Local candidate for state representative Barb Anness shares her platform


Photo Courtesy of Anness

Barb Anness is a candidate for state representative. She is currently campaigning and encouraging a high voter turn out for the coming election.

Autumn Page, Marketing Director

With elections right around the corner in November, candidates are actively campaigning for your vote.

Barb Anness, a democrat nominee running for state representative in district 45, is still out canvassing to get voters out to the polls. She’s very involved with the Rochester community, having been on the board of directors for Michigan PTA for two years — she’s currently their federal legislative chair.

Her district covers Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township and voting precincts four and seven.

She has lived in Greater Rochester for 24 years, and moved to Michigan with her husband 30 years ago from Ohio. She has two kids, who are both in college. Her daughter goes to Michigan State University and her son goes to Oakland University. 

Anness is a graphic designer by trade and owns a small business called Anness Design

This led to her appointment as a school board trustee in 2017. In 2018, she ran to keep her seat. This position led her to the idea of running for state representative. 

“After 2018, a couple people kept telling me ‘you should think about running for this statehouse seat here in Greater Rochester’ and the more I started considering it, I realized that it would be an open seat,” Anness said.“If there’s ever a time to flip this district from Republican to Democrat, this would probably be it.”

Anness has often felt like her voice wasn’t heard in the past by some representatives. 

“My views have not been reflected in the decisions that are supposed to be representing me up at Lansing,” Anness said. “When I found out the individual that is running on the Republican side, that was really the catalyst for me to say ‘you know, I think I’m done being represented by the same old kind of representation.’”

After gaining experience in education and schools, she finds education to be one of her top three issues. 

“When I talk about public education, I’m not just focusing on K-12. What concerns me is that, especially at public universities as a state, we’ve been disinvesting in K-12 and higher education,” she said. “As a state, we only put about 4% of the state budget towards higher education and collectively as a nation, on average, most states put at least 10% of their state budget towards higher education.”

Anness believes that the disinvesting trickles down to families and their ability to afford to send kids to college.

Another top issue for her is jobs in the economy because of COVID-19. She wants to make sure that small businesses and families can sustain themselves while Michigan battles with the pandemic. 

“We’ve seen from August to September, over 800,000 women have dropped out of the workforce, mainly because of the current pandemic situation and not being able to sustain themselves,” she said.

She supports The Heroes Act, which helps small businesses, and a higher minimum wage. Along with paid sick leave and the development of green technologies and industries, infrastructure and the environment are two key issues of hers. 

“Infrastructure and the environment are two things that I think we need to start investing in because it will lay the groundwork for our future once we get through this pandemic,” she said. 

Anness has been talking to voters, whether very democratic or very republican, and realized that a ton of people right in the middle. She appeals to them by discussing what she sees happening at the state level versus what she thinks.

With her experience in public service, she realized that it’s important to reach a consensus that benefits every child in the district. When she and the board speak, they want to be a unified body.  

To her, that is something that gets lost at a state level.

“I am one of 110 individuals in the Michigan House of Representatives, collectively, we have to make decisions that are ultimately in the best interests of all Michiganders so that ability to problem solve, collaborate and work with others who may not necessarily agree with my point of view and i may not necessarily agree with theirs,” she said. “That’s not what I’m seeing right now at state level government and it’s unfortunate that the people lose at the end when we have a divided government that isn’t willing to work together and try to come together at a particular issue.”

The Oakland Post contacted Republican candidate Mark Tisdel, who chose not to comment.