University of Wisconsin sophomore Adam Korn officially announced himself a District 5 candidate for the Dane County Board of Supervisors Wednesday.
If elected, Korn pledged to implement meaningful changes in the community and contribute to the claim that Madison is one of the most livable cities in the nation. Korn said he would push for the rights and safety of students, the maintenance of Madison's lakes and for equality and civil rights in the county.
Korn said that as a supervisor, he would work to provide funding for SAFE Nighttime Services.
"Students have the right to feel safe in their community," he said. "The county board can work with the university administration and student government to restructure — or, if need be, reinvent — the program to ensure funding and maintain this vital service."
Korn admitted he would not be able to affect other student issues, such as Halloween and emergency contraception, directly through policy, but added that as a member of the board, he would have a platform on which to advocate student rights.
"In our Legislature today, a woman's access to emergency contraception through University Health Services is under attack," he said. "And during Halloween, the enactment of martial law and use of pepper spray seem to be the city's only responses to ensure a safe and enjoyable event."
According to Korn, he would be an active, loud and demonstrative voice for UW students.
"I believe that students of the University of Wisconsin need a like-minded representative to sit at the negotiating table when [Halloween and emergency-contraception] issues are discussed," he said.
State Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, for whom Korn has interned since he was a freshman, said student representatives on the Dane County Board of Supervisors are typically not taken seriously. But Korn is not like typical student supervisors, she said.
"I think Adam's ready to come in swinging," she said. "I think other members of the board will appreciate and respect his professionalism."
Preserving Madison's lakes is also one of Korn's goals and is something he could directly affect with policy and funding.
"Lake Mendota is the most studied lake in the world," he said. "But we need to stop studying it and explore some solutions to the problems."
Korn also addressed law enforcement and civil rights. He stated minorities are being incarcerated in record numbers and that the board could work with the Dane County Sheriff's Office to make a change.
He said that the board has the ability to change the community and it is important that the supervisor take charge in the seat.
"From Lake Mendota to State Street, from Langdon to Eagle Heights, the county board decisions touch us all," he said.
Berceau said that for students to have a representative voice on the board, though, they will have to participate in the election.
"If you want your voice heard, it means you've got to get out and vote," she said. "You need a student at the table, and you've got to elect that student."