THREE ISSUES | Stu-ing over 2012 election issues

As a resident of a St. Paul suburb, Stuart Orlowski began an educational journey three years ago that has him currently at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where the Twin Cities Daily Planet was able to track him down. With strong ties to two states, a no-holds barred outlook on the machinations of politics and society, and an approaching degree in Geological Engineering, Mr. Orlowski goes one-on-one with the TC Daily Planet. Buckle up.Forrester Pack: What is an issue or concept that you would like to see addressed in the 2012 elections?Stuart Orlowski: Poor people, not this middle-class bull$#^t.FP:  Is it safe to say you have conviction on this election subject?SO: Not enough about our society’s poor and lower-working class is being discussed. All I ever hear about is the ‘middle’. Continue Reading

THREE ISSUES | Questions and quibbles for the 2012 elections

Kyle Posten, a St. Paul resident and undergrad at Century College in White Bear Lake, gives the Twin Cities Daily Planet key points he thinks should be addressed in the 2012 elections by President Barack Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney. The interview took place over the social networking website, Facebook.Forrester Pack: As a student of higher education, you mentioned during our introduction that educational issues were of particular concern to you during this election season.Kyle Posten: Well, one topic that concerns me is educational funding. More funding for K-12, specifically. When I volunteered at a school as a teacher’s assistant, it made me realize how hard teachers work and how much help they need in the classroom. Continue Reading

THREE ISSUES | Iraq invasion, work and labor laws

Dan Pinotti, St. Paul resident and former teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, talked to Forrester Pack by telephone about three concepts he’d like addressed in this election season.FP: Hello, Dan. Would you tell us which issue is most important to you that you hope gets spotlighted in the state or national elections?Dan Pinotti: I don’t know if they’d have the stomach to do it, but I’d like to see the reasons for the Iraq invasion revisited… [I feel that] Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, former Vice-President Cheney and former President Bush shouldn’t have a respected position in society. I don’t think its okay.FP: Which aspects of their involvment in the ‘War on Terror’ would you like to see investigated?Dan Pinotti: Well, the way the threat [of terrorism] was portrayed. Continue Reading

THREE ISSUES | Environment, constitution, education

In an email interview, David Dougherty, FATHER project GED program developer, discussed three issues he feels are important and should be addressed in the upcoming election season. His top issue?David Dougherty: Environmental. According to the Stern Review (an extensive climate report prepared for the British government in late 2006) and the London School of Economics, climate change mitigation has the potential to require 1/5 of the world’s GDP [to deal with]. According to this report, immediate preventative measures are needed to stem this future disaster. I would like to hear both [presidential] candidates explain their respective stances on environmental issues and outline a plan to protect future generations.TCDP: Whoa, that research does seem to outline a dire situation. Continue Reading

THREE ISSUES | “Puttin’ People On the Moon”… and in Congress… and into the White House

Jim Rufi, the 46-year old award-winning Car Program manager of the St. Paul-Fairview Goodwill Easter Seals (since 2005), self-avowed fan of the country-rock group “Drive-By Truckers”, and astute student of political science told the Daily Planet what he feels are the most important issues in the upcoming federal elections this fall, illustrating with song lyrics in a deft juxtaposition of music, politics, and life.FP: “Jim, what are some of the concerns, concepts, or issues you have regarding the upcoming national elections that you hope to see addressed or resolved?”JR: “Basically, I would want President Obama to win. But as far as the political process itself goes (the election season, politicking, ads), I must say I’m a bit disillusioned.”FP: “How did you reach a point of disillusionment?”JR: “Oh, just the past, seeing it all play out, having experienced past elections. You know, one of my favorite connections to the political process is through music, just because as a medium of communication, music is so universal, open, and relevent to everyday life, including politics.”FP: “Could you elucidate?”JR: “Sure. For example, if you look around at the U.S. voting populace today, alot of them, including me, are [disillusioned] with the current course we’re on, especially regarding foreign policy. Continue Reading

THREE ISSUES | A Minnesotan’s candid thoughts on the 2012 state election

Willie is an employee of the FATHER project, a Minneapolis organization that assists fathers in overcoming barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally. He had some interesting thoughts on the upcoming state elections.FP: “What are some concerns, concepts, or issues that you hope to see addressed in the upcoming state elections?”W: “Well, certainly the state budget, especially regarding education. The two proposed amendments to the state constitution definetely worry me. Both proposed amendments seem designed to discriminate against people….”FP: “What makes you feel that way?”W: “Well, we as a country, from the founding fathers on forward, have placed a premium on progressing human rights, from ending human slavery, to expanding voting rights across race and gender, and so on and so forth. So to me, the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment is just a way to restrict segments of our voting population. Continue Reading

Three Issues | Grant Kvendru offers student’s perspective on economy, healthcare, student loans

Grant Kvendru is a 19 year old undergraduate studying anthropology at Hamline University. GG: So what are the most important issues to you in the upcoming election? They can be local, state, national, whatever is closest to you at this point.GK: Well definitely the economy is a big looming issue and any resolutions or solutions that would help to advance the economic situation. Probably also healthcare, looking forward, especially for the growing elderly population. And then also the student loan situation has piqued my interest for sure because (laughs) I’m a student and going to college isn’t cheap. So those are probably three issues that I would pick right off the top of my head.GG: So keep going a bit with the student loans.GK: Okay, well I’m not terribly versed on the topic. Continue Reading

Three issues | Flannery Clark: “Re-electing Obama because the alternative is terrible”

Flannery Clark works as an admissions counselor for Macalester College, and lives in St. Paul.GG: What are some of the most important issues to you in the election. They can be local, state, national, what do you consider to be most important?FC: I think there are two things that are most important to me, one is re-electing Obama because the alternative is terrible (laughs). Oh god, I don’t even know what else to say about that. And the other is defeating the marriage amendment.GG: Say more about the marrriage amendment.FC: I just think you can disagree about gay marriage, but putting discrimination in the Minnesota constitution is not what this state is about, it’s not what the US is about, it just opens us up to all kinds of stupid stuff. Continue Reading

Three Issues | Colleen Dooley: Community gardens, education, marriage amendment

Colleen Dooley is a yoga teacher and massage therapist who lives in the Midway neighborhood is Saint Paul, with the youngest of her four children.I met with Colleen in the community garden plot, where we are gardening neighbors. As I interviewed her, she was busy planting seedlings. She quickly identified the issues that are most important to her in the upcoming election as the environment, education, and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.In terms of the environment, Colleen would like to see more political support for local initiatives that support neighborhood connectedness. She would love to see more community gardens available, citing her own experience as one that has helped her meet neighbors who she now sees on a regular basis—at the library, on walks, at the store etc. She remembers seeing a man on a bike wearing a shirt that said, “One less car.” Soon afterwards, she recognized him as the same man running for a local political office. Continue Reading