MKEpolitics for April 15
U.S. Senate

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Milwaukee Notes

Sandy Pasch, one of 5 Democrats running in the primary for the 22nd Assembly District, says she’s done more than 1,000 doors since being sidelined for several weeks as a result of a pelvis fracture she suffered while campaigning April 27.

Since May 22, Pasch said she's had volunteers and youth in need of summer jobs help push her around the North Shore Milwaukee district in a wheelchair to visit voters' homes.

Pasch said the injury, which requires a three-month recovery period, has given her a greater understanding of the difficulties people with disabilities have in getting around and how the culture is not sensitive to their needs.

“I thought I was aware,” Pasch said. “I'm so much more aware of it now.”

Pasch, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, said reforming healthcare is her top priority and an issue she hears about frequently when she talks to voters.

With rising healthcare costs, Pasch said the current system is a burden for businesses and is a concern for people in the district who may not be covered for certain ailments or have adult children who may be going without coverage once they're too old to fit under their parents' policies.

“I've been a nurse for over 30 years and I understand the system needs fixing,” Pasch said.

She says she's “very interested” in and supports the concept of the Healthy Wisconsin plan advanced last year by Senate Democrats, saying it works to rein in costs, increases access to healthcare and has a sliding scale fee system in which people pay their fair share for care.

Pasch, who founded Milwaukee's Crisis Intervention Team that trains law enforcement officers how to deal with people facing mental health crises, also believes insurance companies should be required to cover mental health care like they do other illnesses.

The current system, she said, has made private mental health services unavailable to many, which has pushed that responsibility onto the county and resulted in many going untreated and often ending up behind bars.

“By not paying for an illness you don't make it go away,” Pasch said.

Education is another key issue for Pasch, who said the current way it is funded is unfair to property owners and unable to keep up with the increasing needs of school districts.

“We need to re-look at the whole school funding formula and start taking it off the backs of property owners,” Pasch said.

Pasch holds an undergraduate degree from UW-Madison and health-related master’s degrees from the University of Rochester and Medial College of Wisconsin. She's spent the last 15 years of her nursing career teaching nursing at the Columbia College of Nursing and is involved in numerous community organizations focused on healthcare, mental health, homelessness and youth sports.

Pasch faces four other primary candidates vying for the seat being vacated by Democrat Sheldon Wasserman, who is challenging incumbent Republican Alberta Darling for state Senate. Other candidates include Andy Feldman, Guy Johnson, Dan Kohl and Rosemary Ponik.

Pasch says her experience in the community and ability to solve problems sets her apart from the other candidates.

“It's something I've been doing for many years and I have a track record of doing it,” Pasch said. “I have a reputation for bringing people together to solve problems.”

Pasch campaign Web site:

NOTE: Other 22nd District candidates will be profiled in future editions of Milwaukee Notes. Kohl was profiled last week:

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--Compiled by WisPolitics Staff

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