Why you should support Michael Hansen

I believe we are stronger when we listen to one another and make policies based on shared values and needs. Alabama lags behind in nearly every important quality of life measure, and it's time to try something new at the local, state, and federal level. We can't keep electing the same politicians over and over again and expecting different results. Our vision is an Alabama that puts people first and prioritizes our wellbeing over profits and corporate interests. Change starts with us. Let's do this. 


For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Michael Hansen. I have lived in Alabama for nine years as of this month. Today, I announced that I’m exploring the viability of running for the democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in the special election this year. Whether we’ve been friends for years or you’ve just now heard of me, you’re probably wondering about who I am and why I think I deserve to represent you. Here goes.

I was born in Memphis, Tenn., October 21, 1981 to Lewis “Lou” Hansen and Valerie Hansen. I was the first of three kids. My parents raised me, my brother Brooks, and my sister Charise in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood of Memphis. My dad worked several jobs when we were growing up to help my family survive. For example, he managed a barbecue joint in Bartlett, he cut grass on the weekend, and he sold insurance. My mom stayed at home when we were young, and then became a teacher’s assistant when we were in school at Sherwood Elementary School. All of my friends loved my parents. To the guys, my dad was the cool man who coached our sports teams. At school, all my friends would remark how pretty my mom was and how helpful she was in the classroom. At the time, I rolled my eyes. “Ew, parents,” right? Those kids were right. My parents were the best.

Our family lived a lower-middle class life in Memphis, where went to Audubon Park Baptist Church, spent a lot of time with family, played sports (mostly basketball and baseball), and worked hard. We spent a lot of time at Lake Enid in northern Mississippi (where my grandparents had a trailer) and in the Ozarks (where my great-grandparents lived). Looking back, those were my happy places.

Anyway, more to the present. I moved to the Birmingham in 2008 in advance of starting grad school at the University of Alabama. I quickly made a lot of friends, got a job at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, got involved in the community, and haven’t looked back. Today, I’m executive director of a nonprofit health advocacy organization called Gasp. Our mission is to reduce air pollution and defend everyone’s right to breathe healthy air. I’ve worked at Gasp for four years now. I started as communications specialist and took on the role of executive director late in 2015. 

I currently live in Irondale, Ala., just off the gorgeous Cahaba River. I have two dogs: a French bulldog named Vandiver and a terrier mix named Bueller. My favorite pastime is cooking. I believe food more than anything else brings people together. I’m a fan of red wine, bourbon, and local beer. I have two nephews, Lane (5) and Oz (1). They’re the cutest boys on the planet and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. (Not really, but they’re objectively adorable.)

But what y’all really want to know is where I stand on the issues. So let’s get down to it.

LGBTQ Rights. I am a gay man. This one is personal. I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church that taught that homosexuality is gross and abhorrent. I could not disagree more. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning individuals are afforded the same liberties under the Constitution as every non-LGBTQ person in this nation. End of discussion. Same-sex marriage is the law of the land. Transgender people have the right to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. As far as the role of the Senate goes, we desperately need a federal law to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and more. I emphatically support passage of a strong and inclusive Equality Act. And as long as I’m on this topic, I want to take a moment to discuss Roy Moore’s candidacy. Moore is a bigot and a coward. There is no place for the sort of hate and vile that emanates from his being anywhere in public office, let alone the U.S. Senate. The vitriol he is famous for is exactly why LGBTQ kids have a suicide rate more than twice the rate of their peers. Life is sacred. Let’s protect our LGBTQ kids by saying “No more Moore.” 

Systemic Racism. As long as I’m talking about oppression, I cannot ignore the fact that many of the divides afflicting our politics relate to race and ethnicity. We need to have what we in the South call a “come to Jesus” about the role that racism plays in our society. Imagine if you spent all day every day hearing car doors lock when you pass by, store clerks watching you like a hawk, government officials questioning you at every turn, banks denying you credit, and institutions turning a blind eye to you. Whether it’s infrastructure, redlining, policing, or some other institution, our systems are too often failing people of color. I endorse the policies of Campaign Zero and Black Lives Matter. As a Senator, I pledge to do everything that I can to fight for the necessary reforms to bring down those systems that oppress and replace them with new policies led and enforced by communities of color.

Health Care. It’s too expensive. Why should we spend more than any other advanced economy in the world on health care for mediocre outcomes? I support the intent of the Affordable Care Act, but I’m not going to blindly support it just because one party or president does. The ACA needs to be fixed if not replaced with a universal health care system that guarantees coverage for everyone as a right in a modern, civilized society. We can do this. We just have to have the courage to try.

