Dear VOTER, 

Thank you for reading the responses to Burgess Foster's 2016 primary election M-LIVE voter guide questionnaire. We appreciate your cooperation. Here is a copy of his insightful  submission:

Age 48

Family (spouse's name and children names/ages) Bernard Dwight; Brandin Domeneque
High school (School and year of graduation, if applicable) Detroit, Southeastern C/O 1986
Undergraduate college (School, degree and year earned) University of NC @ Durham (NCCU)
Graduate college (School, degree and year earned) University of MI, MPA University of MD, MS-MGMT Wayne State University, MA-History
Other education: Sunday School Teacher/Student
Military service: 10% Service Connected Disabled Veteran
Employment (title, employer and years)DPSD
Previous employment List companies you own or hold more than a 5 percent stakeI
Corporate, civic, community membershipsNew Prospect Missionary Baptist Church-Pastor, Dr. Wilma R..Johnson 
Masonic Lodge-King Hiram 24
Have you ever held public office Please detail
Precinct Delegate
Have you ever run for public office and lost? Please detail
U.S. Congress 2014 MI 14th District MI House District 5 (redistricted) 2010 Detroit City Council 2009
Have you ever been arrested (Please detail date, location) No
Ever been convicted of or pleaded no contest to a crime? No 
Have you ever declared bankruptcy? (Provide date and court) No 
Company you own (5 percent or more stake) declare bankruptcy No
Have you ever failed to pay taxes on time? No 
Candidate cell phone number (not for publication) 929.367.8372
Campaign coordinator/manager name Traci Crutchfield, Manager, Treasurer Campaign coordinator/manager phone (not for publication) 929.367.8372
Mailing Address 641 COVINGTING DRIVE, SUITE A-3, DETROIT, MI. 48203-3835

Why are you running for office?
I am highly qualified to become a State Representative in District 3 meta the State's requirement of being an elector in the district and being of age. As aforementioned, I hold a credential from the University of Michigan in the MPA prog. concentrating in Government Operations. Again, I have run for U.S. Congress and the Michigan House previously offering up original salient ideas or platforms that could help the State of Michigan's denizens. I am not a career politician. I would style myself as a Disinterested Politician-meaning someone who genuinely wants to serve for several years at the most and then segue into being a Community College President or University Provost/Dean. My life story is inspirational-I can relate to a few who may not come from a two parent household but have still made a successful career of being P.roductive, I.ntelligent, T.alented, H.euristic, and a Y.eoman. I am a member of New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church where I serve in the Sunday School Ministry

Why do you identify with your political affiliation? Are there any issues on which you differ from your political party?
Some may find what I say hard to reconcile, because of the stigma of "organized religion." But i identify with the Democratic Party because it seems to be an organization whose core values of social and environmental justice are in keeping with a socio-ecological balance as promoted by the BIBLE. The Democratic Party of Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt gave us a regulatory environment that is railed upon, but without which "we the people," would not enjoy the protections of the FDA, SEC, USDA, FAA, and other agencies that seek to protect the "general welfare" of the hoi polloi or masses. The Democratic Party of FDR gave us the candidacies of Shirley Chisholm and Barrack Hussein Obama. These two in their own historical way proved that a Democratic Pluralistic Society that leverages multi-culturalism will be the most globally competitive. Personally, I do not agree with Roe V. Wade. I believe that an abortion should be a decision by both the father who supplied 23 chromosomes and the mother!

Do you support the state's current use of emergency managers? Please detail your position.
I do not advocate State control of a unit of government that eviscerates the elected representation of the polity. However, Economics teaches us in the example of Opportunity Cost---that if we don't make rational decisions, then we are going to have irrational actors act on behalf called EFMs. We saw what happened in Flint and other cities in Michigan where EFMs have not successful. I would support an automatic 10 year forensic audits that could signal mis-management, so that the people could make evidence based decisions. Mismanagement is not a crime, but it is evidence that leadership needs to change. However, if a city and its citizens refuses to make good decisions at the voting polls and not base their vote on name recognition but who can communicate the most meaningful messaging then the citizens of the State must expect the State to step in. This why ever so often a city's Charter needs to revised and as alluded to a forensic audit need to divulge the presence of legerdemain.

