I grew up the child of a single mom who had to work hard and fight to make sure she could put food on the table for me. Not only did she survive my abusive father, but she fought an incredibly biased court system to ensure that I was protected from violence. We lived with my grandparents for most of my life growing up, in the home that was purchased through union wages and protected with a union pension. 

I was raised to always fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, and this lesson has been enshrined to my very core throughout my high school and college years. I've served my community through the Ingham County Youth Commission, advising the county on issues affecting young people and in that capacity I was co-chair of the Mayor's Conference on Race and Diversity. 

While still in high school, I formed an LGBT non-profit to create a safe prom experience for anyone in Michigan regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We pulled together representatives from every area high school Gay Straight Alliance to do so, and after fundraising over $12,000 two consecutive years we put on proms that drew over 450 people in attendance and made the cover of the Lansing State Journal.

In college I've served in both the undergraduate and graduate student governments, eventually being elected Vice President of Internal Affairs of the Council of Graduate Students, as a voice for the students against overreach by university officials as well as callous, burdensome shifting of costs of running the university onto students back. 

Now, I am seeking to be your representative in Lansing; the people's voice in the people's chamber. I don't come from wealth, I come from the same background as you: just a working class man trying to make life better for those around me. 

My platform includes:

-Criminal Justice reform that includes the demands of Black Lives Matter

-Defend a woman's right to choose

-$15 minimum wage tied to inflation, coupled with a corresponding tax break for small businesses to offset any burdens

-Statewide Medicare For All system in Michigan

-Decriminalization of drugs to begin treating our addictions as the health problems that they are, not continuing to fight a losing "war" on drugs that has destroyed families and crippled our ability to fight the epidemic

-Repealing Right to Work laws that attempt to destroy our ability to collective bargain

-Defend Prevailing Wage as a means of ensuring that those who labor a fair day's work, receive a fair day's pay

-Making Michigan a sanctuary state to ensure that our American values of liberty and justice are preserved

-And many more policies and initiatives that are inspired by the will of the people. Learn more on our website here.


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

  • endorsed

    “Robert is one of the most dedicated people I have had the pleasure to know. Robert is committed to serving people and communities, particularly in efforts to mitigate inequities and injustices. I absolutely endorse with my support!”

  • endorsed

    “Robert Van Kirk is knowledgable, passionate, driven, and progressive. He has given his time and his intellegence to help arm the people of this movement with the skills necessary to present ourselves as a prepared and capable group. Without his training on Robert's Rules we would have been at a serious disadvantage at the convention. Because of Robert we have and will continue to make positive changes in the party.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Van Kirk because he is truly a progressive grassroots activist fighting for the people and he will represent them with justice and decency.”

  • endorsed

    “You're the kind of person we need representing us.”

  • endorsed

    “Robert is the real deal, he has been fighting for progressive causes for most of his life and in the house he would be able to take that further. As one of his friends I am excited to support his candidacy for MI's house.”

  • endorsed

    “He has the knowledge and heart to do the job well!”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Vankirk for the Michigan House,I have had the opportunity to see him use his intelligent caring nature to step up and solve problems and lend a hand where one is needed. He will do the same for the people he represents in the state house.”

  • endorsed

    “Robert is one of the most thoughtful individuals I have had the pleasure to befriend in these darks days of 2017. I am thrilled that such a smart, passionate, and pragmatic candidate is running for the state house. I look forward to bringing our shared vision of justice and equality for all to the fine people of the 77th district”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Van Kirk for office because he's a true progressive who will bring our shared values to the discussion and will fight for progressive policy for a better USA.”

  • endorsed

    “I met Robert at a democratic event where I didn't know anyone there. (A little scary... Lol) I was literally going to this event not knowing anyone, because I want to see change in the state of MI. This guy noticed that I didn't know anyone and introduced me to other people at the event. He also filled me in about his positions on where Michigan needs to go. I strongly endorse Robert Vankirk! He took the time to pick me out at this event to hear what I have to say, not just tell me where he stands. Robert struck me as an extremely conscientious person. A person who will listen to what we as Michiganders need and do the right thing in his actions.”

May 20, 2018

Success!

Tonight we held our first Town Hall. It focused on Criminal Justice Reform and the work we can do as a community to make the changes necessary for lasting change. We heard from other candidates running for a variety of positions and then we shared our different experiences and interactions with the Criminal Justice system.

A very emotional part of the evening for me was when I asked for everyone that has ever been pulled over by the police for a broken tail light. We had Asian Americans, members of the Hispanic community, and African Americans in attendance. The other 50% of the room was white. Every racial minority raised their hand, not one white person did. This is a broken Criminal Justice system.

