Shri Thanedar was born into an impoverished family in India; he knows what it feels like to go to bed hungry. As a young boy he worked to support his family and realized education was his ladder out of poverty. He came to our country in pursuit of the American Dream. He built a successful business from scratch (winning Entrepreneur of the Year) only to lose his business when the economy turned sour. At this same time his wife died, leaving him with two small boys to parent on his own. “How am I going to pay for this?” was a constant companion. He knows what it’s like to struggle.
He built another successful business from scratch; and, this time, decided to give back and help others reach their dreams. When he sold his company, he gave his employees $1.5 million in bonuses, and set out in pursuit of the Michigan governorship.
Listening to Shri Thanedar speak at the Traverse Area District Library on Friday, Oct 20, 2017, it was obvious that he has been closely following the political environment in Michigan over the last decade.
Shri's lack of name recognition is greatly overpowered by his extensive experience. While doing research at the University of Michigan he volunteered for a family counseling help-line which made him acutely aware of the needs of the underprivileged. Working with small businesses over the last 25 years, he became familiar with the policies controlling the work environment in our state. And he has been alarmed as he watched Michigan’s standing for education drop from 10th to 32nd nationally.
In his answers to questions from the crowd, he shared these areas of concern:
Minimum wage salaries must be $15/hour to ensure a dignified life after working a 40/hour week.
Legalizing marijuana will bring increased tax revenue into the state.
There are too many areas in Michigan that still don’t have reliable internet service, a basic
necessity for any small business.
We must invest more in renewable energy.
The rights of LBGTQ and women must be protected.
Education should never be for profit; teachers should be better supported in their training, and those who work in public service should have their educational expenses waved.
Climate change is real and protecting the environment paramount – end Line 5, stop the invasion of Asian carp, manage the toxic algae caused by excessive fertilizers and the toxins in our soils from pesticides.
Guns are a right in the right hands; there is no reason for citizens to own assault rifles.
Shri Thanedar prefers “People Over Profit” and has challenged the other gubernatorial candidates to join him in a pledge not to take any corporate money, ensuring that whoever wins the governorship will not be indebted to big business. He wants to make a stronger, smarter Michigan by putting we the people back in power.
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