Stay informed with Burt Mason for State Rep. 2024!
MEET BURT MASON
I promise to promote our UP values in Lansing
I am Burt Mason, a loving husband, with 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and a Republican candidate for the Michigan 109 State Rep District. My mission is to bring positive change to our community while keeping the UP wild and free. I am an avid outdoorsman and a constitution conservative and believe that God will guide me through a successful campaign.
Before retiring I had a successful career in business development positions at Hurco (International Business Development Manager), Sony (National Sales Manager), and Hexagon (Product Manager for their most profitable product line). I am a dedicated public servant with a track record of success on the board of directors of the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce and the Baraga County Memorial Hospital Board. I also chair two 501c3 non-profit companies, Friends of The Huron Mountains and the Huron Island Lighthouse Preservation Association. Both of these companies had a mission of protecting the unique environment, as well as, the cultural and historical nature of the area.
I am committed to using the power of my office to serve the needs of our constituents. I believe in fighting for what is right and making a difference in people's lives. Together, we can build a brighter future for the UP and our state. Thank you for your support!
We live in the UP for a variety of reasons but mostly for the freedom afforded us and the ability to enjoy that freedom without interference from the government. Our values and needs are often much different than those in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and South East Michigan. Our expectations include a great education and safe place for our children, good health care, freedom to explore our near pristine environment, an ability to make a decent living, and a place to enjoy in our later years. Unfortunately, Lansing has been taking a lot of these time-honored expectations away from us infringing on our Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Mandates designed to take away our local zoning rights, our freedom of speech, what we put into our bodies, how we power our homes or what type of vehicle we drive all seem to have taken priority over what is really required in our day to day life to meet our needs.
Revitalize the UP
The UP is home to abundant natural resources which along with tourism has been the mainstay of our economy for years. Unfortunately, new technologies required to harvest timber or to mine ore has reduced the number of people required to perform these jobs. At the same time investment to attract new businesses to the UP has not been enough to fill this the job void. The new Electric Vehicle mandates could easily be the death nail for UP tourism since we currently only have 8 fast charging stations in the UP and the state is only proposing a bare bones investment across Michigan and the UP for additional fast charging stations. Restrictive regulations have also taken its toll on employment. The Covid shutdown regulations and forced vaccinations also placed a strain on our economy. As a result, according to the US census the UP has continued to lose population. This is the result of an aging population, smaller family sizes, burdensome regulations and people leaving for higher paying jobs to support their families. The population in the UP according to the census has dropped to a 60 year low. We must focus like a laser to determine what businesses could do well in the UP and then implement policies to attract those businesses. Examining and then eliminating over burdensome regulations would
spur new employment opportunities. Certainly, the ability to travel across the UP while maintaining continuous cell phone coverage, high speed internet, and adequate housing are some things that would promote economic development. Without well thought out policies and programs to promote employment opportunities we will continue to lose population and businesses.
Protection of the 2nd Amendment
Even though our 2nd amendment gives us the right to have guns there has been a concerted effort to take them away. The biggest issues contributing to gun violence are gangs, drugs and mental health issues and the recent red flag laws do nothing to solve those underlying issues. If an individual is committed to do bodily harm to another individual, they will find a way to do it with or without a gun. It is time to address the root cause of the violence we face instead of putting in place feel good laws that do not solve the problem.
Federal Laws already deny gun ownership if a person has been hospitalized or committed to a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility. So, if a person is suspected of being of eminent danger to themselves or others, they should be ordered by a court to take an immediate psychiatric exam and if the exam finds them to be of danger to themselves or others be required to seek psychiatric care until the danger passes. Court ordered removal of firearms without confirmation of a clear danger is a violation of an individual’s rights and simply does nothing to resolve the issue of mental illness, drug induced violence or gang violence.
Protect Our Natural Resources
The UP has an abundance of wildlife, bodies of fresh water, streams and forests which make it such an attractive place to live. It does however have a checkered past that left behind industrial waste products. Keweenaw Bay for example has stamp sand slowly covering the reefs where lake trout spawn. There are still minerals that can be extracted from this sand and the sand can be used as aggregate for roads creating new jobs in the UP. Eagle Mine is an example of how mining can be safely performed with minimal impact on our environment. Building Embridge’ Line 5 tunnel should move forward to protect our great lakes from a catastrophic leak of the pipeline laying on the lake bed near the Straits of Mackinac while at the same time generate new jobs and maintain a vital energy source. Losing this pipeline could produce crippling energy costs. Perched culverts restricting fish migration exist throughout the UP and
should be repaired to restore the watershed.
Teachers are caught between a rock and a hard spot when it comes to educating our children. The Department of Education has placed mandates on them from above on how and what they teach while parents are squeezing them from below for better education. The teachers often find themselves in an untenable situation resulting in high turn-over rates. It is time we make some serious changes in our education system.
According to NAEP standardized test scores Michigan’s 4 th and 8 th graders have been below the national average in math and reading since 2007. According to the NAEP testing standards in 2022 only 32.26% of 4 th graders and 25.4% of 8 th graders tested proficient or above in math and only 32.26% of 4 th graders and 25.43% of 8 th graders tested proficient or above in reading.
Our children are our future so it is time that we evaluate the steps needed to improve our educational system and put Michigan above average in education. I will support legislation to remove distractive activities from the classroom, support remedial actions designed to provide the additional support necessary to improve student performance in Reading and STEM studies. It is also important that skilled trade related classes are available to students to prepare them for future jobs.
Support Our Veterans, Law Enforcement and First Responders
Over the past several years we have seen movements throughout the nation to defund the police, place Veterans Homes on toxic waste dumps, have underfunded our prisons and emergency service providers, while watching as homelessness, crime and drug problems increase here in the UP. None of this is acceptable. It is time that we provide the support necessary to ensure our safety, emergency services and honor and protect our Veterans.
Adequate health care is a growing problem in Michigan’s rural communities. It is especially
acute here in the UP. Psychiatric and drug rehabilitation services are almost non-existent. Many of our available hospitals are extremely understaffed. Without a focus on improving health care to serve the needs of the community we will continue to see life expectancies fall and drug abuse and mental illness rise.