Student Mary Cavanagh runs for Michigan House of Representatives
Wayne State University student, Mary Cavanagh, is running for the District 10 seat of Michigan’s House of Representatives. She will complete her bachelor's degree in physical anthropology December of 2020 but throughout her studies, she has focused on the social and political inequalities within Detroit and its history, global climate change, and all the while been civically engaged in her community. She has over 19 years of political and community organizing, and social activism experience, and has built strong relations with several leaders, officials, and residents throughout her district (HD10) which encompasses Redford Township and a portion of Northwest Detroit.
Cavanagh is a proud alumna of the National Students Leadership Conference in D.C, former Precinct Delegate for Redford Township, and currently an AFL-CIO Advocate and Executive Board Member for the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus. She has diverse experience in non-profits, civic organizations, and government where she has formally worked on local, county, state, and national democratic campaigns advocating for educational equity, social and political equality, and values that have been instilled in her since she was a child.
Cavanagh has been engulfed in politics and community involvement from a very young age as her father, mother, and Grandfather sculpted a lineage of social activism and public service. Cavanagh continued the family service as an AmeriCorps Member for Detroit Public Schools to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline plaguing too many Michigan schools. From there, Cavanagh dedicated herself to a Wayne County non-profit serving as a Direct-Care Provider for residents with developmental disabilities. This opportunity allowed Cavanagh to help provide quality housing, comprehensive daily support, and maintaining equality, integrity, and respect of all her patients throughout their lives. Hired as the Director of Project Development for New Start Construction in 2016, Cavanagh leads a program where abandoned and severely blighted properties are remediated for community development, safety, and rehabilitation. Partnering with non-profits and one of the largest mental health facilities in the state to give Returning Citizens, those facing homelessness, and under-serviced individuals a path to homeownership, vocational training, and a better quality of life.
Cavanagh is a strong advocate for women’s rights, minorities, seniors, public health, clean water, equity in public schools, and has developed a keen sense of the unique needs of her community, local governments, and the urgency for change. She has seen an opportunity to help affect local change by running for her house of representative's seat, she plans to use the holistic perspective she learned in anthropology to restore faith and trust in government and showcase effective leadership in Lansing.