Who am I?

For more than three generations, Rebecca Thompson’s family has called the East Side of Detroit home. Raised by a single mother with three siblings, Rebecca went from growing up in a thriving working class family to one struggling with unemployment, poverty -- and at times -- homelessness. Despite those challenges, Rebecca learned the value of hard work and determination early.

That same determination led her to the campus of Northern Michigan University. While at NMU, Rebecca was active in numerous student organizations and was elected the first African-American female student body president in the school’s 100-year history. She also went on to become Chair of the Association of Michigan Universities, which represented all 15 public universities and over 350,000 students across the state.

After college, Rebecca discovered her passion for public service and left for Washington, D.C. to experience the legislative process firsthand. She began her career as the Legislative Director for the United States Student Association -- the voice of students on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and the Department of Education. Rebecca continued her career in public service by joining the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council in the Executive Office of the Mayor as its Program Manager. After working with the Advisory Council, Rebecca became the Director of Young People For, a national long-term leadership development initiative that works to identify, engage and empower the newest generation of progressive leaders to create lasting change in their communities.

Ready to honor her commitment to Detroit, Rebecca joined the United Way for Southeastern Michigan as the Senior Director of Engagement, where she currently oversees the organization’s Community Engagement and Public Policy and Advocacy efforts. Rebecca’s work focuses on ensuring that Southeastern Michigan families have access to the resources they need to thrive by supporting initiatives that prepare students for kindergarten, college and careers and providing families across the region with access to food and financial stability.

Rebecca has been active in numerous organizations throughout the community including the NAACP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the 13th District Young Democrats and the Michigan Democratic Party where she serves on the State Executive Committee. She currently lives in Detroit’s East English Village neighborhood.

Why am I running?

I am running because I grew up in this community during a time when my neighbors had good jobs, there wasn't a single abandoned home in our neighborhood, and my siblings and I could walk to school safely. Now, my neighborhood is one of the most dangerous communities in America. I am also running because residents in the 1st District deserve better leadership. They deserve a state representative who will serve them with honesty and integrity and who will be a progressive champion for families in our community. I am running for this office because I became fed up with the egregious republican policies in Lansing. A woman has also never held this seat and there are just 3 women of color in the entire legislature (out of 110). There are also no young women serving in the democratic caucus.

My Goals

As State Representative I will work to:

• Invest in education – All children – no matter where they are born deserve a quality education. I will be a champion for investing in early childhood programs, K-12, and higher education. I began my career on Capitol Hill fighting to make college affordable and accessible for millions of students and their families. I helped to draft and pass legislation to increase funding for Pell Grants, to cut student loan interest rates, and to expand loan forgiveness for public service employees. At the United Way, I work to prepare students for kindergarten, college and careers.

• Increase economic opportunity – Bad policies from Lansing have resulted in decreasing wages, increased poverty, and a shrinking middle class. Increasing the minimum wage, protecting workers rights, and investing in job training and workforce development programs will all be key priorities when elected. I have been a champion for worker's rights and have trained young people across the country to advocate for social justice issues. I stood on the steps of the Capitol protesting right to work legislation and recently worked to circulate petitions for the Raise the Wage campaign. At the United Way, I support initiatives to expand workforce development and job training programs in emerging sectors such as healthcare and green jobs.

• Keep our communities safe – We can’t have vibrant communities if residents don’t feel safe in their homes. I will work in partnership with community residents and law enforcement agencies to combat crime and improve safety of those living and working in the 1st District. I will also fight to recoup state revenue sharing dollars owed to communities in the first district which will support public safety initiatives. Our campaign has also earned the endorsements of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union.

My DFA Values

Our campaign embodies the value of community because our team reflects the rich diversity of the 1st District. Our volunteers and core team members range from high school seniors to senior citizens and in terms of diversity, our team looks like our constituents in the district. As a progressive leader and ally, I support issues such as women, worker’s, and LGBT rights. In Lansing I will fight to ensure pay equity for women, the repeal of right to work legislation, and to expand the right’s of LGBT Michiganders, include the right to marry and to non-discrimination in the workplace.

My Campaign is People Powered!

As an advocate for leadership development, one of the first components of our campaign to be developed was our fellowship program. We now have over 15 fellows working on a variety of issues including field, policy, communications, and fundraising. Our campaign has engaged with the progressive grassroots community by working with community organizations and stakeholders across the district to identify talented young progressive leaders and to reach out to voters on our behalf.

Voice support


  • Neil Sroka

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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