The Monroe Times contacted candidates in area races and gave them the opportunity to submit profile information. The following profiles were returned and are published below as they were submitted. Democrat Mark Spreitzer and Democrat Sondy Pope are running unopposed in the Nov. 4 general election. Democrat Jon B. Erpenbach, who is running unopposed in state Senate District 27, did not return a profile.
Position sought: State Assembly, District 45
City/town of residence: City of Beloit
Education: B.A. in Political Science from Beloit College, 2009
Occupation: Assistant Director of Alumni and Parent Relations and Annual Support at Beloit College
Previous elected positions held: Beloit City Councilor, April 2011-Present. City Council Vice President April 2012-April 2014, and City Council President since April 2014.
What are the top issues facing this district/board/office and how would you work to resolve them?
Some of the top issues facing this district are the need for living-wage jobs, additional funding for local services, and increased support for public education.
We must use every tool available to attract new employers and support businesses that want to expand in this area. As a Beloit City Councilor, I am proud to have supported NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, which recently broke ground in Beloit and will bring quality jobs and increased tax base to our area. Quality of life factors such as good public schools, strong communities, stewardship of public resources, and reduced partisan conflict in government are key to attracting and retaining businesses and the jobs they create. I will fight for more accountability to ensure that state money for job creation is tied to performance and focused on jobs that pay a living wage. I will also support investing in workforce development, including Blackhawk Technical College, so that our residents can learn the skills they need to take the best jobs available.
As a City Councilor, I know that local government provides some of the most basic services in our communities. I will work to increase state funding for local needs in the next budget, so we can fix our roads and fund public transit, hire more police officers and fire fighters to protect our communities, serve the needs of our seniors, and keep local property taxes as low as possible. I will consult with local elected officials and protect local control so communities can find solutions that fit their needs.
I will work to strengthen our public schools by supporting the Fair Funding for Our Future plan, which would increase overall state education funding and specifically benefit high-poverty and rural school districts in the 45th District. I will end the flow of taxpayer dollars out of our public schools to unaccountable private schools. I will respect our teachers by restoring their bargaining rights and trusting education professionals, not politicians, to set education standards. I will also work with colleagues to find solutions to make higher education more affordable, whether at a 4-year college or at our community and technical colleges.
What are other key issues facing the district/board/office, and how would you work to resolve them?
Other issues include protecting a clean environment and stewarding limited natural resources to meet our needs and the needs of future generations, moving forward with healthcare solutions that meet the needs of our residents, and supporting government reforms, including non-partisan redistricting, to make legislators more accountable to voters and create an atmosphere more likely to lead to bipartisan cooperation.
I support common-sense, science based regulation of mining activities that ensures that neighboring residents and the environment are protected before mining moves forward. I support Wisconsin showing more leadership to move toward a higher renewable energy standard for our electricity. I will work to protect our public lands and maintain them for public use and as wilderness areas.
To increase access to healthcare, I support taking available federal money to expand access to Badgercare. This is money paid in taxes by Wisconsin residents and we should be claiming our share to make healthcare available to our residents. I also believe we may be better off setting up our own state healthcare exchange as our neighbors in Minnesota have done, rather than relying on the federal exchange.
I would support a constitutional amendment to require that redistricting be done by a non-partisan commission, as it is in Iowa, so that voters can choose their representatives rather than politicians drawing districts to ensure their reelection. I also support efforts to expand, rather than restrict, access to voting.