But it can get better, and it must get better, and it will get better if we step up and demand the steps be taken that we need to enact real and comprehensive changes to restore justice to our Criminal Justice system. We cannot do this alone and that's why I need you to step up and contribute to making a better state for us all.

Can you contribute $5 today to making these changes a reality?

In solidarity,

Robert Van Kirk

March 30, 2018

DOUBLE Your Impact!

I’m running a grassroots, people powered campaign against a Devos backed wealthy Republican and we could use all of the help we can get to flip this district and help take back our legislature in Michigan. I'm fighting for the working people of this state with legislation like a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation and Medicare for All for the people of Michigan.

Thanks to a few generous donors, all contributions before our next deadline of March 31st at midnight will be DOUBLED!! That's right, can you donate $27? That's $54 now. Able to contribute $50? Now that's $100. This is a great way to maximize your contributions to our people powered campaign and double your impact in this tight race.

Remember: get your contribution in before midnight on March 31st to DOUBLE it and your impact in our fight for better representation in Michigan!!

UPDATE: So far, our matched donation challenge has raised just $344 (for a total donation of $680). I know we can do much better and raise the $5,000 we need to meet our goals.

March 15, 2018

What Gives Me Hope

The past two days have been very busy for the campaign. I participated in a panel discussion on DACA and what can be done to protect dreamers on Wednesday. On Thursday, I marched with hundreds of other people in the Cesar E. Chavez march for justice in the Grand Rapids area (actually less than a mile from my home). The march led to a local church and a ceremony was held that included Dreamers who are now in fear for their future in Trump's America.

I am heartbroken that anyone who is fighting for a better future for themselves and their families would be put into the situation that these Dreamers are facing now. To deport young people who have done nothing but contributed to our society to satisfy the fears of some Americans: fears over their own jobs, their falling incomes, and their lack of access to healthcare; is abhorent.

They have succeeded in dividing us and pitting struggling communities against one another like we're competing Districts in the Hunger Games. Having Dreamers and immigrants in our society adds value to it; it doesn't drain resources from us. What empties our storehouses and feeds inequality is the grotesque tax cuts for the fabulously wealthy and major corporations. They gain substantially while the rest of us fight over crumbs. 

That's not right, and that's why I am fighting to flip this House seat that went 15 points to Trump in 2016; and that's what gives me hope. The students that spoke yesterday and today; the committed communities that surround them to defend and lift them up; the voices that have stood proudly in the face of threatened deportation and shouted no more to the politics of fear and oppression.

But we cannot do this alone. We need you to step up again and fuel this fight for a better future for real people; human beings who are struggling and need help. Our campaign has been driven by small dollar donations, over $10,000 worth so far. Make it $10,027 right now. 

In solidarity,

Robert Van Kirk

December 26, 2017

We've accomplished so much but we have so much further to go!

To begin with, I cannot thank my supporters enough. You have joined me to raise thousands of dollars, knock hundreds of doors, hold numerous campaign events and fundraisers, and start community discussions on criminal justice reform and Medicare for All in Michigan. You have done this because you believe there is a better future for us all if we come together as one and fight for that future.

We go into 2018 stronger than ever and united to win in November for the people of the 77th and the state of Michigan. We do this because our alternatives are more of a corporate controlled legislature who has been bought and paid for, more special interests controlling how your representatives vote on issues that affect your life, and more of a conservative social agenda that spends millions of your tax dollars on denying civil rights and a basic standard of living to your fellow citizens instead of on infrastructure or health care for everyone. 

Make no mistake, we have the money in Michigan to fund our schools, repair our roads, and provide healthcare to us all: it is only by the false narrative of want that Republicans in Lansing have been pushing to warp our collective minds into believe the lie of austerity. If you cut corporate taxes, if you cut taxes on the fabulously wealthy, then you manufacture fiscal crisis.

I propose a bold progressive agenda for the state of Michigan. Will you join me in this fight? Learn more about our campaign and how to get involved here.

In solidarity,

Robert Van Kirk

September 14, 2017

Monthly giving

Hello everyone!

Thank you so much for supporting my campaign! Running a viable campaign takes A LOT of time and support from you all. I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done so far, but I have a new request for today to make our campaign sustainable and successful:

Will you pledge to contribute $10 every month to my campaign to take back the 77th State House District for the people? A monthly contribution is a great way to support our campaign and is absolutely essential if we're going to go up against our Devos backed opponent who was able to self fund his campaign to the tune of over $70k last election cycle.

