Meet David Benac

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About David:

David Benac, a history professor, union representative, and environmental organizer, is a Michigan native, active in many community organizations, the co-creator and organizer for the Bronson Park Earth Day Festival, and the recent past chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s Environment Caucus. He grew up in Alpena, was raised on a family farm, and is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University. He and his wife spend what little free time they have, restoring their 100+ year-old home, maintaining pollinator habitats, and doing anything outdoors with their dogs. As a student of history, a former small-business owner, and a multi-term member of city advisor boards, David recognizes the need to create coalitions to implement the positive reforms that will create a better future for our neighborhoods and our city.

 

His campaign is about shaping a future for everyone in Kalamazoo that is built on a foundation of equality, humanity, and sustainability. For too long, our community has suffered divisions and the two Kalamazoos have evolved along separate and diverging paths. David is running to bring positive reforms to our city, including improved infrastructure, a new level of transparency and citizen oversight, real action to address the crisis of poverty and affordable housing, and to institute environmental reforms that truly protect our water and air and put Kalamazoo on a path to 100% renewable energy.

 

EXPERIENCE:

PROFESSIONAL:

·      History professor at WMU, teaching, researching, and writing on the following

- Historic preservation

- Urban planning

- Grassroots activism

- US history

·      Former small business owner

·      Federal subcontractor

·      Elected union representative

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE:

·      3-term member of the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission

·      Member of the Kalamazoo Complete Streets Steering Committee

·      Co-founder and organizer of the MLK JR Teach-In and Day of Action at WMU

·      Co-founder and organizer of the Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival (Bronson Park)

·      Executive committee, Southwest Michigan Group Sierra Club

POLITICAL:

·      2016 Democratic National Party Platform Committee

·      Past vice-chair, Environment Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party

·      Regional coordinator, Justice Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party

·      State Central Committee, Michigan Democratic Party

 

RECENT RECOGNITION:

Timothy Hurtgaam Award (awarded to a member of the Department of History or Political Science at WMU, who has made an outstanding contribution to making the world a better place to live).