To help our community members make informed choices in the upcoming election, we asked candidates running for important local, state, and national seats to participate in our Forum to help you get to know them better. Today, meet Mona Lisa Watson.
Focusing on the top priorities of integrity, efficiency, and accessibility, Mona Lisa Watson is seeking the position of Kalamazoo County Clerk/Registrar to represent Kalamazoo County. Mona Lisa’s motivation to run for office derives from her family’s values, “As the granddaughter of a Civil Rights activist and war veteran, I was raised with the values of integrity at the ballot box, efficient delivery of clerk services, and accessibility to vital records. I am running to ensure these values are upheld by the next County Clerk/Registrar.” In this role, Mona Lisa plans to support the growth of the economy by working closely with the County Treasurer, Administration, County Board of Commissioners, and others who support the establish an equilibrium between Clerk services and the budget while focusing on priority-based budgeting. Along with answering the policy-focused questions, Mona Lisa shared with us her go-to campaign song, “Made for This” by Carrolton, as well as her favorite movie, “Doctor Strange.” Meet Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa Watson
Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register
DISTRICT POSITION REPRESENTS
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR RUNNING FOR OFFICE?
As the granddaughter of a Civil Rights activist and war veteran, I was raised with the values of integrity at the ballot box, efficient delivery of clerk services, and accessibility to vital records. I am running to ensure these values are upheld by the next County Clerk/Register.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS ELECTED OFFICE?
My priorities are integrity, efficiency, and accessibility. I am qualified, ready, and prepared to enforce policies and procedures, leverage innovation and technology, and maintain the integrity of voting and vital records to ensure that state statutes are followed, and laws are adhered to.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND RESTRICTION OF THE OFFICE?
As the next Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register, my goals under integrity, efficiency, and accessibility include:
- Partnering with clerks throughout the County and County elections and vital records staff to ensure that every vote is counted.
- Identify reliable election auditing procedures.
- End partisan gerrymandering.
- Create a council of community “Idea Champions” to offer a more visible and engaged County Clerks/Register Office.
- Expand Medicaid and Medicare Coverage, offering a public option.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY IF ELECTED?
I will work closely with the County Treasurer, Administration, County Board of Commissioners, and others to establish an equilibrium between clerk services and the budget. Priority-based budgeting will be the norm going forward which includes ensuring that our employment pay practices, the cost of services, and other efforts support the goal of creating a more economically viable community. For example, I will partner with the County Treasurer in order to address property tax issues for residents who have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
FAVORITE CAMPAIGN SONGS
“Made for This” by Carrollton
Action. My favorite movie is “Doctor Strange.”
Vegan nachos with Daiya deluxe cheeze sauce and pecan “ground beef”—so yummy.
The Primary will be held on August 4. The general Election will be held on November 3. Mona Lisa Watson is seeking this seat as a Republican.