Educator, social worker will seek District 29 legislative seat

2011-11-08T06:30:00Z 2012-01-11T16:30:06Z Educator, social worker will seek District 29 legislative seatBy JoANNE YOUNG / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com
November 08, 2011 6:30 am  • 

A policy analyst for Nebraska Appleseed has become the first declared candidate for the state Legislature in southeast Lincoln's District 29.

Kate Bolz, 32, an educator and social worker, said she was committed to education -- both K-12 and post-secondary -- tax fairness, opportunities for working families, economic growth and aging issues.

A significant number of District 29 residents are working families, small-business owners and people who are both supporting kids in college and looking out for aging parents, Bolz said.

Bolz graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2001 and earned a master of social work degree at the University of Michigan in 2005.

In 2001, she became an Emerson National Hunger Fellow and spent six months with community-based organizations that fight hunger. She then gained national experience in Washington, D.C., in the antihunger and antipoverty movements and later worked for Emerson.

She also has worked for Lutheran Services of America on federal legislation on child welfare, housing and welfare reform issues.

Bolz has been with the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest four years as a policy analyst and community educator in the low-income self-sufficiency program.

She also is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Wesleyan.

Bolz frequently testifies on bills introduced in the Legislature. 

As a social worker, she said, she has been interested in the challenges of child welfare reform in Nebraska.

"I really think I'll make a great legislator, and I am excited to kick off my campaign and get to work," she said.

Bolz lives at 2816 Jameson North, near 27th Street and Old Cheney Road in south Lincoln.

She is a registered Democrat, although the Legislature is officially nonpartisan.

Sen. Tony Fulton has held the 29th District seat since he was appointed in 2007, when Mike Foley resigned halfway through the term. Fulton was elected to a full term in 2008.

While the Nebraska attorney general has said it is his opinion Fulton could seek another term in 2012, Secretary of State John Gale has said he is not eligible to do that and will not accept his filing for re-election.

Fulton would have to successfully challenge that ruling by Gale in court in order to run for another term.

He said Monday he has decided what he is going to do and will announce that later this week.

"It's obviously not an easy decision," Fulton said.

A lawsuit would be expensive both for him and the state, he said. On the other hand, the question of what constitutes a term according to the term limits statute needs to be decided.

The attorney general and secretary of state have  different interpretations.

Fulton said a number of people had expressed an interest to him in running for the seat and want to know what he plans to do.

Reach JoAnne Young at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com -- You can follow JoAnne's tweets at twitter.com/ljslegislature.

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