Image courtesy JoCasta Zamarripa

Last week I had an opportunity to sit down and chat with JoCasta Zamarripa, one of several Democratic candidates vying to represent the 8th state Assembly District, a seat currently held by Rep. Pedro Colon, who is not seeking another term in office.

I started our interview by asking Zamarripa the first question I ask any candidate for elected office, namely why she decided to run for the State Assembly. Zamarripa was quick to respond by saying that after Rep. Colon announced his intention not to seek another term, she felt it was her responsibility to run, adding that she believed none of the other candidates running in the 8th District could match her level of integrity and commitment to represent the 8th District. Zamarripa also noted her opponents have fostered at atmosphere of divisiveness in the community.

Asked to describe what separates her from her Democratic opponents, Laura Manriquez and Angel Sanchez, Zamarripa was quick to say that she’s absolutely and consistently a progressive. Zamarripa also noted she has been a strong advocate for the community through her wide array of experiences in dealing with issues ranging from workers’ rights and LGBT advocacy to her work with Voces de la Frontera on drivers’ licenses. Zamarripa cited her wide array of experiences as an advocate as examples of her real, concrete record of her commitment to the district.

As our interview continued, I noted that in recent years Milwaukee’s legislative delegation has been viewed as being less effective and influential than it should be, given Milwaukee’s standing as the state’s largest city, and I asked Zamarripa how she’d change that perception if she were elected to the State Assembly. “I hope new blood will inject new energy into the delegation,” Zamarripa responded, adding that she’s ready to roll up her sleeves and do the work necessary to represent the 8th Assembly District.

In speaking about education – specifically Milwaukee’s voucher school program and the proposed mayoral takeover of the Milwaukee Public School system – Zamarripa first noted she does not support a mayoral takeover of MPS, because she supports a democratically elected school board. In speaking about vouchers, Zamarripa noted that while she won’t give up on MPS, she does recognize that some families do want to have the option to be able to send their children to voucher schools. However, Zamarripa pointed out that she believes the current voucher system needs to be tweaked to improve accountability and transparency.

As we continued to discuss the issues Zamarripa is focusing on during her campaign, I noted the “Issues” page of her campaign website made no mention of jobs, an issue that’s obviously at the forefront of most voters’ minds, given the current state of the economy, both nationally and here in southeastern Wisconsin. Zamarripa was quick to defend the absence of jobs from her website’s issues page, adding that the three issues she did list (crime prevention, property tax relief, and education) can all be tied to the issue of jobs. In her own defense, Zamarripa also noted that the three issues she did list on her website’s issues page were the three issues voters represented to her as being most important when she surveyed the district. However, it’s worth noting that since my interview with Zamarripa, her campaign has added jobs as the fourth issue on her website’s issues page.

As our interview drew to a close, I asked Zamarripa how her campaign is being received by voters, and she said the campaign is going great, adding that the campaign has knocked on thousands of doors within the 8th Assembly District, in addition to having sent out four mailers to voters with six more to come in the days leading up to the September 14 partisan primary.

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One Response to Blogging Blue interviews JoCasta Zamarripa

  1. […] a seat currently held by Rep. Pedro Colon, who is not seeking another term in office…” Read more… This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink. ← […]

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