Bloomfield Township resident Marcia Gershenson is running for re-election to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners primarily to continue work she has been doing over the past eight years.
The incumbent Democrat faces off in November against Republican Al Zaparackas, to represent the county's 13th District seat, which includes portions of Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield. She currently represents District 17.
An advocate for the county's microloan program, Gershenson said supporting small businesses "is a key component to turning our economy around". The program makes loans of $500 to $50,000 available to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
She said she has also worked on a "buy local" campaign, because "if you keep your money local, 70 percent of it stays in the county ... and builds our neighborhoods."
Gershenson said she will also continue her work with senior issues and the Women's Commission for Oakland County, which she helped form. "There, you're working with issues that concern men, children and families, too," she said.
But working with small businesses and entrepreneurs is "really where I want to continue my energies", Gershenson said, adding she is willing to work across the political aisle with "whoever brings up a good idea to move Michigan forward and move the region forward."
In addition, she said, Oakland County is not an island. "We need to work with Detroit, we need to work with surrounding counties."
Gershenson said she is also a strong supporter of the county's free housing counseling program, which aims to keep people in their homes and avoid foreclosure.
"People, when they get in that situation, stop answering their phones and stop checking their mail," she said. "We're trying to intervene at an earlier point and help people work with their banks."