Call for political engagement

By Owen Truesdell

Competition is vital to American life, and it’s particularly important in our political process. Competitive elections force elected officials and candidates to reach out to more voters, defend and clarify their votes and their principles, and bring more people into the political process at a time when far too few people exercise their right to vote. Competitive contests are particularly important in down-ticket races, which are often ignored by the media. This is a disservice to voters. That’s why I was pleased to hear that my friend Andrew Ojeda ‘13 is running for the Minnesota House of Representatives in district 64A. In my time at Macalester, I got to know Andrew as a passionate, earnest, and dedicated advocate for the causes he believes in. While our politics were often at odds, Andrew was always interested in hearing from those who disagreed with him and working to find common ground and solve problems. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need in St. Paul. It takes real courage to run for any kind of elected office. The hundreds of hours put in by Andrew and his team of volunteers have made this a race worth paying attention to. We need more people like Andrew to step up and speak out for the values they hold dear – not just on Facebook or Twitter, but in conversation with their neighbors, on their phones and at their doors. Those one-to-one conversations are the only way to break through the apathy that plagues our politics. With big challenges facing us at every level of government, it is encouraging to see a competitive election in the heart of Saint Paul. Decisions made during the next session at the Capitol will have a deep and enduring impact on the lives of the families living in Saint Paul and across Minnesota. Having leaders who strive for innovative and bipartisan solutions to these problems is crucial. So with only a few weeks remaining before the polls open, take a look at what Andew Ojeda stands for and, on Election Day, choose the candidate who best represents your values and who will champion them at the Capitol for the next two years. refresh –>