Mark Gunn, Republican Candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives District 56
Respect. Respond. Serve.
A Lifetime of Leadership and Service
The Campaign Kicks Off
Respect. Respond. Serve. These three calls form the mission that has driven me all my life, from childhood to adulthood, through entrepreneurship and civic engagement. In the thirty-seven years, I have lived in Troy, I have started a restaurant franchise, headed a Christmas light company, and invested in real estate with all these in mind; even now as I look towards holding public office, the call to respect, respond, and serve continues to guide my path.
My Native American heritage brought me up to respect my elders, and one of those elders—my great-grandfather—taught me a lesson about people who would accompany me for the rest of my life. A relationship is like a bank account, he said and flourishes with investment. As a business owner, I am no stranger to all sorts of investments, and yet the most valuable investments I have made are ultimately the respect and time I have devoted to the people around me–as a result, I have been blessed with lifelong friendships more valuable than any monetary return. Thus respect, I believe, should be given to every person. I respect this nation and the beliefs on which it was founded. I respect the women in my life and the children around us in situations beyond their control. It is with the respect that people should be treated, and only when we respect each other may we work together toward better solutions.
In respecting, I respond. I was twenty-three when I met a fatherless child who was struggling in life; as soon as I encountered Big Brothers Big Sisters of America–an organization that exists to connect youth with the support they need–I joined for his sake. The respect we hold towards others should not stop at listening and appreciating; it must extend to responding to needs. For this reason, be it in business or charity, government or friendship, I will always focus on response–on finding the solution to a problem rather than only worrying about it. Every organization I have joined over the years has been in response to some need, and I plan to continue to address the problems around me actively and decisively. Only in action will we move forwards; only in responding will we see solutions.
Response leads to service. The act of serving is the crystallization of responding with respect, and it is indispensable to members of all communities. Therefore, my response to need has culminated in service: I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters to serve youth who need support in their lives; I became an executive in the High School Dads Club to raise money for children’s organizations. I have supported those in hardship through the Knights of Columbus, and I serve fellow civilians as a current member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Service gives back to the local community as well. I have volunteered on the board of directors for my local homeowners' association for ten years, and now I am running for State Representative of the 56th district.
To respect, to respond, and to serve—this I pledge to the people of the 56th district. Out of the respect I have for this nation and my fellow people, out of response to the needs I see in the community, and out of the subsequent desire to serve, I look forward to meeting with you over the course of the next several months. And as I work to earn your vote on November 8th, I hope that you will give me the privilege of serving you!