Dan Hesse Group Shot

Friends and Neighbors,

I’m proud to be running to serve the 18th District of Kent County. Having spent most of my life either living or working in the district, I’m excited by the opportunity to represent you on the Board of Commissioners. My parents, Paul and Maria, welcomed me to my childhood on Marywood Drive,  just around the corner from Kingma’s Market, and in adulthood, my journey has brought me to where I live now – on Knapp Street. I’ve been lucky enough to work in my own neighborhood, spending sixteen years with Royce Rolls Ringer Company.

Ever since my early days of serving my neighbors with my lawn mowing business of over 100 local customers, my community – our community – has been central to my life. In addition, my Grandparents, Chuck and Stella Royce, provided me with some great early examples of how to live and support the Grand Rapids area. Now I am called to serve my neighbors again.

Dan with his Grandparents
My Grandparents, Chuck and Stella Royce – from 2012

This election is about selecting trustworthy voices to speak up on your behalf for the services and projects you care about. My priorities are Housing, the Environment, Public Safety, and Community Engagement. With so many people currently struggling to make ends meet, polls have consistently shown Housing to be the top issue – nationally and locally – that people are concerned about. With Greater Grand Rapids growing as fast as it is, there aren’t enough affordable options for people to choose from, and that is bad news for the future stability and prosperity of our county. Alongside that expansion comes the challenge of keeping residents safe while supporting open-minded law enforcement agencies who will collaborate on new ideas from the community. This includes the promotion of programs outside and within the Kent County Jail to help disrupt the revolving door of recidivism. As we conduct the small daily work of the people as well as the big and ambitious projects, we must ensure that residents are updated with timely and transparent information and involved in their local government as much as possible. It’s not just about what we as elected leaders are doing, either. There are many organizations and neighborhood groups within the 18th District that are doing great things, and I’d like to help them to amplify their outreach and partner with them for even more success.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Davenport University and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Applications from GRCC. I’m 34 years old and have traveled to 38 countries, 46 states, and 3 U.S. territories. I hold a Private Pilot’s License and am a PADI Divemaster Scuba Diver and help assist new divers seeking certification. These skills took a great deal of time, patience, and attention – not at all unlike the work of public service, for which I am well-prepared.

Through a fulfilling array of volunteer experiences, including service in the Sunrise Movement (a local organization that combats climate change), Movimiento Cosecha (a local immigrant rights group), Grand Rapids for Affordable Housing, and Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network (helped deliver groceries to people during the COVID-19 pandemic), I’ve experienced grassroots action firsthand. I have also served as a volunteer clinic escort for Planned Parenthood and as Vice-Chair of the Kent County Progressive Caucus, connecting the act of service with some of the most crucial issues of liberty and progress in our time.

Dan Hesse

If you believe these challenges are as important as I do, and that we are ready to meet the moment – together – then I would be honored to have your support, your vote, and your partnership.