Third-party candidate seeks to present alternative to Buerkle, Maffei in Congress

— Ursula Rozum has politics in her blood.

“My family is from Poland, and my grandparents were active in the Polish resistance to the Nazi occupation, and my parents were active in the Solidarity movement that eventually brought down Communism in the Eastern Bloc,” Rozum said. “So I grew up in a family that was always very politically opinionated and active in the U.S. I’ve been active in politics and organizing locally, not for very long, only for four years.”

Her political heritage, combined with the choices she faced on the ballot, prompted her to put her name in the running for the 24th Congressional District along with Republican Ann Marie Buerkle and Democrat Dan Maffei.

“I decided to run because I was looking at my choices, and I felt that there really wasn’t anyone that represents the future of where I believe and people that I know believe we need to go, a future that is more fair with a more stable climate and a more peaceful world,” Rozum said. “I feel that my opponents don’t represent a vision for the future. They’re kind of stuck in that partisan bickering that we see today that really isn’t getting us anywhere. I felt that a lot of people really wouldn’t have a choice in their selection.”

Rozum, 28, a Bishop Ludden graduate, went on to study political science and Latin American literature at Magill University in Montreal. She then returned to Syracuse and is now employed by the Syracuse Peace Council. She has never run for office before, but she said her knowledge base qualifies her for Congressional office despite her lack of experience.

“It made sense based on what I’ve been working on for the past few years,” she said. “A lot of my knowledge is in areas that are related to things that the federal government does. I’ve been active in U.S.-Latin America foreign policy work with groups like Colombia Support Network that works with communities in Colombia and works to educate in the U.S. about the effects of foreign policy on workers domestically and internationally. I’ve been active in immigrant rights advocacy work. Given my background and the things that I’m knowledgeable about, this felt like an okay thing to do.”

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