Chokwe Pitchford of Benton Harbor has announced that he will run for the 79th District seat in the state House as a Democrat next year.
Pitchford, 20, said in a news release that he is pursuing a business administration degree at Lake Michigan College, with plans to eventually transfer to study economics. But before embarking on that journey, he said his community needs him to fight injustice.
“My candidacy is a message to the vanguard of racism, bigotry and discrimination towards people of color and the working people of the 79th district that we will no longer be oppressed, and we finally have a champion who will stand up for the working people of Southwest Michigan,” said Pitchford, who was born in New Orleans and lived a few years in Atlanta before moving to Benton Harbor in 2008.
He said change never happens gradually.
“The waxing and waning of justice never cease voluntarily,” he said. “It needs to be changed from the inside out, and that’s what this campaign intends to do. We’ve always been told to partake in half measures, do the bare minimum, and this is where it ends.”
Pitchford added that he also wants to push for education and criminal justice reform, and to fight for environmental justice.