Tuesday, September 02, 2008 By Aaron Brown
Today, beginning in alphabetical order, is Brandon Clokey. His opponents John Derbis, Dan Maryland, Roger Reinert and Marsh Stenersen will follow.
My name is Brandon Clokey, and quite simply, I want to be your next State Representative. I am a very proud father of three wonderful children and have been a small business owner for over twenty years. I am a common citizen with real life experience and an appreciation for those around me. I realize there are those in Duluth that will tell you that change is good, while others will say that we are fine living life as we have, and it too is good. While I truly understand the value of both, I am rarely identified as either. Many people who know me are aware I am rarely comfortable with the status quo. My excitement comes from seeking opportunities to improve our community and all of us within it.
I currently advocate for and promote healthy families and parent involvement as the Outreach Coordinator for the Duluth Fathering Project. Other local relationships have included working full time with homeless families through Churches United in Ministry and client advocacy for those in housing transition with Reed’s Board and Lodge facilities.
Throughout my adult life, I have been no stranger to public service. My recent affiliations include being the two-term Board President for the Hillsider Community Newspaper and serving a rare second term as Board Chair for Life House Center for teens and at risk youth. Prior to moving to the Duluth area, this same passion led to my involvement with other boards. This includes the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) and testifying before the K-12 Education Committee regarding the connections between our low-income children and education.
My purpose has been, and continues to be, to serve, enable, and empower those who are not often heard within our communities. The truth is…not only do many in our community not have a voice or presence, they are also not recognized for their abilities and strengths. Strengths that could a great asset to all of us, if only they were being heard, seen, and recognized.
These experiences have given me the ability to provide sensible, common sense leadership. This same leadership is guided by the concept of doing what is right and SERVING ALL who we are able. This is why I want to be your next State Representative
Who are you and what is your background?
Although my time in Duluth has been shorter than others in this race, My diverse background includes being raised and adopted by a wonderful, strong christian, caucasian family. So from the start, i knew the importance of acceptance of those around me. My occupational background has included a faculty position at Columbus State Comm. College, and ordination into pastol ministry in 2002.
What makes you unique?
I am rarely comfortable with the status quo. I knew when I entered this race that I would have to be unique. I am confident my message and campaignhave proven that.
What makes you qualified?
Real life experience...
When a person has seen been a victim of domestic violence, they are often seen as qualified to stand up and fight for tougher domestic abuse legislation via experince. When a parent has had to bury their child as a result of a drunk driver, they are seen as qualified to fight for tougher DUI legislation. I am a father of three and see how our educational system is failing our students, especially our minority students. As a minority, I have been discriminated based on race, social status, and often because I choose not to follow the way we have always done it" mentality. That makes me qualified.
What specific attributes do you bring that your opponents don’t.
See previous answers...
What specific issues or initiatives will consume your time if elected?
Certainly pushing for a HEALTHY economy. One that rewards all those who work hard with a livable wage, affordable health benefits, and an opportunity to move forward...not just keep above water. An economy that values the skills of those in this district and benefits the region and just not those the top of the corporate ladder.
Finally, name at least one bill you will chief author during your first session, if elected.
The health and human service system is often failing those who need it the most. In many cases, these are vulnerable families who will simply fall through the cracks that a system is making larger by the day. IT NEEDS REFORM and it NEEDS IT NOW.
The second would be to promote complete and healthy family legislation in regard to custody, visitations, and equal and fair rights for parents.