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Open Forum: Participation didn’t end with campaign

Just over year ago, a friend asked me to help out with the political campaign of a young, up-and-coming candidate running for office for the first time. I had always been somewhat interested in politics but had never been involved in a campaign. Taylor Stevenson asked me to be the change I wished to see in my community, and for five months last year, the campaign we ran gave me the opportunity to be that. 

Though Taylor did not triumph, I learned a lot from my experiences. The Stevenson campaign empowered me to contribute my energy and passion in a positive way to our area. And I was not alone; dozens of my friends and peers knocked on doors, made phone calls, and marched in parades for what we believed in. We did these things for a candidate who called on us to be leaders of the present, not just the future.

Now, almost a half a year after the 2010 election, many of us who were inspired by the Stevenson campaign serve as leaders of the DFL party. Taylor motivated us to be something more than a casual bystander. Because of all I learned on Taylor’s campaign I am inspired to follow in his path and what I am majoring in at college reflects this. 

Tay’s guest editorial on Sunday reaffirmed why I dedicated so much time and energy to the campaign. Our campaign was one of new ideas and fresh perspective; a new generation of leadership. I am proud to stand with him as a part of the leadership and denounce the derisive politics that pits the majority against the minority. My generation seeks a politics of inclusion and consensus that will unite our community and usher in a new and brighter future.

Aaron Niklaus


AARON NIKLAUS was recently elected DFL Senate District 12 Chair.