My name is Ellen Lipton, and I’m proud to be running for Congress in Michigan’s 9th district.
For many years I worked as a patent attorney, practicing at the intersection of biotechnology and law. In my practice, I helped small businesses and universities thrive, often in competition with powerful corporations. I never thought I’d wind up in politics—let alone running for Congress.
My life’s path changed when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Thankfully, I had health insurance to pay for the medication I needed to live a healthy and productive life. But that medication would not exist without stem cell research.
A little over 10 years ago, stem cell research was illegal in Michigan. When I learned of the statewide ballot initiative to overturn the stem cell research ban, I had to get involved. I put my law practice on hold for two years and traveled around Michigan, educating communities across the state about the value of stem cell research and the importance of passing the ballot initiative. I’m proud to say we won.
That fight inspired me to run for office, and in 2008 I became a State Representative. I served three terms in Lansing, the maximum allowed by state law. In Lansing, I was best known for taking on Betsy DeVos, shutting down her attempts to wreak havoc on our state’s school system with her harmful privatization agenda. I also helped spearhead energy efficiency legislation and was appointed to lead the effort to reform Michigan’s broken criminal justice system for appointing counsel to indigent citizens. I’m proud to say I helped co-found the Progressive Women’s Caucus in the State House, which works to elect pro-choice women to the legislature.
In Lansing, I was the Vice Chair for both the Education Committee and the Judiciary Committee, as well as serving on the Appropriations and Energy & Technology Committees. During my time as a State Representative I was named the Public Official of the Year in 2010 by the National MS Society, Legislator of the Year in 2011 and 2012 by the Michigan Probate Judges Association and the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, Environmental Champion in 2012 by the Michigan Sierra Club, Elected Official of the Year in 2013 by the Oakland County Democratic Party, and Democratic Representative of the Year in 2014 by the Michigan Information and Research Service.
After leaving Lansing, I founded and became the President of the Michigan Promise Zone Association. Promise Zones guarantee free college tuition as well as financial aid and scholarship assistance, vocational training and certification to every graduating high school student in communities across the state.
When I left the legislature, I thought my career in politics was over. I was happy to return to my law practice and continue my work as an advocate for public education. But President Trump’s election changed everything. I saw that there was much more to do, and I realized how important it is that we send more women to Washington.
In everything I’ve done in my life, I’ve always tried to be a voice for the voiceless. I hope you’ll join me as I work to get to Washington to fight for you.