Third-party candidate seeks to present alternative to Buerkle, Maffei in Congress

Ursula Rozum, Green Party candidate for the 24th District congressional seat, speaks on Earth Day at a rally.

Ursula Rozum, Green Party candidate for the 24th District congressional seat, speaks on Earth Day at a rally.

— “It made sense based on what I’ve been working on for the past few years,” she said. “A lot of my knowledge is in areas that are related to things that the federal government does. I’ve been active in U.S.-Latin America foreign policy work with groups like Colombia Support Network that works with communities in Colombia and works to educate in the U.S. about the effects of foreign policy on workers domestically and internationally. I’ve been active in immigrant rights advocacy work. Given my background and the things that I’m knowledgeable about, this felt like an okay thing to do.”

Rozum is running on the Green Party line, meaning that she doesn’t accept any corporate funding for her campaign; so far, she’s raised less than $5,000, putting her at a distinct financial disadvantage. As of July 15, Maffei had raised more than $1.3 million, and Buerkle had raised more than $1.2 million. But Rozum said that meant she wasn’t beholden to any special interests.

“That’s the downfall of the other two parties,” she said. “The Democratic Party has been such a disappointment for so many people, because as good as they can sound sometimes or as populist as President Obama sounds, ultimately he does have some allegiance to the people that finance his campaigns, and I think that goes for the local level as well. We’re people-funded and people-powered.”

Rozum on the issues

Jobs and the economy

The most important issue facing the 24th District and the nation as a whole, Rozum said, is the economy. In order to address the problem, she’s adopted the Green platform as part of her campaign.

“Nationally, the Greens are putting forward a proposal we’re calling the Green New Deal, which is based on Roosevelt’s New Deal, which got us out of the Depression,” she said. “It was focused primarily on putting people back to work through public works that meet community needs. The Green New Deal would be revamped for the 21st century and it would focus on the kinds of infrastructural development that would move us towards a low-carbon or zero-carbon economy.”

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