U.S. Congressman Gary Peters is arguably the strongest Democratic voice from Michigan fighting for hard working families in Congress since he was first elected in 2008.
When Michigan’s automotive industry was near collapse, he was the leading voice to protect the industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs it represented (Click here to watch Gary fighting to protect Auto Jobs on the Ed Show). He led the effort to protect auto loans that saved thousands of jobs in America and brought more than 1,000 jobs back to Wayne County from Mexico.
President Barack Obama publicly thanked Congressman Peters for his leadership in helping write the most significant piece of legislation for small business in decades. Peters’ bill increased lending to small businesses across the country and has already helped create more than 3,300 jobs here in Michigan with many more on the way. And in an area where Gary Peters fought to become the first Democrat elected to Congress since 1893, he stood up to Tea Party attacks to help President Obama pass his historic healthcare bill, despite the fact that it could have cost him his re-election. In fact, Peters also fought to pass all of the major Democratic initiatives including the Recovery Act, the DREAM Act, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.
“Peters is a rising star in the Democratic Party.” – Observer & Eccentric, 7/3/11
A rising star in U.S. Congress, Peters has been placed in leadership roles not usually afforded to first and second term members – and he has delivered.
As a first term member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Peters was tapped to serve on the Wall Street Reform conference committee. It was an unusual appointment for a freshman member, but it showed the faith Democratic leaders had in Congressman Peters to get things done. He helped write the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to end the corporate greed that fueled the credit and foreclosure crisis that crippled millions of hard working families.
“Peters has an impressive record of getting things done in Washington” – Detroit Free Press, 9/28/11
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Congressman Peters authored and passed legislation to promote growing sectors; supported small business tax cuts; and led the fight to kick start small business lending to create jobs.
He and his wife, Colleen, have lived their entire lives in southeastern Michigan and are raising their three children here. Together, they have been committed to working to make the Greater Detroit area a place where we all can be proud to live, work, and play.
Now, Congressman Peters is running for re-election in the newly redrawn 14th Congressional District.
BORN IN PONTIAC
Gary’s life’s lessons prepared him for his current success.
Gary was born in Pontiac. His father worked for over 30 years as a public school teacher – stressing the importance of education to Gary and his two older sisters. Gary’s mother was a nurse’s aide who often came home exhausted from a hard day’s work from a job where supervisors didn’t treat her too kindly for her labor. She spent her career fighting to improve conditions and pay for co-workers as an organizer and union steward with the SEIU.
Throughout his childhood, Gary’s parents were blessed enough to provide him with everything he needed, but he had to work for everything he wanted. So he did. In grade school, he delivered the Pontiac Press every day to buy his first mini-bike. In high school, he worked as a busboy at Big Boy and at a local retailer for spending money. And in college, he worked as a resident assistant in the dorms to help pay for his education.
Gary’s parents ensured that he understood and embraced three main values to shape his life and career: the importance of hard work; the value of education; and the need to take responsibility for others.
EDUCATED IN MICHIGAN
After graduating from Rochester High School, Gary stayed in Michigan for college. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Alma College; an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy; a law degree from Wayne State University Law School; and an M.A. in Philosophy with a specialization in the ethics of development from Michigan State University.
Gary earned his M.A., J.D. and M.B.A. by taking night classes while raising a family and working a full-time job.
Though he spent 22 years as a businessman, Gary was drawn to public service by a deep desire to ensure that his community grew in a way that focused on families first. He became a Rochester Hills City Councilman in 1991. In 1994, he was elected to the Michigan State Senate representing diverse communities such as Pontiac, Southfield, Oak Park, and Lathrup Village. During his eight years as a state senator, Gary had more of his bills signed into law than any other Democratic member of the Michigan Senate. Later, as Michigan State Lottery Commissioner, Gary raised record amounts of money for our public schools at a time of critical need.
“A sterling record of Navy service as a lieutenant commander and sharpshooter.” – Detroit Free Press, 7/8/2007
Gary’s father was a WWII veteran and he instilled in him a strong sense of duty to country. Gary took these lessons to heart and served for twelve years in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
THE UNIFYING PRESENCE FOR THE NEW 14th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Congressman Peters’ Congressional record of success has reached far beyond his current district to help hard working families across this region and across this nation. And while he has represented socially, racially and economically diverse communities throughout his career, his success has been driven by his ability to recognize commonalities, not difference. Congressman Peters understands that despite the differences, we are all similar in our desire to have good paying jobs, safe and livable communities, and a good education for our children.
For the first time in decades, a single congressional district bridges the 8 Mile divide to bring city and suburbs together. It is the first district in history that houses both the Wayne and Oakland county seats. Congressman Peters believes that this district actually forces our long-divided region to unite, work on common solutions together, and make the Greater Detroit area stronger by helping to make Detroit great again.
In these tough times, hard working families deserve a U.S. Congressman that they can depend on.
Gary gets it. And he gets it done.