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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.

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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