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The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
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Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Local Democratic candidates speak at town hall

Local+Democratic+candidates+speak+at+town+hall

With less than 50 days until Michigan’s general election, three local Democratic candidates appearing on most U.P. ballots addressed student and community members about local and statewide issues such as community empowerment, education reform and government trust and transparency during a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Hosted by the NMU College Democrats, the meeting took place at 6 p.m. in the Charcoal Room of the University Center and nearly 50 attendees participated in the 90-minute long discussion with Rep. Sara Cambensy, Rep. Scott Dianda and candidate for Congress Matt Morgan.

The candidates promptly contextualized their answers to the U.P. and its communities, beginning with a question regarding economic health indicators.

“We need to be looking at economic indicators that more accurately represent the purchasing power of working families,” Morgan said. “Wage growth is one of the most predictive indicators in terms of the impact on working families.”

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A retired Marine Corps officer, Morgan is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman for a seat in Congress representing Michigan’s 1st district. Morgan’s name will appear on the November ballot after a successful write-in campaign in the August primary election.

“One of the biggest things we see in the U.P. is our local economies,” Dianda said. “We can take a judgement when we see the tires on the vehicles and the roofs on the homes.”

Running for the 38th district Senate seat, Dianda has been serving as the 110th district state representative since 2012. He will face Republican candidate Ed McBroom and Green Party candidate Wade Roberts on the November ballot.
He added that a redistribution of revenue is necessary to improve local economies.

“When taxpayer funds are distributed to corporations, we don’t see results,” Dianda said.

“There’s enough money in the state budget to support what we need to make a better life in Michigan.”

Finishing the ninth month of her first term as state representative for the 109th district, and running for re-election, Cambensy agreed with Dianda. She added that although unemployment is low in the U.P., nearly 40 percent of its population is “on assistance.”

“It’s about choices we make in Lansing,” Cambensy said. “As Democrats, you’re going to see us focus on creating those high wage, long term jobs.”

In 2017, Cambensy won a special election to finish the remaining 14 months of three-term state Rep. John Kivela. She will be joined by Republican candidate Melody Wagner on the November ballot.

Maintaining an emphasis on local issues, the town hall shifted toward a discussion on holding elected officials accountable, keeping government transparent and preserving trust with citizens.

“Most people want to be able to trust their government officials,” Cambensy said in response to a question about transparency in Lansing. “It’s probably one of the biggest things Michigan needs to fix.”

She later added that distrust needs to be reconciled in both citizen-to-official relationships and official-to-official interactions.

“There’s a lot of politicians in Lansing that don’t trust our local leaders to be responsible with money,” Cambensy said. “We need to bring that local money and local control back so that you can be in charge of it.”

Dianda reiterated the importance of increasing political transparency, and received shouts of support from the audience.

“All of our documentation needs to be shared with the public,” he said. “We cannot have a secret society in Michigan just to protect the elected officials, every agency needs to be transparent.”

Dianda’s comments on “regaining local control” also elicited a positive response.

Morgan cited a “no-corporate PAC pledge” as his campaign’s resistance to “the single most corrupting factor in Washington today.”

“When elected, we want to make sure that only people we owe are the people we represent,” Morgan said. “The key for us is to be able to mobilize voters to win races without taking corporations’ money and without taking lobbyists’ money.”

Having addressed nearly 10 audience questions, the meeting concluded with a question about educational reform.

“The federal government could be a way better partner to states,” Morgan said. “We need more proactive funding streams, especially for rural communities.”

Citing 10 years of experience of working for Marquette Public Schools, Cambensy said she recognizes the choice students have to face at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
“The burden is being pushed onto students,” she said. “You’re probably leveraging whether it’s worth going to college, and that’s not right.”

“That’s where the priority gotta be, it gotta get back to the basics for the people of this state,” Dianda added. “For the last six years it’s been tilted for corporate welfare and it has to return to education, that’s how we’re going to build our state back.”

The Michigan general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“There’s enough money in the state budget to support what we need to make a better life in Michigan.”

Finishing the ninth month of her first term as state representative for the 109th district, and running for re-election, Cambensy agreed with Dianda. She added that although unemployment is low in the U.P., nearly 40 percent of its population is “on assistance.”

“It’s about choices we make in Lansing,” Cambensy said. “As Democrats, you’re going to see us focus on creating those high wage, long term jobs.”

In 2017, Cambensy won a special election to finish the remaining 14 months of three-term state Rep. John Kivela. She will be joined by Republican candidate Melody Wagner on the November ballot.

Maintaining an emphasis on local issues, the town hall shifted toward a discussion on holding elected officials accountable, keeping government transparent and preserving trust with citizens.

“Most people want to be able to trust their government officials,” Cambensy said in response to a question about transparency in Lansing. “It’s probably one of the biggest things Michigan needs to fix.”

She later added that distrust needs to be reconciled in
both citizen-to-official relationships and official-to-official interactions.

“There’s a lot of politicians in Lansing that don’t trust our local leaders to be responsible with money,” Cambensy said. “We need to bring that local money and local control back so that you can be in charge of it.”

Dianda reiterated the importance of increasing political transparency, and received shouts of support from the audience.

“All of our documentation needs to be shared with the public,” he said. “We cannot have a secret society in Michigan just to protect the elected officials, every agency needs to be transparent.”

Dianda’s comments on “regaining local control” also elicited a positive response.

Morgan cited a “no-corporate PAC pledge” as his campaign’s resistance to “the single most corrupting factor in Washington today.”

“When elected, we want to make sure that only people we owe are the people we represent,” Morgan said. “The key for us is to be able to mobilize voters to win races without taking corporations’ money and without taking lobbyists’ money.”

Having addressed nearly 10 audience questions, the meeting concluded with a question about education reform.
“The federal government could be a way better partner to states,” Morgan said. “We
need more proactive funding streams, especially for rural communities.”

Citing 10 years of experience of working for Marquette Public Schools, Cambensy said she recognizes the choice students have to face at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

“The burden is being pushed onto students,” she said. “You’re probably leveraging whether it’s worth going to college, and that’s not right.”

“That’s where the priority gotta be, it gotta get back to the basics for the people of this state,” Dianda added. “For the last six years it’s been tilted for corporate welfare and it has to return to education, that’s how we’re going to build our state back.”

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