About Liz Brater:

Senator Brater was elected to represent the 18th district in the Michigan Senate in November 2002. She serves as the Vice Chair of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs and the Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism. She also serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees. She is a member of the Governor’s Land Use Leadership Council. The 18th district includes most of Washtenaw County.

Senator Brater is known statewide as a leader on environmental issues. She is the past Land Use Director of the Ecology Center, where she tackled the issue of urban sprawl. She has introduced numerous bills designed to protect the environment, and her colleagues look to her for information and advice on environmental matters. In recognition of her leadership in protection of the environment, she was named the Sierra Club Environmentalist of the Year in 1996.

Liz Brater has also worked on ways to reestablish the mental health system in Michigan and to make sure that people with mental illness are in treatment programs, rather than in homeless shelters or jail. She has received statewide recognition for her work in the mental health area, including the Michigan Health Association Snyder-Kok Award, Michigan Alliance for the Mentally Ill Legislator of the Year Award, the Association of Children’s Mental Health Legislator of the Year Award, Michigan IAPSRS Phyllis Levine Legislative Advocacy Award, and the Michigan Psychiatric Society Mental Health Advocate Award.

Senator Brater was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in 1988, representing the Third Ward. She became the city’s first woman mayor in 1991 and served as mayor until 1993. During this time, she shepherded the passage and implementation of the city’s weekly recycling collection program. She also led the effort to launch the city's materials recovery facility (MRF), which opened the summer of 1995. As mayor, Senator Brater also launched a number of initiatives to increase cooperation and understanding within city government and between the city and other jurisdictions.

Elected to the State House of Representatives in 1994, Brater served until December 2000, when she was unable to run again because of term limits. She chaired the Consumer Protection Committee and initiated an ambitious agenda of consumer protection issues. Working with a broad coalition of consumer advocates, she held meetings across the state to foster dialogue with citizens on this legislation.

Senator Brater has lived in Ann Arbor since1975, when her husband, Enoch Brater, became a professor in the English Department at the University of Michigan. With Enoch she has raised two children who have graduated from the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Before entering politics, Liz worked as a writer and editor and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She also served as an adjunct lecturer on local government at the University of Michigan Institute for Public Policy Studies (now the Ford School). She is a member of numerous organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Ecology Center, the Washtenaw Land Trust, the NAACP, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the League of Women Voters.

Lansing Office:

Office Address: 510 Farnum Bldg.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: 517-373-2406
Toll Free: (866) 305-0318
Fax: 517-373-5679

Photos Courtesy of Travel Michigan, Randall McCune, Vito Palmisano, and the Traverse City CVB

Official Website of Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus
111 S. Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 373-7370

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