Sen. Winnie Brinks is the first woman to represent Grand Rapids in the Michigan Senate since Eva McCall Hamilton was elected in 1920.

As the daughter of dairy farmers and Dutch immigrants, Brinks learned the importance of hard work at a young age. Her mother raised five children and ran the family’s farm after the death of her father. This set an example of resilience and determination that Brinks carries with her to this day.

Before her election to the Michigan House of Representatives, Brinks was a caseworker at The Source. There, she helped businesses and nonprofits improve workplaces to grow and retain employees. She also previously served as the executive director of a community-based corrections agency and as a school paraprofessional.

Brinks is dedicated to keeping the Grand Rapids and West Michigan an economic leader in the state. In the state House, Brinks worked tirelessly to protect our drinking water from toxic PFAS contamination, create jobs, ensure every child has access to a world-class education and honor our state’s debt to our veterans.

Brinks is a graduate of Calvin College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a concentration in sociology.

She and her husband Steve, a Spanish teacher, live in Grand Rapids and are the parents of three incredible daughters, Olivia, Annalise and Emma. She attends Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.