D049 News / Committee / Bio - Phil Phelps

State Representative Phil Phelps is serving his third term as the representative for the 49th House District, which comprises the cities of Flushing, Mount Morris and Swartz Creek, and part of the city of Flint, and Flint and Mount Morris townships. Rep. Phelps previously served as the Democratic vice chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee, and also served on the Health Policy Committee.

Rep. Phelps was born on May 1, 1979, in Flint, Michigan to Walter and Sharon Phelps. Phil’s father, a disabled veteran, worked for General Motors Metal Fabrication in Flint. During the 80’s, Walter suffered a terrible workplace injury and the family had to fight a long battle for workers compensation during which they lost their home and Sharon had to take a job with a local bank to keep food on the table. Phil’s family had to fight through adversity many times. Working hard and overcoming adversity has become a hallmark of Phil’s life and career.

Rep. Phelps focused on biology, horticulture, and landscape architecture while in high school and loved volunteering on community beautification projects with his father and with the Boy Scouts of America. Phil began working on farms and in a greenhouse while attending high school and began paying taxes at the age of 15. He knows the value of hard work and has had to earn everything he has.

Rep. Phelps studied at Mott Community College and at the University of Michigan-Flint. While in college, he was the President of the University of Michigan-Flint College Democrats and a member of Political Science National Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha. Phil began volunteering for Congressman Dale Kildee at the age of 13, but it was in his years at the University of Michigan that he discovered public service was both a passion and a talent. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2006 while working on Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s reelection campaign and acting as a spokesman for the Genesee Health Plan’s ballot initiative. After the campaign, he took a position in the Michigan State House of Representatives Democratic Communications office where he worked for eight Democratic members from the Mid-Michigan area. Shortly thereafter, he was tapped by Lt. Gov. John Cherry to become a regional director of external affairs for the Granholm-Cherry administration. During his time as a regional director, Phil was a point of contact for many local leaders and had involvement with many economic development projects across Michigan. Phil left the executive office to help a tech start-up company move to the commercialization phase of their development and then rejoined the state Legislature as a special advisor for House Democratic Leader Richard Hammel and adamantly fought against the so called right-to-work laws and attempts to limit the choice of women across Michigan. After Hammel left the Legislature, he became Chief of Staff for incoming Rep. Pam Faris in 2013.

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