By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY — Candidates of the 29th Assembly District took time out from their busy schedules on October 11 to speak with the CSI class taught by Social Studies teacher Jessica Erickson.
Representing their respective parties were: Rob Stafsholt (Republican), John Rocco Calabrese (Democrat), and Brian Corriea (Libertarian).
The candidates took turns answering questions from Erickson that the class had put together before the presentation and after the Q&A the candidates took seats among the students to watch a presentation from Erickson’s class.
John Calabrese gave the class some information into his background with politics. He said his mother had been part of the elections board as he grew up in Rochester, NY. As he got older he would help out by running tallies back and forth to their respective boards.
“It’s like a little tornado inside of you,” Calabrese explained of the campaign process, “you’re excited for everything but relieved when it’s all over.”
Brian Corriea explained his belief on why a third party should be on the ballot for the district stating that even if it is hard for a third party to win, each voter should be well informed by learning as much as he or she can before heading to the polls to vote.
Calabrese explained further that once you decide to become a candidate you have different organizations calling you to help make signs or flyers for the campaign process. Calabrese stated he believed it is the ones in Madison who want you to do things their way.
Rob Stafsholt is the current incumbent for the 29th Assembly District and represents about 57,000 people he explained. He stated that he did not see himself in politics when he was younger.
Stafsholt went on to say there was no typical week for a representative. “Even with the disagreements about policies everyone is trying to do their best for the people,” Stafsholt commented.
Jessica Erickson asked the candidates about the process they have gone through during their political campaign.
“It was a several months long process,” stated Calabrese, “I’ve had friends and volunteers helping as well as financial help to purchase the flyers that have been passed out.”
Corriea stated his campaign has been focusing on getting the message out about him being on the ballot. “Every dollar that has been spent has been out of my pocket,” Corriea said, “and any money that was donated to the campaign has been donated to a charity on behalf of the campaign.”
Corriea went on to say that each vote matters. “There is a powerful status quo that keeps us from thinking about the bigger picture,” commented Corriea.
“Be informed and break out of the two party stigma,” explained Calabrese.
After the candidates finished speaking with students, they sat back and listened to a presentation from the CSI class about a survey that had been conducted by the class in Glenwood City.
According to the survey there has been a steady decrease in the number of homeowners in Glenwood City with there being only 460 homeowners, and that several single family homes have been converted into multi family homes.
One suggestion the students had in regards to the housing issue was to take the abandoned school on Oak Street and turn it into apartments or a community center for kids. The issue arose about the asbestos problem that plagues the building, but students explained it could be rectified with government funding and assistance for removal.
The class also had thoughts on boosting the economy for Glenwood City by helping out the small farm community by supporting the beginning farmers, finding ways to change policies for the transition of generation to generation in the farming community, and filling vacant buildings on Main Street.
Students also encourage the locals to spend more money in Glenwood City instead of out of town by using the resources available such as the dentist, clinic, grocery store, pharmacy, hardware store and gas station.