Adam Fortwentler, a long-time resident of Greater Grand Forks and a Program Coordinator at the Global Friends Coalition announced his candidacy as a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL for a state House seat representing District 42, which includes north central Grand Forks and UND.
Fortwengler describes an aggressive agenda to help workers and working families in North Dakota. He seeks to have North Dakota follow our neighbors in Minnesota, choosing as a state to opt-in to the ACA’s Basic Health Program; to repeal “Right to Work” laws and affirm rights and provide supports for all workers interested in unionizing and collective bargaining; and explore ways to reduce tuition for students and learners, including proposals such as making state colleges tuition-free for 2-4 years for in-state high school graduates and leveraging our Bank of North Dakota to both ease the student loan burden so many of us who have already graduated are buried in college debt.
Fortwengler commented, "There once was a time when North Dakota was a model for the nation on K-12 education, when our districts, teachers, staff, and curriculum shined as bright as the eager children in the seats. Through struggles over funding, infrastructure needs, teacher and staff shortages, and nationally-driven shifts in focus, we’ve lost a bit of what made us special. We can get that back, and we need to for our future and our children.
“Better state support for the impending school infrastructure crisis across our state would help make sure our children are in safe and healthy environments and support the survival of neighborhood schools. Increased state support can help ease the pinch of local school districts, accommodate an increase in wages and benefits for teachers and school staff, see our state become competitive in hiring again, spur innovation in teaching, expand dual-credit and early entry programs, and ensure special education programs are fully funded and supported.”
Fortwengler was a child and teenager with his family on the Grand Forks Air Force Base, and since graduation has been a coach at area schools, assisted families with housing needs, and now works with the Global Friends coalition in Grand Forks.