RivardRuns

★★★For a brighter, better future for all Michiganders★★★

Joshua Rivard
for State Representative

★★★Running to Represent Michigan's 81st District★★★

 
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Why vote Rivard?

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I call St. Clair, Michigan home.

 

I'm familiar with the area in the way that only a local can be. I  run through the cornfields in Yale and ride my bike along the water of Harsen's Island. I understand the problems that the people of Michigan face, because I live that life too. As the son of an engineer and an elementary school teacher, I've grown up understanding how tight a household budget can be, even for dual income families. As a construction worker struggling to pay student loans, bills, car insurance, health insurance, and the daily needs of life, I understand the stress that Michiganders feel as they watch their bank account shrink to nearly nothing after paying their bills. We hard-working Michiganders know this is wrong. Something is broken in our state. Something that has led to the average Michigander mistrusting their own leaders and leaving the economic engine of our state sputtering. As the son of an engineer, I was raised under the principle that if something is broken, you roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and get to work fixing it.


And that's why I'm running. I see and experience the struggles of the average Michigander. These problems, no matter how big or small, compound on one another and lead to a system that feels as if it is hopelessly broken. With the tools of democracy and the energy that only someone my age can offer, I know that we can repair the problems of the state. By sticking to the principles that I and many other average blue collar Michigander follow--principles of honesty, dedication, and industrious creativity--I will lead us towards a brighter, better future for all Michiganders. 

 


As your Representative I believe in:
 

  • Staying connected with constituents by offering regular opportunities for face-to-face and digital town halls.
     
  • Valuing the rights and wages of our workers over the profits of corporations. 
     
  • Strengthening our state economy by reinvigorating the farming industry, diversifying our local economies, and re-investing in average Michiganders.
     
  • Standing by our public education system and ensuring a fair wage and pensions for teachers and adequate funding for our students.
     
  • Ensuring that the physical and digital infrastructure we rely on everyday is not only reliable and accessible, but is also ready for a fast-approaching future.
     
  • Protecting democracy by getting money out of politics and strengthening the voice of the citizen in their government.
 
 

Meet Joshua Rivard

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A Little Bit About Me

 
 

I was born and raised in Algonac, MI and I have lived here for nearly all of my life. I spent my summers floating down the St. Clair River and the winters sitting on a bucket on a frozen Lake St. Clair. I spent my childhood riding my bike around the neighborhood and wandering through the forests in Algonac State Park. I had the privilege of attending Algonac High School where dedicated educators diligently prepared me for life beyond Algonac.

From there I attended Saginaw Valley State University where I studied History, Politics, and English. While away at college, my older brother died by suicide. This left me and my family in shock. Through the grieving process I began to better understand mental health and discovered a love and passion in helping others struggling with mental health issues. I returned to school dedicating my free time to educating and helping others in understanding the relationship between physical and mental health. I did so by becoming a Resident Assistant for the school and by creating clubs and events that get students outside and active. My brother had an unyielding passion for exploring the outdoors and I wanted to share that passion with others. Research shows that even a short time outside everyday can have drastic positive effects and I wanted to make the outdoors accessible as a tool to combating mental illness.

After graduating with my Bachelor's Degree in History, I headed out West to Colorado to get my Master's Degree in American History. While out there the stress of school, work, and my small woodworking business forced me to confront where my priorities lied. After some reflection, I realized academia was not a career path I wanted to follow. My plans and passion of teaching history had changed into a renewed passion in helping others struggling with mental health issues.

Since coming home I have dedicated my free time to raising funds for local mental health groups and institutions. As the program coordinator for the Cory Rivard Jr. Promise Foundation, I was able to raise over $30,000 for the Foundation through the hard work and enthusiasm of many volunteers. We have been using these funds to donate to local mental health groups and creating programs in local communities with a focus on mental health. Then,  in 2017, I decided to take the foundation on the road.

I rode a bicycle from Key West, Florida to Seattle, Washington from February to June of 2017. The trip was self-funded to complete a bucket list item for my brother and I, and to organically hear and understand what people across the country are saying and feeling about mental health. I believed that by listening to the people and asking them their understanding of mental health could help me better understand how to speak to others about the illnesses that affect so many of us, our families, and our communities. What I discovered was that most Americans, regardless if they grew up in the Mojave Desert or the shores of Lake St. Clair, see the problems with how mental health is handled in this country. Many people spoke about how they personally know someone with mental health issues or they themselves suffer. They often echo pains of affordability and accessibility to basic resources and a shared frustration in feeling like they cannot openly talk about their battles. As I returned home from my trip and wrote and thought about my journey, I realized that the ability to fix these problems is there and that the first step is simply awareness. I don't hear a voice for the average person in our government, let alone those struggling with mental health issues. Therefore, I decided to run for political office to be that voice. To be a voice for the friends and family I grew up with. To be a voice for my hard working co-workers and neighbors. To be a voice for those who have suffered before and no longer have a voice. I am running to not to only end the injustices of yesterday but to also improve our quality of life today and to prepare for a better tomorrow.