Abbott speaks to Clay County Democrats On June 12, the Clay County Democrats met at noon at the Pro's Restaurant. Special guests were Dave Sigdestad, District 1 representative, Val Hoeppner, photographer from the Argus Leader, and several students from the Native American Journalism Institute. This group represented 15 states, one Canadian province, 21 Native American tribes, and 21 schools.
The speaker for the meeting was gubernatorial candidate Jim Abbott. He spoke about the possibility for a Democratic sweep, quoting Gov. Vilsack of Iowa, it's time to "rotate the crops." As South Dakota citizens, we need to ask ourselves where we want our state to be in 20 years; how should we work to change some of the problems present in our state � health care, teacher's salaries, juvenile corrections.
We need to question what constitutes a good K-12 plan and calculate what it should cost and create a formula based on these facts. He also addressed the problem in the juvenile correction system and wondered why we have 10 times more people incarcerated than there were in 1975. He also emphasized that we should not be treating juveniles as adults.
Abbott feels that we have to work in two areas: economic development and education and that they work hand in hand. He challenged us to take hold of the future and create it so it fulfills our needs. We need to refuse to accept the misconception that South Dakota cannot do as well as other states.
We need to try to create an employment environment that would allow individuals to earn a living wage without working at more than one job. He answered a question regarding Amendment E by saying that the family farm and a good environment both need to be protected.
Les Kephart, county commission candidate, was present and thanked the group for their support in the primary. B.J. Nesselhuf, state representative, thanked the group for the substantial contribution made to his campaign. The State Democratic Convention will be held June 20-22 in Sioux Falls. Delegates will be Allen and Maxine Johnson, Nesselhuf, Darrel Larsen, Brendyn Richards and James Green.