If you don't want service in the state legislature to be reserved for the wealthy elite, if you want to see a person just like you in office representing your values, if you're able to give just $10 a month please consider becoming a sustaining donor.

You can sign up to become a monthly donor right here: www.crowdpac.com/contribute/297252?amount=10&recurring=1 

August 15, 2017

Progress Marches On

Hello everyone!

By now everyone in the nation must be aware of the shameful terrorist attack in Virginia against peaceful anti-fascist demonstrators. It is sad that our political life in this country has degraded to the point where we must protest fascism's creeping encroachment on our political system and to have those protests be met with physical violence. 

In Jackson, Michigan we've seen the homes of leaders of the local LGBTQ community targeted with arson attacks with one home completely destroyed with all of the family pets lost in the blaze and another home that sustained fire damage and a broken window. The rise of fascism and bigotry is not contained to Virginia but is present all across the state of Michigan as well. 

That is one of the reasons I am running for office, to combat bigotry and fascism to the best of my ability using the tools of our state government. Laws must be created to fight the spread of fascism and white supremacist organizations across our state and the only place to accomplish this is in our state legislature. 


We've come a long way in our movement to take back the 77th State House District by raising over $2500 from grassroots donations up to this point. But to win we will need your continued support and the support of your friends and neighbors. We must mobilize the people to win this people powered campaign, and I certainly cannot do this alone. 

Please share this campaign and make sure to engage with us on social media at www.facebook.com/robert.vankir...

In solidarity,

Robert

July 1, 2017

Campaign created!

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

  • endorsed

    “Robert is one of the most dedicated people I have had the pleasure to know. Robert is committed to serving people and communities, particularly in efforts to mitigate inequities and injustices. I absolutely endorse with my support!”

  • endorsed

    “Robert Van Kirk is knowledgable, passionate, driven, and progressive. He has given his time and his intellegence to help arm the people of this movement with the skills necessary to present ourselves as a prepared and capable group. Without his training on Robert's Rules we would have been at a serious disadvantage at the convention. Because of Robert we have and will continue to make positive changes in the party.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Van Kirk because he is truly a progressive grassroots activist fighting for the people and he will represent them with justice and decency.”

  • endorsed

    “You're the kind of person we need representing us.”

  • endorsed

    “Robert is the real deal, he has been fighting for progressive causes for most of his life and in the house he would be able to take that further. As one of his friends I am excited to support his candidacy for MI's house.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “He has the knowledge and heart to do the job well!”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Vankirk for the Michigan House,I have had the opportunity to see him use his intelligent caring nature to step up and solve problems and lend a hand where one is needed. He will do the same for the people he represents in the state house.”

  • endorsed

    “Robert is one of the most thoughtful individuals I have had the pleasure to befriend in these darks days of 2017. I am thrilled that such a smart, passionate, and pragmatic candidate is running for the state house. I look forward to bringing our shared vision of justice and equality for all to the fine people of the 77th district”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert Van Kirk for office because he's a true progressive who will bring our shared values to the discussion and will fight for progressive policy for a better USA.”

  • endorsed

    “I met Robert at a democratic event where I didn't know anyone there. (A little scary... Lol) I was literally going to this event not knowing anyone, because I want to see change in the state of MI. This guy noticed that I didn't know anyone and introduced me to other people at the event. He also filled me in about his positions on where Michigan needs to go. I strongly endorse Robert Vankirk! He took the time to pick me out at this event to hear what I have to say, not just tell me where he stands. Robert struck me as an extremely conscientious person. A person who will listen to what we as Michiganders need and do the right thing in his actions.”

  • endorsed

    “Robert Vankirk is all that we could hope for in a forward thinking, open-minded, strong and quick leader. I have no doubts that Robert Vankirk will fight tooth and nail for the people of Michigan and more.”

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

  • endorsed

    “I have known Robert his whole life. He has always been involved in his community, no matter where he lived. People judge you by who you know, what you have, what you look like, which is wrong. You judge a person by their character. Who they are when no one is looking. That's why I support him....he's character is that of honor, hard work, making sacrifices to try to make a situation better for others. He can't be bought by anyone, he still believes that we can make the world a better place for ALL people and not just the rich.”

  • endorsed

    “I endorse Robert VanKirk because as I've personally had the time to get to know him, I've found him to be kind, sincere, intelligent and passionate about our fight against corruption in political system. I haven been a Bernie Sanders supporter since the beginning, and Robert holds to those values that are important to me. I trust Robert and admire his commitment to the progressive movement.”