Do you think there is a legislative solution for skyrocketing college tuition? If so, what?
An administrative remedy for this quagmire could be institutionalized by the State so that there is consistency across Universities. I would borrow from the NC Higher Education System as a Benchmark. That state allows citizens to take 21 credits or roughly 7 courses for the same cost as 12 credits or four courses. This would give incentive to burgeoning human capital to be more efficient and productive with tax payer dollars in the form of student loans by being able to graduate on task and on time in four years instead of the national average of nearly 7 yrs for a four yr degree. Most students take a graduation-late load or 12 credits a semester so they can have more time to party---at this rate or course load that person would maintain an accretion of 24 credits a year and would not gain the prerequisite average credit of 120 credits until the 5th year, but when you factor in the changing of majors more than once, you can see how course load and academic advising are cornerstones.

What is the state's role in providing funding to address the Flint water crisis and do you believe the state has done enough?
The State's role in providing funding to address the Flint Water Crisis should be extensive and no, the State has not done enough! The Congressional Cross-Examination of Governor Snyder by the Gentle-Lady from Michigan-Brenda Lawrence (D) showed the complicity of the Governor's mismanagement at the least. The State should contact Moody's and Standard & Poors and work out a posture that allows the State to get an Emergency discount on the Debt Service that would make its investment in the Flint infrastructure requisition of materials and labor less costly. The State could be proactive in this way that would signal to the Nation and to Flint that its taking measures to redress the issue as well as maintain its full faith and credit. Maybe, I am speaking like a gerent in Public Administration, but this is how a legislator should think. A case study should be developed by the State's Carnegie Research I universities to help prevent this from happening anywhere in the USA: WSU, MSU, and UM

What, if anything, should the state be doing to fund underground infrastructure improvements including lead pipe removal?
According to an article reference on my Facebook page extracted from a leading Association stated that in essence the 'underground infrastructure' of large cities like Flint in the State of Michigan need upgrading. This naturally compounds the problem of a crumbling Road Infrastructure, i.e., Bridges, Highways, and Interstates. I support the Rush-PAC on Roads view on regulating those companies who logistically exacerbates the issue above ground. These deficiencies help to point out the lack of re-inventing across multiple platforms in re: energy. Our nation is nearly 250 years old, if we are to sustain our way of life we have to be proactive and be shrewd citizens and public officials. Either we become wiser than Rome and China or the USA will become obsolete like the one and less socio-techno dominant than the other if I could use this metaphor to drive home my point. 1 million wind turbines and over 100million solar panel arrays on top of new "smart" pipes that indicate maintenance

What issues do you consider a top priority?
Education: Early Childhood, Early College, Adult Education, Post-Secondary Education (Comm. Colleges), and Higher Education (BA, MA, Ph.D.) Mass Transit (merger of DDOT/SMART) creating DARTA (Detroit Area Regional Transit Authority) Economics: fosterig more small business loans and entrepreneurs in Detroit and Flint Government Operations: redoing term limits to 8 years in the House and 12 years in the Senate.Multi-year five year budgets not three years, requiring education attainment beyond BA/BS to become a State Legislator-fostering and fomenting higher levels of thinking.

Do you support legalized abortion? (Yes or no)

Currently Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which protects people from discrimination in housing or employment, does not cover LGBT individuals. Should the Michigan legislature amend the act to provide LGBT individuals with those protections? (Yes or No)

Would you sign or have you during this campaign signed a pledge to not raise taxes? (Yes or no)

Do you believe the state should use public money to reimburse private schools for state-mandated reporting requirements for items like safety drills and immunization statements. (Yes or No)
Is there a Certificate of Need? Basically, what I am saying is that do private schools need the financial aid---are they title 1 schools. Do they have more than 50% of their students on welfare or who qualify for "free" lunch? I believe in financial assistance to faith based organizations because they buffer or supplement the third sector in the economy.The first sector is the private sector, i.e., GM, Apple, Wal Mart, McDonalds, Detroit Diesel, DTE, DOW Chemical. The second sector is the public sector of Federal, State, County and Municipal Operations, and the third sector is made up of Non-Profits! Non-profits carry-out missions that are critical in society, without which services gaps in the the other two would create a loss of human capital being treated.

You will be updated when your responses are approved. MLive, the Grand Rapids Press, The Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and Saginaw News reserve the right to review all responses and edit for clarity and content.  

Thank you for participating! 


Your MLive editors:
Julie Hoogland, regional news manager, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon; Sara Scott, regional news manager, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Jackson; Bryn Mickle, regional news manager, Flint, Saginaw and Bay City; and Mickey Ciokajlo, impact team manager.