Monday, September 24, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 08/05/18

Passion a positive

From working on behalf of victims of human trafficking to helping craft state and federal legislation intended to curb abuses of that population to addressing challenges faced by those facing poverty, Jodi Emerson’s passion for helping others makes her the candidate to support in the 91st Assembly District.

Jodi has the ability to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds to work to better situations. During the past five years in her job with Fierce Freedom fighting human trafficking and prior to that volunteering for multiple community organizations, Jodi forged partnerships with many groups to work on behalf of those who often are marginalized in our society.

In addition to these partnerships, Jodi has also worked with both state and federal legislators to enact bills that better protect children and other human trafficking victims. However, Jodi’s passion for advocating for others goes well beyond human trafficking. She stands for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, as well as creating jobs that help build a robust middle class.

As a former Flynn Elementary PTA president, Jodi also strongly believes in recovering the funding that has been recently removed from the public education systems. In all of these instances, Jodi will stand up for those whose voices are not yet heard in Madison.

Jodi is a lifelong Democrat and an Eau Claire native, and her commitment to helping others in her hometown succeed is admirable. She is tireless in her efforts to help others, and she deserves your vote on Aug. 14.

GAIL HALMSTAD

Eau Claire

A reassuring rescue

There is great paradox and lessons to be learned in the rescue of the young boys from Thailand.

Clearly when individuals set aside their differences and decide to work collectively for a common good great things can be accomplished in short order. It is part of our DNA.

Sadly, on so many important issues we choose to ignore that innate ability. The result is a world that lives bogged down in chaos in which progress is made at a snail’s pace.

RICHARD BOYUM

Candler, N.C.

I like Mike

If you don’t fit neatly along the conventional left-right spectrum;

if you were inspired by Bernie Sanders;

if you’re tired of the Democratic Party choosing (and financing) uninspiring Democrats;

if you’ve had it with the parties, period;

if you’re a working-class Wisconsinite and believe in BadgerCare for all, living wages for workers, debt-free education and high-speed internet everywhere;

if you’re a conservation-minded conservative;

if you believe in local control and local democracy;

if you support small family farms and small local business;

if you think Wisconsin should be the first state in the nation fully powered by renewable energy;

if you’re a grower, builder, teacher or healer;

if you think rural people matter just as much as urban people;

if you think brown people matter just as much as white people;

if you’re still hopeful (for any reason) and you believe in honest government that serves all people and not the donor class;

if you believe in campaign finance reform, automatic voter registration, ranked-choice voting, nonpartisan redistricting and anti-corruption laws ...

If any of these values, principles or dispositions describe you well (or if I’ve missed you along the way), please learn more about Mike McCabe for governor at governorblue

jeans.com and join me and thousands of citizen volunteers all across Wisconsin in supporting a new kind of political leadership in our capital city. The primary is Tuesday, Aug. 14.

NIK NOVAK

Eau Claire

Leadership key

I am enormously heartened to see four good people taking the time and energy to serve their community by running in the 91st Assembly District Democratic primary.

Democracy is strongest when there is wide participation, and I urge everyone to participate, especially by voting. I am supporting Jodi Emerson in the primary because of her lifelong experience in advocacy and leadership for our community. From her early days of volunteering with PTA and Girl Scouts (tell me that doesn’t take a spine of steel) to her passionate advocacy for victims of human trafficking during her Fierce Freedom leadership, Jodi has demonstrated the skills and dedication I want in my next Assembly representative.

She makes things happen through an ability to build relationships and create winning strategies and through plain old hard work. She doesn’t give up, and she never, never stops fighting for her community. I especially appreciate her willingness to fight hard to preserve women’s reproductive rights in an age when those rights are under attack from legislative bodies and eroded by a culture of inequality.

Jodi is knowledgeable and passionate about family access to health care —including mental health — economic security, education, social justice and our environment.

Learn the issues and choose the candidate who most closely reflects your values. I encourage all to participate.

JUDI MOSELEY

Eau Claire

Shared visions for state

Mike McCabe and Bernie Sanders have the same views and visions.

They believe in putting people first and principle over party. They believe in health care for all, living wages for all workers, debt-free education and college, and clean water, air and energy.

Mike grew up on a small farm in central Wisconsin. He has a strong work ethic and common sense. As someone who grew up on a family farm in Wisconsin, I share these same values and ethics.

McCabe would be a great governor for Wisconsin. Join me in voting for him on Aug. 14.

THOMAS WIK

Altoona

Emerson’s empathy key

My business is located in Banbury Place in the former Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. factory in Eau Claire.

Occasionally, a customer will mention that their dad, grandma, uncle or sister worked at the factory, and lament the loss to our community when those factory jobs went away. One family who depended upon Uniroyal was Jodi Emerson’s, and life was hard after her dad lost his job at the factory.

Jodi grew to adulthood knowing how quickly a family could go from security to uncertainty. The issues Jodi has championed her entire adult life all have at their core an understanding and empathy for people who have fallen on hard times due to health issues or job loss, or who are vulnerable in other ways.

I’m supporting Jodi’s campaign to become the Assembly representative from the 91st District for many reasons. High on my list is her ability to forge civil working relationships with people whose beliefs are quite different than her own. Finding common ground in order to further the common good is one of Jodi’s strongest skills and is one we desperately need in today’s noxious political landscape.

I remember local news showing a photo of Jodi standing with Gov. Scott Walker — a politician with whom she disagrees on many issues — as he congratulated her on the passage of legislation to protect victims of human trafficking. For years Jodi worked diligently with people from around the state to pass anti-trafficking laws because she knew that people in her own community were being exploited.

