Meet 60th District State Representative Jon Hoadley0
As a continuation on Tuesday's blog featuring State Representative Brandt Iden of the 61st District, we spoke with a second newly-elected State Representative.
60th District State Representative Jon Hoadley advises young professionals vying for leadership roles to never stop learning, never stop meeting new people, and to never be afraid to ask questions. "For people considering elected office and public service, these positions are - by design - created to address society's concerns related to constantly changing circumstances. The more you know and the more people you connect with, the better," he said.
Having grown up in Vermillion, South Dakota, Hoadley arrived in Michigan to attend college at Michigan State University. He found his way to Kalamazoo when asked to help lead the One Kalamazoo campaign, a campaign to defend Kalamazoo's nondiscrimination ordinance.
"I moved to Kalamazoo in 2009 to lead the One Kalamazoo campaign, but I chose to stay here almost immediately when I arrived. I remember the joy I felt walking down Water Street past the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in mid-May on my way from the Radisson where I had been staying for a meeting at Food Dance. I knew this is exactly where I wanted to stay," Hoadley said.
And he did just that. After finding a job, and eventually starting his own business, Badlands Strategies, he bought a home with his partner in the Oakland Drive-Winchell Neighborhood and adopted a dog, a beagle named Benjamin.
"Kalamazoo is a city with a rich history and a promising future. Our resilience in the face of changing economic circumstances is inspirational. We built legendary guitars and now we brew world famous beer. We are home to some of the largest companies in the world and we're developing a cutting-edge start-up culture. We find room for classical arts and new age theatre. We have leading higher education institutions and a vibrant nonprofit community. There are unique neighborhoods and an engaged faith community. There's a place for everyone in Kalamazoo, and with a place for everyone our people are our true potential," Hoadley commented.
With a perpetual interest in public service and public policy, Hoadley was brought into the political process to work on campaigns. From there he was able to innovate and experiment, which gave him opportunities throughout the nation working for large donors, small organizations, and many individuals.
When asked why run for office, Hoadley responded, "I ran for public office because I believe in a Michigan that invests in people and our communities. I believed that my academic and real world experience could add something to the conversation happening in the legislature-and it has. I'm proud to be part of the bi-partisan group of people working to address challenges facing Millennials, protecting the dignity of our seniors, and working collaboratively to solve some of the biggest issues facing our state."
Currently Hoadley is focusing his efforts to improve education, strengthen our economy, and protect the environment while promoting social justice. He says it is important now more than ever to hear from as many people as possible about their budget priorities as the legislature goes into their budget process.
Hoadley welcomes citizens to connect with him at the District Service Office at 315 North Burdick Avenue in Kalamazoo Mondays from 3:00pm-5:00pm, call him at (517) 373-1785, visit his website, or connect via Facebook and Twitter.