State Rep. Betsy Coffia is serving her first term representing the 103rd House District, which comprises Leelanau County, Grand Traverse County and Benzie County.
Rep. Coffia grew up in a rural, working-class community. Her mother, who cleaned homes for a living and spent her free time volunteering, all while raising four children, instilled hard-working values in her. Rep. Coffia witnessed the struggles of life on the margins, especially when it came to health care. Her parents were in a constant state of stress, balancing how to afford medical visits and stay on top of bills.
In 2020, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and underwent major surgery and months of recovery, with all the high costs and uncertainty that came with it. The experience gave her even further insight into the necessity and importance of access to health care. This experience served as a reminder that so many Michiganders live one emergency away from financial collapse. These experiences have collectively led Rep. Coffia to the Michigan Capitol.
Rep. Coffia began her career at 19 years old as a newspaper reporter and served six years as a weekly newspaper editor. She eventually left journalism to go back to school, working three jobs to get through college, including several years as a Traverse City Area Public School classroom employee and special education assistant. She earned her associate degree from Northwestern Michigan College and her bachelor’s in social work from Ferris State University. Before Coffia joined the Legislature, she was a Head Start social worker for dozens of families and five child care centers in Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse counties.
Rep. Coffia was elected to serve two terms on the Grand Traverse County Commission. She has built a reputation as an effective bipartisan policy maker and a voice for transparency. With her work ethic and abundant experience, she works to build a Michigan where everyone has access to quality physical and mental health care, equitable housing, internet access and child care, no matter their ZIP code, race, gender or level of income. She is passionate about making change happen for Michigan’s today and tomorrow.