Jodi understands the interconnectedness of social issues and the ripple effect that small policy changes can make. Too often those policy changes negatively affect the lives of people who can barely weather one more hit, and I know Jodi would be their champion.

KRISTEN DEXTER

Eau Claire

Creative economy lauded

The regions across the country with strong creative economies have the most favorable economic outlook.

Locally speaking, the surge of activity within the creative economy is a critical part in Eau Claire’s economic and cultural renaissance. In fact, recent statistical research shows that Eau Claire is a Wisconsin leader in the creative economy. The creative economy in Eau Claire County accounts for 5.2 percent of the regional GDP and 6.8 percent of regional employment, which is comparatively well above the percentages of the state’s total GDP (3 percent) and employment (3.1 percent).

Eau Claire’s strong creative economy is a primary reason that the area has experienced continued growth and received national recognition in important areas such as tourism, population rise and high quality of life. I moved to Eau Claire earlier this year, and the major factor in my decision to move here was the support of arts, culture and creativity. I know that I am only one of many new residents that have recently chosen to live in Eau Claire for the same reason.

The importance of Eau Claire’s creative economy to the area’s overall prosperity is why I support Jodi Emerson for the 91st District’s Wisconsin state Assembly seat. I’ve personally witnessed Jodi’s public support for arts, culture and creativity. Since moving here a few months ago, I have attended several public meetings and other programs relating to the creative economy. Jodi has not only been in attendance on those occasions, but more importantly, she has been actively engaged in the discussions. It’s clear that she understands that a strong creative economy is vital to a place where people want to live and grow.

NICK O’BRIEN

Eau Claire

Service separates Larsen

Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans’ election mantra since 2010 has been “get government out of the way” and let “free market practice” rule.

Walker’s free market practice equates to corporate America and corporate Wisconsin controlling the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, which have managed to help enrich the super wealthy and corporations. This has been to the detriment of the working poor, disabled, struggling middle class, students, etc.

Walker and fellow Republicans are massively funded by individuals and corporations aligned with Americans for Prosperity, ALEC, Bradley Foundation, MacIver Institute, NRA and more. The strategy? Fund candidates loyal to these organizations and finance interest ads to win elections. Once elected, control the legislators that shape public policy and legislate favoritism toward corporations and wealthy individuals. As a result, our Wisconsin State Treasury has been plundered. Funding for education, transportation, natural resources, health care, living wages, shared revenues and so on have been slashed to give way to tax breaks and credits for the wealthiest.

It is political and voting matters. The standard for going to the polls in this 2018 election should be based on your measure as to whether or not the quality of life in Wisconsin has diminished or is being further threatened with Republican control. At the same time, also measure who has benefited from the last eight years of Republican domination in the Capitol.

As the 91st Democratic Assembly candidate, Eric Larsen’s campaign isn’t funded by any corporate sponsor. Larsen has dedicated over 40 years of public service to his nation and Eau Claire community by defending and promoting the public services government can provide to all citizens. It’s time to turn the power over to elected representatives who still believe that government is “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

PAUL MILLER

Eau Claire

Health concerns abound

There are several reasons why I’m convinced Jodi Emerson is the right person to represent District 91 in the Wisconsin Assembly. This includes her commitment to enhancing the Chippewa Valley economy, her understanding that accessible health care is a necessity and that issues such as affordable housing, mental health services, addiction, criminal justice reform and human trafficking are all connected and must be addressed as such when considering legislative action.

Most importantly, of all candidates running, she is the only one who has written, advocated for and seen passed actual legislation in her work with Fierce Freedom, an anti-human trafficking organization.

As a community advocate for mental health, I know that Jodi understands fighting for budget authority is the ultimate policy advocacy. She helped pass a $2 million line-item addition for the Department of Children and Families budget, marking the first time in Wisconsin history that money was set aside to address anti-human trafficking efforts. I’m supporting Jodi because I believe she will bring the same advocacy and funding prioritization to solving the Chippewa Valley’s severe shortage of mental health providers and programming. Suicide rates are climbing and waiting times to receive help continue to grow. We’ve seen article after article describing surveys and studies identifying mental health as a priority need in our area but no significant policy or funding changes to ensure the help that has been identified as a critical need be implemented.

We need leaders like Emerson in the state Assembly to make sure expansion of mental health services not only stays a philosophical priority, but is finally funded as a priority. She has the experience, drive and heart to be an outstanding leader for the Chippewa Valley. Please vote on Aug. 14.

KIMBERLY SCHMIDT

Eau Claire

Policy experience crucial

What we need to represent us in Madison for the 91st Wisconsin state Assembly District (most of the city of Eau Claire) is someone who can hit the ground running. That person is Eric Larsen.

He has vast experience in public policy that shapes our lives for the better. From his experience as a policeman and as a member of the Eau Claire City Council, Eric has been there, done that. His values match those of progressives in Eau Claire, from women’s health to gun safety.

Check out his well-written and comprehensive website to see for yourself at ericlarsenforassembly.com to see how he will work for us in Madison. Vote Aug. 14. Early voting is open now.

ELIZABETH SPENCER

Eau Claire

Grateful for local services

We would like to thank Altoona emergency services.

My wife and I have gone through a few difficult years due to a car accident and the recovery process. During this time we have had to call the Altoona 911 number for emergency services. Each time, we have been serviced in less than 10 minutes with the most professional employees.

We are so pleased to live in a community whereby we are covered by the best emergency response team in the world. Thanks to each of these great professionals during our times of need. We’re very grateful.

NORMAN AND JOYCE MATHEWS

Altoona


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