AFT Michigan has endorsed Portia Roberson in Michigan’s new 13th Congressional District. Our Board endorsed Portia because her values are our union’s values. A lifelong resident of the district, Roberson is guided by the values her parents, a circuit court judge and a social worker, instilled in her throughout her childhood, including empathy, inclusivity, and a commitment to public service. A product of Detroit Public Schools, she earned degrees from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School.
Portia is a community leader who runs Focus:HOPE, a non-profit providing workforce training, food for seniors, and early childhood education in southeast Michigan. During President Barack Obama’s tenure she was appointed to serve as the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison and worked with then US Attorney General Eric Holder.
Portia believes in public education as the foundation of democracy and will fight for universal early childhood education, increasing Title I funding to support schools with the greatest need, eliminating student debt, and investing in our colleges and universities. She knows that the only way to truly address the staffing shortages facing our schools is to make sure educators are fairly compensated and respected for their expertise and commitment.
Portia is a fighter for her hometown of Detroit and people across the state of Michigan. She served as the lead for the White House Domestic Policy Office’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative, where she worked to find and secure federal resources for the City of Detroit. Her leadership secured HUD dollars that enabled the city to demolish empty buildings and launched a texting service to help city bus passengers. She proudly serves as the Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to provide justice and protection for all Michiganders and was named one of Michigan’s 100 most influential women for her service to the state.
Portia is committed to fighting for Michigan’s working families, from building a fair economy and investing in workers to ensuring access to affordable health care, including reproductive health care. Roberson is committed to defending reproductive freedoms and advancing gender equality, criminal justice reform and combating climate change.
Portia has spent her career helping people and is the choice of educators, parents and families in the 13th District.
Vote by Tuesday, August 2 – polls will be open from 7am to 8pm. Click here to find your polling place and see what your ballot will look like.