Environment. We have one planet. There is no plan(et) B. This is it. We must protect our environment and natural resources. Period. Did you know that Alabama is one of the most biodiverse states in this country? It is! There’s a reason our nickname is “Alabama the Beautiful.” There is no excuse for Alabama to be at the bottom of the pack in terms of clean energy (e.g., wind and solar) capacity or energy efficiency. We need strong leadership at the local, state, and federal levels to make sure we have the tools we need and the policies in place to protect our environment and lead our economy into a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Climate Change. Speaking of the environment, Alabama is dragging its feet on climate change. And the Trump administration is threatening to drag the nation back as well. We cannot wait any longer to address the climate crisis. The reality is that we’re looking at hotter temperatures, rising sea levels, stronger and longer droughts, more severe storms, poorer air quality, increased outbreaks of disease, and more. The time to act was yesterday. We’re playing catch up. And frankly, it’s embarrassing that we’re not further along as a state and as a nation. But I’m optimistic. We have the knowhow and the grit to pass laws to reduce greenhouse gases, rebuild our failing infrastructure, improve our food systems, and create a more robust “green” economy.

Immigration. We are a nation of immigrants. I believe that every family deserves to have access to the American dream that my family fought to attain, and that means protecting the rights of those already here who are being productive members of society, including those who are undocumented. DACA and DAPA exist to ensure that American-born children of undocumented immigrants are protected, and I believe those programs should be safeguarded. At the same time, I believe that we should have comprehensive immigration reform that works to streamline a bloated immigration system to ensure that future immigrants will have fewer incentives to take drastic measures to enter the US. These reforms must include a path to citizenship.

Abortion. I believe all life matters. And that includes the lives of the women who carry children and occasionally have to make heartbreaking personal decisions relating to abortion. I believe abortion should be safe and legal, and instead of wasting time harassing women we should invest more in family planning services like Planned Parenthood and sex education. These policies objectively lead to lower rates of abortion and empower families to make decisions on their own terms. 

I want to end by saying that my world view is simple: humans are not inherently evil; we are merely flawed. We have the capacity to do better; therefore it is incumbent upon us to try. We have to try to enact more just polices, fairer laws, and more inclusive systems. We have to try to say no to hate and bigotry. We have to try to shun racism, sexism, and xenophobia. We have to try to bring about a healthier, more sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren. Please, try.

Is there any issue I didn’t cover? Surely there is. I only touched on the most important issues to me! Tell me what you care about. I’m listening.

Who your money will go to

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Richard Meriwether endorsed

    “I support Michael Hansen because his views are well within my belief system and I agree wholeheartedly with them. Also, I admire his courage and conviction...”

  • Clint Hancock endorsed

    “We need more men like this out there.. Lets help him get to Washington..”

  • Joe Winans endorsed

    “I have lived in the land of perpetual potential for 30years. It is time we move ahead. I believe electing Michael Hansen would be a good place to start.”

May 3 2017

My Personal Website

I've re-launched my personal website to let you get to know me a bit better. Chez Hansen was a blog about food, culture, politics, and Alabama news. I'll be adding more and more content, old and new, over the next several days. So check it out and pass it on! 

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Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Richard Meriwether endorsed

    “I support Michael Hansen because his views are well within my belief system and I agree wholeheartedly with them. Also, I admire his courage and conviction...”

  • Taylor Frisbey endorsed

  • Brian Inzer endorsed

  • Victor Kutz endorsed

  • Clint Hancock endorsed

    “We need more men like this out there.. Lets help him get to Washington..”

  • Joe Winans endorsed

    “I have lived in the land of perpetual potential for 30years. It is time we move ahead. I believe electing Michael Hansen would be a good place to start.”

  • Nick Fury Salyers endorsed

  • Jay Barrett endorsed

  • Joshua S Parker endorsed

  • Sara Glassman endorsed

  • Bryan Fuenmayor endorsed

  • Joel Watson endorsed

  • Jakeb McVey endorsed

  • Edward Lainsbury endorsed

    “Finally a candidate who has my values!! Let's help this guy win!”

  • Kathryn Tanner endorsed

  • Erika Mejia endorsed

  • Tristan Campbell endorsed

  • Allen Lawrence endorsed

  • Frank Mileto endorsed

    “Alabama needs a clear alternative to the regressive Republicans.”

  • Seisei Tatebe-Goddu endorsed

  • Dakota Galloway endorsed

  • tragic_pizza endorsed

  • Judith Taylor endorsed

  • Allen Jackson endorsed

  • Martha Carter endorsed

    “I supported Mr Hansen so that Alabama gets a representative who is concerned about Alabamians and not just his wallet”

  • Dalton Goode endorsed

    “I endorse Michael because Alabama needs someone like him who cares about the people and wants to improve the lives of Alabama's Citizens.”

  • Shauna endorsed

    “Its time for change especially in Alabama. I have been here 16 years now and there is much to like, however the political pool needs a good cleaning! Let me know what I can do to help!! Seriously!!”

  • James Barrett endorsed

  • Jason endorsed

  • Brent Pickett endorsed

    “A beacon of light for a generation in desperate need of a path towards progress.”