In his distinguished career, Senator Jason Allen has lived the values he learned growing up in Traverse City. Whether serving his local community as a County Commissioner, his state in the Senate, or his country in the Michigan National Guard, Senator Allen has considered public service an important and valuable part of his career.
After graduating from Miami University, he returned to Traverse City to work in his family’s menswear business, and began his elected career when a seat opened on the Grand Traverse Board of Commissioners. The knowledge he gained there through service on the County Board of Mental Health and Veterans Trust Fund Boards helped him navigate difficult issues at the state level when he was elected to represent his home district in the Michigan Senate. After being term-limited out of the Senate and losing a close Congressional race, Governor Snyder asked Senator Allen to continue his work on behalf of Michigan’s veterans and appointed him Senior Deputy Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. In this current role, Senator Allen works to ensure Michigan’s veterans have access to the services for which they are eligible.
Senator Allen encouraged students to get to know the industries and economy of their states and countries in order to make good policy recommendations. He also suggested that they read documents like Michigan’s Constitution and the state budget in order to know what powers are given and where money originates and is spent, so they can make fully informed decisions.
We are grateful to Senator Allen for sharing his experiences, challenging our students to learn their policy and political environment, and responding to a broad range of questions.