Kalamazoo County Commission District 2
Kalamazoo City precincts 2, 4, 5, 6Kalamazoo Township precincts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 The Board of Commissioners is the legislative policy-making branch of Kalamazoo County Government. The Board is responsible to the citizens for development and administration of policies and the annual budget. The Board has 9 members who are elected from districts according to population.Term: 2 years
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What specifically will you do as a Commissioner to improve the quality of life for residents of your District? How will your talents and skills enable you to succeed in these efforts?
What policies and programs will you promote to enhance citizen equity and engagement in the wellbeing of our communities and the democratic process?
What are the two most significant environmental concerns in the County? What should the County do to address each of them?
Are you satisfied with the County’s progress in assuring affordable housing for residents? Why or why not? What more needs to be done?
Occupation / Current Position
Clinical Quality Specialist at Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health
Western Michigan University - Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) - double majors of Psychology and Political Science with a concentration in American Public Policy.
Experience & Qualifications
5+ years in elected office in Kalamazoo Township and County governments. Board of Directors of the Continuum of Care, County Board Appointments Committee Chair, County Environmental Health Advisory Council, County ID Advisory Board, Metropolitan County Planning Commission, County Fair Council, County DEI Council. Additional service experience listed at www.jenstrebs.com
Serving is an honor and I work hard to improve the quality of life for all residents of my district and Kalamazoo County as a whole. I am responsive to every community member - both those who agree or disagree with me - to keep lines of communication open and productive. I will continue to
use my experience as an elected public servant, advocate
and mental health professional to fight for a better future for our community. I am focused on Standing up for Workers, Supporting Stable and Affordable Housing, Improving Public Health, and Combating the Climate Crisis. I am ready to implement creative solutions to tackle these complex problems.
As a member of the County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council and the Chair of the Board Appointments Committee I have been deep in this work during my time on the Commission. With the historic hiring of our first DEI Director and the seating of our community DEI Advisory Board I have helped to launch the process of reviewing and refining policies and programs across county government to ensure meaningful access and outcomes for all. We are improving the process to recruit highly qualified candidates from diverse perspectives to serve on our county advisory boards which informs all of our public policies and processes as well.
We have many, and top concerns are exposure to environmental contaminants (lead, PFAS, etc.) and flooding. I serve on the Environmental Health Advisory Council working with EGLE to monitor and respond the PFAS in the community, monitoring contaminated sites and ground water and revising ground water restriction zones when needed. Lead exposure prevention and mitigation from paint in older homes needs increased funding restored in our county budget. It must be used to improve community education and access to lead remediation programs. Flooding requires regional collaboration and investments from ARPA and federal infrastructure funds.
I am very pleased with progress underway for housing even with much more work to be done. It has been a highlight of my time in office to allocate resources to create a number of new affordable housing developments for seniors, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, people recovering from substance use, people in need of supporting housing, and at risk youth. I was able to ensure $600,000 of funding for Kalamazoo Township residents to support critical home repairs to strengthen our neighborhoods and keep people in their homes. I am excited to continue to implement more housing solutions to keep us moving forward.
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