustee because we need a young, fresh perspective that promotes better communication and discourages antagonist behavior among board members both inside and outside of the board room. Additionally, it is my priority to bring balance to our Township by encouraging both responsible economic development and enforced protection and preservation of our unique environmental features. I am a progressive, passionate, and productive individual seeking to move West Bloomfield forward, encouraging board members to put old grudges aside, and begin working together as partners, not competitors.
Diversity comes in many forms, including age, and I believe it is essential that youth is represented on the township board. While many of my friends have left West Bloomfield and Michigan altogether because they felt there was a lack of opportunity, I believe we must do our best to encourage young people and young entrepreneurs to invest in West Bloomfield and Michigan alike. I am proud of my hometown and I want other young people to be proud too. I look forward to serving West Bloomfield Township with passion, pride, community, and diversity.
Do you have new ideas you’d like to suggest for the position or township?
Each year, water rates continue to rise for residents in West Bloomfield. Addressing this issue needs to be a priority for the next township board. Researching ways in which we can ultimately reduce costs for residents is essential and I’d like to participate in exploring what options are available that will help residents financially. An idea that has recently surfaced as a possibility is the construction of a water reservoir that has the potential to reduce water rates by up to 35 percent. I’d like to make it a priority to research the cost effectiveness of this option and continue to research and explore other options to compare and contrast what will help save residents money in the long run.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing the township? How would you handle them?
Continuing redevelopment so that Orchard Lake Rd. between Maple and 14 Mile Rd. is a place where businesses can thrive, increase our tax revenue, and allow residents and visitors to enjoy shopping and dining. While I hesitate to say we can or should be like downtown Birmingham over this one mile stretch, I believe it serves as a valuable attraction for business and family fun. This will also allow our unique environmental features to be preserved, protected, and enjoyed throughout other parts of West Bloomfield.
Diversifying our township’s boards and commissions to represent the many different constituencies that reside here and provide them with a strong voice. Over the past decade, West Bloomfield has become a much more diverse place to live and I believe our local government needs to reflect that
Reaching out and making effort to work with your fellow board members and encouraging them to work with you. Whether we tend to agree or disagree, I reach my hand out to every candidate in hopes of a strong working relationship.
Who else is running? Meet the candidates for the West Bloomfield Township Board Patch has interviewed so far:
- Supervisor: Michele Economou Ureste
- Supervisor: Jonathan Warshay
- Clerk: Cathy Shaughnessy
- Clerk: Neha Patel
- Treasurer: Teri Weingarden
- Treasurer: Gene Farber
- Trustee: Howard Rosenberg
- Trustee: Steven Kaplan
- Trustee: Larry Brown
- Trustee: Al Zara
- Trustee: Hartley Harris
- Trustee: Jeremy Kaplan
- Trustee: Tom Pustelak
- Trustee: Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer
- Trustee: Gerald J. Sukenic