We Need Your Help in 2019!

As 2018 draws to a close and our minds turn to homemade cookies and Christmas carols, I wanted to take a moment give you an update on FHA as well as explain our current goals. Since the Stand Banquets in September, we’ve had several irons in the fire. There have been several major successes in building the CIT Team network as more churches catch the vision and want to influence their culture, namely within the realm of public policy. Through those networks and other connections we’ve been active at the Rapid City School Board, voicing our opposition to their addition of problematic language into the policies of Western Dakota Tech. After the November election we began actively preparing for the upcoming legislative session which is shaping up to be a whirlwind! We have two Legislative briefings coming up, which will be a time for us to really take a deep dive with legislative allies and organizational allies into what we can expect to see this session. We are already aware of several issues that we expect to see this session:

Assisted Suicide: In the last election cycle, the proponents of a practice called “Physician Assisted Suicide” were unable to get the number of signatures needed to place the issue on the 2018 ballot. Because of this failure to reach the ballot, we expect to see a piece of legislation allowing this practice to be presented during the 2019 session.

SOGI: If you have seen any of our recent articles discussing the blue and white billboards that are popping up in South Dakota, you know that Colorado money is wanting to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to our statutory protected classes list. Our prediction is that a ballot measure in the coming years is the most probable avenue they will take, but a legislative attempt is still a real possibility.

Alienation of Affection: There has been a lot of discussion lately in the news media about the Alienation of Affection statute in South Dakota. This statute essentially allows someone to file suit against another person who allegedly broke up your marriage and alienated you from the affection of your spouse. Some claim this statute treats people as property, while others speak to the legal weight and importance the language gives to the institution of marriage.

These are only 3 of 12 bills that we are already expecting to see this legislative session, and we need your help! The Stand Banquets in September gave us a much-needed financial boost, but we fell short of what we need, especially with regard to FHA Action, non-tax-deductible funds. Because of this, we have set a goal of raising $20,000 in FHA Action funds before January 31st. In order to have a successful Legislative Session in 2019, we need your help!

We have also set a goal of raising $20,000 in 501(c)(3), tax-deductible funds before January 31st. These dollars will continue to equip our staff in networking, alliance building, CIT engagement, public education, and many other areas. Would you consider Family Heritage Alliance in your Year-End giving?

I Can Help!

Click Here to help us reach our goal of $20,000 and ensure a successful legislative session!

 

I Can Help!

Click Here to give a year-end gift and help us reach our goal of $20,000!

The Man Behind the Billboards

In a previous article we discussed the agenda behind the blue & white billboards that have been popping up around SD, but let’s peel back one more layer of the onion.

First, a recap. We know that the message behind the billboards is that South Dakota needs to place Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) in state statute, to mandate protections against discrimination and harassment. This effort will either be attempted in the State Legislature, or on the ballot. The cause of protecting people against these things is noble on the surface, but as we discussed earlier; what is presented as a shield of protection is often used as a sword of punishment. This has become the case for Jack Phillips, Baronnelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, and many others. It also paves the way for situations like what happened to Alexis Lightcap or the Thomas Family.

Now onto the next layer of the onion. We know the agenda of the website listed on the bottom of the billboards, BeyondIDo.org, but what about the small logo to the right of the website? That’s where more of the true colors of this message begin to show. The Gill Foundation was founded by Tim Gill, and is one of the largest funders of LGBT causes. The Gill Foundation website claims they have spent over $343 Million dollars on their cause, which the Rolling Stone summarizes as “…academic research, polling, litigation, data analytics, and field organizing.” The article explains that  “Gill’s fingerprints are on nearly every major victory in the march to marriage, from the 2003 Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health case, which made Massachusetts the first state to allow same-sex marriage, to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision two decades later that legalized it in all 50.” Although the amount of money spent and the amount of influence exerted by the Gill Foundation is surprising, the motive behind the actions is even more alarming. Mr. Gill is not simply looking to hold ground that has been made, but rather continuing an offensive strategy against those who hold traditional beliefs about marriage, sexuality and gender. He says “We’re going into the hardest states in the country” … “We’re going to punish the wicked.” 

A message that was discernible by looking at the outcomes of Jack and Baronnelle’s situations, is made crystal clear by Mr. Gill’s statements. He has an agenda he is pushing and anyone who stands in the way will be punished.

In Response to the Rapid City Journal’s Endorsement of W

Amendment W would add 3,329 words to the state Constitution, and would essentially create a fourth branch of government that operates outside the normal checks and balances system of the other branches. The new article would also be superior to all other aspects of our state Constitution. The amendment says “In any case of a conflict between any provision of this Article and any other provision contained in this Constitution, the provisions of this Article shall control.”

