Sarah Roberts

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Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts (born December 9, 1974) is a Democratic State Representative representing the 24th District of Michigan. She is a former Macomb County Commissioner and an environmental activist for Clean Water Action. She won the seat in 2008 with just 49.4% of the vote, 23,495 to 22,430, against the son of the retiring Republican Representative.


Sarah Roberts was born in December , 1974 in St. Clair Shores, Michigan to Helen and Charles Roberts. She attended the University of Iowa , receiving her Bachelor's Degree in 2000. She served as a community outreach coordinator for Clean Water Action of Macomb County from 2003-2005. She worked in the Communications Department of the Michigan State House of Representatives from 2005-2006.

Clear Water Action

Roberts has worked as a community organizer with Clear Water Action.[1]


Sarah Roberts was endorsed by the following organizations in her 2010 run for State Representative:[2]

In 2010 People For the American Way Action Fund supported Sarah Roberts. MI List (which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women in Michigan), EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan, the Progressive Women’s Alliance, AFSCME, Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters all endorsed Roberts.[3]

DSA meeting

At the May 3rd 2008 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America General Membership Meeting, speakers were State House Candidates Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores) and Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills).[4]

DSA primary support

On Saturday, June 28th and Saturday, July 19th, 2008 Detroit DSA members campaigned on behalf of Sarah Roberts who was running for an open state representative seat in St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township. DSAers Frank Goeddeke, Catherine Hoffman, Dave Ivers, Michelle Fecteau, Selma Goode, Marilyn Schmidt, Maurice Geary, Ken Jenkins, Lon Herman, and David Green canvassed and did phone banking.[5]

Sarah had asked for our assistance when four opponents (including another woman with the first name of Sarah) presented petitions to be included in the August 5th Democratic primary for state representative immediately before the filing deadline. She needed volunteers to help get her message of job creation through clean energy technology, support for public education, and support for universal health care to likely primary voters in the 24th state house district.

Our efforts were rewarded o n August 5th when Sarah won the Democratic primary with 63% of the vote. Now, on to the general election!

DSA electoral support

Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America has a "simple but effective electoral strategy. We endorse progressive candidates in competitive races where the focused efforts of a small group such as ours can tip the balance in favor of the progressive candidate. This strategy has served us well in electing state representatives such as Steve Bieda, Alma Wheeler Smith, John Espinoza, Aldo Vagnozzi, and Fred Miller, and state senators such as Gilda Jacobs and Hansen Clarke."

We have expanded our efforts in 2008 by endorsing four candidates instead of two candidates as we traditionally do.

In 2008 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of Americaendorsed state representative candidates Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township), Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield-Harrison Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights). As a result, DSA members have been canvassing, phone banking, and stuffing envelopes for one of these four candidates almost every weekend since the late summer. To date, the following members have participated in at least one (and usually several) campaign dates: Brandon Moss, Selma Goode, Michelle Fecteau, Bob Alpert, Lon Herman, Maurice Geary, Helen Samberg, Bob Frumkin, Charlie Rooney, Julie Barton, David Elsila, David Green, Dave Ivers, Michael Dover, Bill Helwig, Bob Denoweth, and Marylyn Schmidt.[6]

In 2008, the Roberts campaign was supported by Democratic Socialists of America help. According to the newsletter of the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America, January 2009;[7]

Having been rebuffed in our offers of assistance to progressive Congressional candidates Gary Peters (9th district) and Mark Schauer (7th district)—both of whom were afraid of being red-baited--Detroit DSA focused instead on local and state races.
Our strategy was simple: Given our limited resources and manpower, we concentrated on competitive races in which a progressive Democrat was running for an open seat. In such a setting, the efforts of a small, but disciplined, group such as ours might provide the margin of victory for the progressive Democrat.

After interviewing candidates "to make sure their views on labor issues, health care, the environment, living wage, and progressive taxation ran parallel to ours, our membership voted to endorse four candidates for state representative: Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township), Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield- Commerce Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights).

As part of our endorsement, Detroit DSA held a fundraising house party for the four candidates in early September... Our house party raised $6500 which provided the seed money for the state representative campaigns.
Almost every weekend from late summer through the election, DSA volunteers canvassed, prepared literature, or phone banked on behalf of one of these four state representativecandidates. All four candidates won—two by razor thin margins.

DSA fundraiser

On Saturday, September 6th 2008, Detroit DSA held a fundraising house party at the home of David Green and Teena Green. The goal of the party was to raise money for the campaigns of state representative candidates Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield-Commerce Township), Sarah Roberts (St. 0Clair Shores-Harrison Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights). Our "local endorsed these four candidates because of their progressive positions on issues (e.g., support for universal health care, support for living wage, support for the labor movement, environmental consciousness). We also endorsed them because we suspected their respective races would be difficult, and the concerted effort of a small group such as ours might provide the margin of victory."[8]

Our fundraising effort was essential for these campaigns because the Presidential (Obama) and Congressional (Gary Peters and Mark Schauer) races had already tapped the traditional sources of funding for Democratic/progressive candidates. Surprisingly, we raised $6500 from 37 different contributors. And we had fun doing it! Folksinger Julie Beutel provided the entertainment and had everyone singing by the end of the party.

Guest of Honor: State Representative Aldo Vagnozzi.[9]

Sharing a stage with Van Jones

"Green jobs pioneer" and former communist Van Jones was the keynote speaker for the 4th annual Michigan Summit on June 12,2010 headlining a day-long event focusing on key issues and policy reforms for Michigan. Jones was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a leading Washington, DC-based think tank. other speakers included Flint Mayor Dayne Walling; Dan Kildee, President of Community Progress; Representative Rashida Tlaib; Representative Sarah Roberts; Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton; Representative Woodrow Stanley; Representative Kate Segal.[10]

Endorsed MichUHCAN

As at Feb. 1, 2011, Macomb County Commissioner Sarah Roberts was listed as an endorser and ongoing supporter of MichUHCAN's Health Care Security Campaign Coalition.[11] The Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy. The leadership of MichUHCAN is heavily dominated by members of Democratic Socialists of America.[12]