Jessica Hanley: Leading Marquette Forward
I am a lifelong Yooper, born in Ironwood, and raised in Painesdale where I attended Jeffers High School. I left the copper country to move to Marquette for college at NMU 16 years ago. When I grew up my father, Stephen, worked as a Master Electrician doing construction work primarily and has been a member of the IBEW for almost 30 years. My Mother, Annette, ran the Red Cross chapter in Houghton county until it closed and has since worked at our church, St. Ignatius Loyola, as the office manager/accountant. Both of my parents instilled in me from a young age that volunteering should be an everyday part of life. My parents have both been firefighters and first responders on the Adams Township Volunteer Fire Department and First Responders for many years. I was even a member of the department as a first responder while I was in college and traveling home for breaks. This sense of community, embedded into me from a young age, has led me to run for Marquette City Commission.

When it came time to choose a place to live, my husband and I could not see that place being anywhere but Marquette. We know it’s the perfect place to raise a family. After renting for a few years, by a stroke of luck we were able to find a house in our budget in the city so we took it. It has taken five years of work, but we have made that little house into our own slice of heaven. I can say though that we were fortunate to purchase a home when we did, as there is a large probability that we would have been priced out of Marquette. The rent and home values are making it increasingly more difficult for many families to live here, and it is one of the main things I hope to help address if I am elected to commission.

I know that by choosing Marquette as the place we wanted to live, Adam and I severely limited ourselves in job choices. Adam worked for years as the Assistant Manager of Jacks foods (now Great Lakes Fresh Market) while continuously searching for a job as a graphic designer. Just last year he finally found the perfect job, working as the lead graphic designer at Yellow Dog Creative here in Marquette. I got lucky. I have worked for Jeffrey’s Restaurant for almost 12 years. I started as a server and have worked my way up to General Manager. I consider myself lucky because the man I work for is easily the best employer anyone could ask for. He would give you the shirt off his back and not expect anything in return. Yet I see time and time again, as a small business owner he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. On the city commission, I want to find ways to help protect and grow the local small business owners, which are even more necessary in these uncharted times. We absolutely need to find a way to ease this burden before it is too much to bear and we lose necessary businesses.

Adam and I also have a three year old son, Oliver. I would be lying if I didn’t say he was one of the main reasons I want to run for City Commission. All the problems Adam and I faced while choosing Marquette as our forever home will be multiplied for him if we don’t do something about it. We need to curb the rate of housing outpacing wages in this city, and the only way to do that is to start courting and attracting new businesses to this city. We have many open spaces for such businesses right now with the large stores and a hospital that have closed recently. I want to make sure that when Oliver grows up and gets to choose where his family will live, that Marquette is an option for him.

I am not the typical candidate that runs for office. I do not have an amazing pedigree, I have not been on multiple boards prior to this. What I do have is a vested interest in ensuring that the community I love continues to thrive long past my lifetime. My entire agenda lies in making sure that every resident of this city feels as though they are both heard and represented on our City Commission. Join me.

Jessica Hanley
$2,471 raised from 28 donations
82% of $3,000 goal