State Rep. Dian Slavens (D – Canton) announced Monday that she will be seeking the 7th District seat of the Michigan State Senate in 2014, which is currently held by Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck.
In her announcement, Slavens cited the need for honest representation for the community’s middle class families in the Senate as the driving force behind her decision to run.
“As State Representative, I have fought tirelessly for policies that benefit our community while Republicans have instead slashed funding to our schools and raised taxes on our seniors and families who can least afford it,” Slavens said in a news release. “These attacks on our middle class have only added fuel to my fire and I’m ready to take on this challenge with the help of so many throughout our community that have encouraged me to run.”
Slavens is serving her third term as State Representative for the 21st House District, which includes the city of Belleville and Canton and Van Buren townships.
Before joining the House in 2009, Slavens worked as a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years in Southeast Michigan hospitals - first at William Beaumont Hospital and later at Henry Ford Hospital, inspiring her dedication to ensuring citizens have access to affordable health care.
Slavens was joined at her announcement by Canton Township Trustee Steven Sneideman, Plymouth Canton School Board Vice President Judy Mardigian and Van Buren School Board Vice President Martha Toth.
“In her time in the Michigan House, Dian Slavens has proven to be a strong asset to Canton Township, and has continually fought for the services that contribute to making Canton a vibrant community,” Sneideman said. “Our current leadership in the Michigan Senate is out of touch with the resources needed for our community to thrive, having voted for funding cuts to local township and school budgets. Dian will be a welcome change in that capacity.”
As State Representative, Slavens sponsored a law to hold health care professionals accountable when they engage in harmful and unethical medical practices and was instrumental in passing the statewide ban on smoking in most indoor places in Michigan, including bars and restaurants. In an effort to create leaner, more efficient state government, Slavens voted to cut lawmakers’ salaries - including her own - by 10 percent.
Slavens also championed a plan to end taxpayer-funded lifetime health care for lawmakers and voluntarily gave up the expensive perk for herself. Slavens is also a member of the Women’s Health and Economic Security Task Force, which seeks to improve women’s access to health care and expand economic opportunities for women in Michigan.
Slavens is long-time active community member, volunteering at Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, as a Sunday School teacher at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton Township and as a Girl Scout leader for the Huron Valley Council. Dian and her husband Mark Slavens, a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge, have three children, Damey, Patrick and Molly, and one grandson, Evan.
Source: news release