Meet Emily Stivers

Democrat, County Commissioner, Policymaker, Bisexual, Mom, and More


  • Master's in Public Policy with Concentrations in Public Management and Budgeting, UofM's Ford School

  • Bachelor's in International Relations with Concentrations in Gender Studies and Economic Development, MSU's James Madison College


  • Ingham County Commissioner, 2018-present; County Services & Finance Committees

  • CMHA-CEI Board Secretary and Finance Committee Chair

  • Ingham County Parks & Recreation Commissioner

  • Ingham County Board Democratic Caucus Treasurer

  • Worked for the Michigan House Democratic Caucus

  • Served on the Meridian Township Zoning Board & Planning Commission

  • Knocked doors for Democrats in every election since 2000

  • College internship with then-Representative Nancy Pelosi


  • Served 6 years with an education-based nonprofit, helping schools implement social & emotional skills curriculum and improve student access to college & careers

  • Served 10 years with international poverty-fighting nonprofits, including ONE and the UN Foundation, working on clean water access, vaccine initiatives, global hunger and more

  • Worked with Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in Jordan in the aftermath of the Iraq war

  • Ran her own LLC helping homeowners avoid foreclosure during the Great Recession


  • Proud, out bisexual cisgendered woman (she/her)

  • Mom of 2 boys (ages 6 & 3); oldest has special needs

  • Husband Jason works for the State; married 9 years

  • Father Richard is a Vietnam Vet & heart transplant recipient; Emily took a year off in 2005-6 to be a full-time, unpaid caregiver

  • Mother Sharon works in personal lines insurance; speaks out for catastrophic accident victims left out of no-fault reform

  • Maternal Grandmother was a proud Butchers Union member

  • Paternal Grandmother was a proud librarian


  • Fundraises for Haven House in East Lansing

  • Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity

  • Coaches and judges debate for Okemos and Groves High Schools

  • Career counselor for students in School of Business, School of Social Work, and School of Public Policy while at UofM

  • Actively recruits and mentors first-time candidates for local offices

Emily Steps Up

As Chair of County Services during the pandemic, Emily Stivers was a leader in making Ingham County a model for the state in its allocation and efficient, effective and equitable use of nearly $70 million in American Rescue Plan funds. She also led on expanding the Health Services millage to bring in $25 million for health and mental health services, and spearheaded the Elder Persons millage to raise $9.2 million to eliminate waiting lists for meals-on-wheels. She introduced a $15/hour minimum wage for all county employees and helped establish prevailing wage and stronger non-discrimination policies. And she has worked to correct the mistakes of past commissioners who poorly structured the Trails and Parks millage in a way that neglected rural communities. 

Emily Stivers has stepped up as an Ingham County Commissioner, standing with her community throughout the pandemic. And she has a record of consistently supporting and acting on behalf of others, all her life.  

In 2005, Emily quit her job at a DC think tank and moved into her parents’ basement. Her father was ill, waiting for a heart transplant. Her mother’s employer-provided health insurance paid for the technology keeping him alive, so someone else needed to take care of him full time. Emily stepped up.

It was the onset of the Great Recession. Emily met Michigan families facing foreclosure due to unethical lending practices. She couldn't stand by and watch hard-working families lose their homes.

So she stepped up. She started a credit counseling and advocacy service, helping families raise their credit scores by as much as 200 points – the difference between a subprime mortgage and a fair one. She helped hundreds of families refinance and keep their homes.

Her father eventually got his heart transplant. He got to be there when Emily graduated from UofM's Ford School, one of the top Public Policy graduate programs in the country. And after she spent three more years fighting global poverty for nonprofits in Washington, DC, her father got to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.

Emily worked in Lansing for an education-based nonprofit providing social and emotional skills curriculum and training for students and educators. For six years, she worked with the Michigan College Access Network, Michigan Department of Education and other major stakeholders who craft education policy. She had two beautiful children, and the depression and anxiety too many mothers experience postpartum. She had to make the tough choices between career and family that too many mothers have to make.

After the 2016 election, someone she barely knew invited a dozen Meridian Township women into her home to talk politics. "What do I need to do to get you to run for office," asked State Representative Julie Brixie. Julie became Emily's mentor, and more importantly, her dear friend.

And Emily stepped up. She applied and was appointed to the Meridian Township Zoning Board of Appeals, where she learned how local zoning ordinances and regulations impact communities. Then she served on the Planning Commission, diving deeper into the needs of local businesses and residents.

In 2018, Emily won a competitive primary by a margin of more than 70%, and went on to crush a Republican opponent in the general election. She stepped up to become Ingham County's first openly bisexual County Commissioner.

In her nearly four years in office, Emily has chaired the County Services Committee and Subcommittee on Ethics. She has served on the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties Board of Directors, and as Treasurer for the Democratic Caucus.


Throughout the pandemic years, Emily been a tireless champion for:

  • Mental Health Care, including CMHA-CEI's new Mobile Youth Crisis Unit, a program designed to get our kids the mental health services they need through partnerships with schools, libraries, community centers and more.

  • Parks and Trails, including near-completion of the MSU to Lake Lansing Trail, invasive species solutions, new docks, drainage and flood relief, and other major improvements to Lake Lansing and other Ingham County Parks.

  • Infrastructure Investments, including Meridian Township's Roads millage that is quickly getting all our local roads repaired, a plan to reach everyone in Ingham County with publicly-provided broadband, and a matching grant program to help rural residents get their neglected, polluting septic systems cleaned up.

  • Fair Wages, including support for every Union-negotiated wage and benefits increase, and introducing the resolution to establish a $15 minimum wage for all County employees.

In total, Emily has spent more than 20 years in public service, fighting poverty, helping young people build the social and emotional skills they need to overcome obstacles, and working for our community.

Emily Stivers has the energy, ideas and experience to move Michigan's 75th District forward.

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