I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’ve been preparing for public service since the “good old days” growing up in Three Rivers, riding around on my black bike with the bright yellow banana seat. Those were the days when we could buy candy cigarettes and ride in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts. All of the kids would play together climbing trees, finding toads and bird feathers and using our imaginations before anybody heard of Atari or Nintendo.

When squabbles arose, the adults would tell us to “figure out how to get along or you will play in your room by yourself.” When the squabbles were not resolved and fights broke out, adults would strip us of our privileges and banish us to isolated, self-reflection where we would reconsider our attitudes and re-emerge as better neighbors, friends and playmates. We were taught how to learn. We were taught how to compromise. We were taught to be accountable to each other.

I was never given an allowance or many unnecessary things; I was taught to earn the prize. We canvassed the neighborhood pulling the little red wagon for pop cans to exchange for candy at Hoffman Street Grocery. (Does anybody remember how tiny Hoffman St. Grocery was before it was rebuilt?) As elementary school turned into middle school and high school, prizes got bigger and more expensive and my effort increased proportionately to the prize. I stopped pulling that little red wagon and started pushing the old orange lawn mower. I learned that mowing 2 or 3 lawns was faster and more lucrative than collecting pop cans. Jobs at K-Mart, McDonald’s and Big Boy replaced the lawn mower and further developed my work ethic, character and experience. I spent spring breaks and school vacations working in the factory at Armstrong always learning and developing my character from the greatest teachers available – co-workers and fellow-citizens of this great little community who were going to work, providing for their families and actively participating in their communities as law abiding citizens– but I didn’t realize it at the time.

These lessons followed me to college in St. Louis and Beijing and then law school in East Lansing and Hong Kong. (Can anybody guess who paid for my schooling?) When it finally came time to apply these lessons in real life and enter the work force, I soon realized I was very well-equipped with the tools to compete with others from all over the world and from all walks of life (“wax on, wax off” finally clicked). I realized winners start earlier, work longer, prepare better, read it twice and humbly admit shortcomings and then adjust accordingly to improve.

I’ve been “sized up” everywhere I’ve been along the way and sometimes dismissed by those who come from privilege or consider themselves better because of where they are from (lesson #816: it is not bad to be underestimated). After all, what does anybody from rural St. Joseph County, Michigan know? Well they know everything I do because they are my playmates, neighbors, classmates, friends and co-workers and we all grew up right here together learning the same lessons in this great little community.

And now with the same humility, I ask for your help in earning the next prize: the position of Prosecutor where I will work for you and law enforcement to improve the broken side of our local criminal justice system, applying everything I’ve learned, using all of the tools I’ve collected along the way starting with sharing rides on the yellow banana seat to dressing appropriately for work at the Exchange Square building in Hong Kong; from managing the office and staff as Director of Operations of a national consulting firm to punching in on time at McDonald’s and working hard to match the intensity of the men I respected and worked for in the factory at Armstrong (ask me about Sag Kinney sometime).

I promise I will be a devoted servant and hard worker and that promise will not be difficult to keep because that’s already what I do and who I am. That’s who a lot of us are around here.

Endorsed by State Representative Aaron Miller

“Dave Marvin is the best candidate for the office of prosecutor in St. Joseph County.  This county and the rule of law both run in his veins and he has the character and the background to do the job the right way.  I will feel very confident with Dave at the helm in our local courts protecting our 61,000 residents; he’ll be the first to show up and the last to leave.  Dave Marvin therefore has my full endorsement for St. Joseph County prosecutor.  I encourage you to give him your vote at the polls on August 4 or by absentee ballot.”