1.) List a few details of your background you think voters would want to know. (75 words)
I was born and raised here in Marquette in a working-class, union household, went to local public schools, and earned a degree in Government at Harvard on a need-based scholarship. I’m young, but I have 4 years of experience serving on 3 different appointed City boards and I work for Marquette County, so I know how local government works. I can provide a fresh perspective, but I also have the experience to get things done.
2.) What do you think are the most important issues facing the city? (100 words)
We need to focus on housing affordability. Inflation-adjusted Marquette home prices have doubled since 1985, and went up 12 percent last year alone. Rent is also rising rapidly in the City due to a rental housing shortage. We must amend our zoning code to encourage incremental affordable housing development, and ensure that new developments expand the supply of affordable housing.
Utility rates are another major pocketbook issue for City residents. Rate increases should be spread out over a longer time period to reduce their impact on City residents with limited incomes.
You can learn more about my platform at EvanBonsall.com/issues.
3.) Why do you think voters should choose you? (200 words)
I am running for Marquette City Commission because I plan on living here in Marquette for many years to come, and I want to make sure our City has a bright future. Young people and working families will be the foundation of that future, but rising housing costs and a lack of economic opportunity are forcing them out of the City. Left unchecked, this will erode our local tax base and drain our community of its economic and social vitality.
I have a detailed and realistic plan to address rising housing costs, and it won’t cost a single taxpayer dollar. You can read that plan at my website, EvanBonsall.com.
Marquette is growing, but we must do so without sacrificing the unique assets — our public lakeshore, trails, and forestlands — which make people want to live here in the first place. I would help restore that balance and encourage sustainable, inclusive growth.
Finally, as a young person I would bring a fresh perspective to the City Commission. 30 percent of voting-age City residents are under the age of 30, but we don’t have single City Commissioner under the age of 30. I would provide representation for a new generation of Marquette residents.