In the race for the State Assembly 62nd District, incumbent Robert Wittke is fighting to keep his seat. His opponent is August Schutz.
Here are the answers Schutz provided to the Racine County Eye. To learn more about Wittke, click here.
Where do you live
How long have you lived in the community?
What is your educational background?
University of Minnesota ’20, Union Grove High School ’16
What civic organizations do you belong to?
Democratic Party of Racine County
What position are you running for?
Representative to the Wisconsin State Assembly
Have you ever held elected office before?
If so, what positions were you elected to?
In thinking about your election bid, what top three issues need to be addressed? *
1. COVID-19 2. Education Reform 3. Eliminating Gerrymandering
How would you plan to address those issues?
The current COVID-19 response from the state legislature has hurt many Wisconsinites. We need to listen to experts and make sure that citizens are wearing masks to prevent the spread. We have become a hotspot in the last month, and this didn’t need to happen. When it comes to education, I want to see our state provide our schools with the funding that they actually need rather than turning a blind eye and forgetting about our future generations. This funding would help better after-school programs, summer school programs and more opportunities for students to learn in the classroom. In order to eliminate gerrymandering, I support creating an independent commission to draw the legislative maps for the future. Hopefully, this would eliminate the extreme partisanship that we see today.
In reference to those issues you have identified, what would success look like to you?
Success would look like having an established COVID-19 response. Currently, our Lawmakers have ignored the issue at hand. That has hurt millions of Wisconsinites, who should not have had to be in this position. Success would also be proper funding for our public schools in Wisconsin. Providing every single student a quality education, no matter their zip code. I think that success would also be to finally rid our state of gerrymandering. This process has led to a partisan gridlock in Madison, which has hindered any chance of progress that we could have made.
Why are those issues important to you?
Those issues are important to me, because they are all something that have had a big impact on my life. COVID-19 has disrupted our entire life since March. We need to make sure that we contain the spread in order to save lives. I was lucky to have a great education growing up. Many students in Wisconsin don’t have that opportunity. I think we need to look at our public school education system and fix the inequalities that we are seeing from our inner city schools compared to the schools out in Waukesha and Brookfield. Getting rid of gerrymandering is also another top issue for me because I don’t remember a time when both parties were equally represented in Madison. We have seen what happens when one party is in control of redistricting. I think it’s imperative to establish an independent commission that would draw the next legislative maps to ensure that there is fair representation in Madison.
At the end of your term, what would you like to have accomplished?
At the end of my term, I would like to have accomplished creating a better government that actually works for Wisconsinites. This would entail fixing our crumbling infrastructure, providing a great education for all students, ridding our state of gerrymandering and investing in our Wisconsin’s economy.
Why should people vote for you?
There is quite a bit of age difference between me and my opponent. I believe my youth benefits me because I am able to connect with younger citizens along with older generations. We need a fresh perspective in office rather than someone who is out of touch with his constituents. While I have never served in office before, I have interned at the Minnesota State Senate. That experience showed me how an effective state government is run rather than the partisan gridlock we have in Madison. I look forward to bringing that idea of working on both sides of the aisle to our state capital. I grew up in the 62nd district and have lived here my entire life. I know the issues that are vital to the success of our communities. You can also count on me to continuously fight for every citizen in the district.
I will not stop working until Racine County is the gem of Wisconsin.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know?
There are two candidates in this race, one that will go to the capital every day to fight for his constituents and ensure that every Wisconsinite has a better life. The other one is a man that has not worked in the last 150 days. While there is high unemployment, many are sick and over 1,000 people have died, my opponent and the rest of his colleagues have failed to put forth legislation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their constituents. We need a representative that will be in the corner for every single citizen of their district, and that representative is me.
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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/