Congressional Candidate, Tricia Zunker, Holds Meet and Greet at LCO
By Joe Morey
7th Congressional District Democratic Candidate, Tricia Zunker, held a Meet and Greet at the LCO Tribal Center on Thursday, March 12. Zunker also held a separate meeting with the Tribal Governing Board (TGB) to discuss her position on several issues relevant to the Tribe.
Zunker said the Covid-19 coronavirus is going to have an impact on the upcoming special election, slated for May 12, 2020. She is encouraging people to vote by absentee if necessary. Voters can get information on vote411.org/Wisconsin. Any qualified elector who registers to vote in Wisconsin is eligible to request an absentee ballot. Under Wisconsin law, voters do not need a reason or excuse to vote absentee.
Zunker told the TGB she is a strong advocate for the environment. She said government has an obligation and a duty to protect the environment which includes building infrastructure but insuring it is good for the environment and creating jobs, but making sure they are good clean jobs.
Zunker notes on her website, “We must ensure clean air and clean water and we must ensure that our beautiful lands stay protected. We cannot let corporate mining interests destroy our beautiful lands. We cannot let corporations and CAFOs contaminate our water and lands with unchecked practices.”
Zunker also said increasing broadband access to the rural communities that make up Tribal reservations is important. She explained rural colleges can’t get broadband for their students, which interferes with their learning. She noted how poor cell phone coverage is on the reservation.
“I am a staunch advocate for the Tribes,” Zunker said. “Funding is an obligation and a duty to the Tribes.”
Zunker explained how she can work with both sides. “As Wausau School Board president, I always reach out to all sides of any issue.”
Regarding the criminal justice reform issues facing Tribal Nations, Zunker’s website states, “We need to address the disproportionate rate of incarceration of minority communities. We must end the epidemic of crimeless revocations and invest in communities, not in prisons. Jails and prisons house more mentally ill individuals than hospitals. We need to get them the help they need. We need to treat people humanely wherever they are detained.”
Following the visit, Zunker posted on her campaign Facebook page, “Yesterday I met with leaders of Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to talk about the need for a representative in Washington who will stand up for tribal governments, protect tribal sovereignty and actually visit and consult tribal communities. This is something I have repeatedly pledged to do with all tribes here in Wisconsin-not just because I am Ho-Chunk, but because it is the right thing to do. LCO has been working aggressively to get out out the vote and had a strong turnout in support of this campaign in the primary! Miigwech for the time and support!”
Picture from L-R) Council Member Glenda Barber, LCO Vice Chairwoman Lorraine Gouge, LCO Sec-Treasurer Michelle Beaudin, LCO Chairman Louis Taylor and Tricia Zunker.