MKEpolitics for April 15
U.S. Senate

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Milwaukee Notes

Andy Feldman says he's attempting to convince voters to choose him in the 22nd Assembly District primary on Tuesday by highlighting his education and experience in public policy.

“I'm the only candidate that has actually been in state government, been in federal government, has graduate training in public policy, and actually went to public schools in this district,” Feldman told WisPolitics.

Feldman, 35, is a single Glendale native who moved to Whitefish Bay at age 10, where he lived before he left to pursue a degree in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, then a master's degree and a doctorate degree in public policy from Harvard. During his summer's as an undergraduate, he said he worked at the New Hope Project, an anti-poverty program in Milwaukee, and then went on to work with an anti-poverty group in New York. He also served as a staff economist for President Bill Clinton, where he said he briefed the president on education, healthcare and economic issues, before pursuing his master's degree. He also said he served as a special assistant to the secretary of administration in finance in Massachusetts, where he worked on a program that sought input from state workers on ways to save money.

Feldman said most of the candidates in the race are similar on the issues, but he stands apart because of his policy background.

“My pitch is that we've got a chance to put someone in the Assembly who has a background in public policy who can not just vote the right way, but become a leader in policy making,” Feldman said.

Feldman faces three other primary candidates vying for the North Shore seat being vacated by Democrat Sheldon Wasserman, who's challenging incumbent Republican Alberta Darling for state Senate. Other candidates include: Guy Johnson, Dan Kohl and Sandy Pasch. The winner of Tuesday's primary will face off against Republican Yash Wadhwa in the general election.

Feldman listed education as a his top priority. He said although schools in the North Shore suburbs are doing well, they're under a lot of funding pressure and at risk of decline. In the Milwaukee Public Schools district, which covers part of the Assembly seat, there's a need to significantly boost quality, he said.

“I think we need a real sense of urgency about no only improving MPS's quality and student outcomes, but addressing the root causes like poverty, joblessness, lack of healthcare and transportation that are also making student outcomes a challenge in Milwaukee,” Feldman said.

Feldman also pointed to the high cost of healthcare in Wisconsin, and blamed it partially for causing deficits in state government.

While he said he'd like to see a federal solution, he would like to see a universal healthcare proposal like “Healthy Wisconsin” pass.

Feldman applauded the recent passage of the Great Lakes Compact, but pointed to a need to do more to protect Wisconsin's environment. He said more should be done to stop invasive species, develop public transportation, and increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

“Wisconsin should be aggressive in making sure that we're a leader in growing green jobs,” Feldman said, pointing to the need for “reviving the progressive tradition,” which is the theme of his campaign.

Feldman says he's been running a grassroots campaign for the last several months, and is already visiting some voters for a second time as he knocks on doors. In addition to putting out fliers and yards signs and participating int debates, he's also held three issue forums with experts on the environment, education and healthcare.

Visit Feldman's campaign Web site:

Milwaukee Notes has profiled all of the Democratic primary candidates for the 22nd AD. Milwaukee Notes will seek an interview with Republican Yash Wadhwa, who's running unopposed in the primary, following the primary election.

--See Johnson's profile:
--See Kohl's profile:
--See Pasch's profile:

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--Compiled by WisPolitics Staff

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