The editorial by the Journal ignored several aspects of Amendment W that are quite troubling, and gave no mention to the increased ethics safeguards that the Legislature put in place after the repeal of IM-22. Those safeguards included a 4-member State Government Accountability Board, limits on lobbyist gifts, whistleblower protections, doubling the waiting period before officials may become lobbyists, and stopping campaign spending for personal use.

Amendment W creates a State Government Accountability Board that will have rule-making authority. The ability for a board or commission to “promulgate rules” is common in South Dakota, but always under the supervision of a higher State entity who answers to the voters. Neither the voters of South Dakota, nor the three branches of State Government, will have adequate ability to correct this board. Although the amendment mentions judicial-review, that ability is questionable as the amendment states that the board will operate “…notwithstanding any other provisions of the Constitution…” The board members are appointed, which means the voters have no power to remove them. There are also legitimate concerns as to the level of transparency that will be required of the board its self, which means the citizens may not have the power to monitor them.

The forced constitutional expenditure of $389,000 every year, increasing with inflation, is unheard of and irresponsible. The current ethics board costs less than one-tenth that amount. Additionally, allocating such a large expenditure to the board may act as an incentive to interpret clerical mistakes as corruption to justify its existence. If that seems farfetched, simply look at the claims made in regard to Larry Rhoden’s missing of a filing deadline.

This experiment inflicted on South Dakota by an organization from Massachusetts and several Hollywood elites might be interesting, but it is objectionable. If passed, it would take another statewide vote to fix it, which means South Dakotans would be forced to live with its problems for at least two years. The Rapid City Journal claims W adds needed transparency, but ironically, W needs added transparency.

She Speaks Our Language

We have an opportunity here in South Dakota. An opportunity to do something that I believe will have a lasting impact. This November we have the chance to place a person in the Governor’s office that is truly committed to Faith, Family & Freedom. Electing Kristi Noem as Governor along with electing solid Representatives and Senators this November will put South Dakota in a position to make substantial progress.

Kristi has a track record that is worth studying. Throughout her years in public service she has been a champion on issues such as the sanctity of life, human trafficking and many others. This drive is shown by things like her score of 100% with National Right to Life. Her drive and passion is not something she “drummed up” in light of a Governor’s race, but rather has been a constant attribute of hers. In 2017, GovTrack ranked her the 15th Top Leader in the US House, and noted her voting record as 99%. (She only missed 7 of 710 votes). She also is not afraid to work across the aisle, which is attested by the fact that 9 of her 22 bills and resolutions in 2017 were co-sponsored by Democrats and Republicans.

In 2014 Family Heritage Alliance awarded her with the William Wilberforce Elected Leadership Award, and many who were at that Stand Banquet still remember her remarks: She explained her original desire to go to DC and make progress. To shake things up, and get things done. She explained to the audience that evening how frustrating the process in DC can be, and how she quickly found herself struggling to find a purpose and reason to keep fighting. Then one day she was working during hours when most of the offices are empty, and the cleaning staff began working their way through the offices. When a lady came to Kristi’s office to begin cleaning, she invited her inside and sat down with a cup of coffee to talk. After their conversation, the lady told her that in all her years cleaning for members of Congress, this was the first time anyone invited her into their office for a conversation. That evening at the banquet, Congresswoman Noem explained that she could easily see the impact she had just had on this lady’s life, and she began to see a greater purpose to her time in Washington. She told the crowd that yes, she is in DC to change policy and law, but there is a greater purpose that she was called to. A calling to be the light of Christ in her everyday actions, and that even on days when it seems like nothing is getting done she has the ability to make an impact. Stories like this illustrate the high caliber of Kristi Noem, a caliber that recently caused a Rapid City pastor to explain after a presentation of hers: “Mrs. Noem, I am a hard sell, and I must tell you that I am uniquely impressed. You have my support.” She speaks our language.

If you visit the Noem campaign website and begin looking at the policy proposals and goals, you will find the Family First Initiative. In this initiative she outlines her goals within the realm of family values. She promises to be a “family first” Governor who seeks to “strengthen the family unit and preserve the values South Dakota has long embraced.” The Family First Initiative includes commitments like defending the sanctity of life by placing an “unborn persons advocate” in the Governor’s office, actively pursuing legislation that protects unborn children, opposing Physician-Assisted-Suicide, and engaging top legal minds to litigate on behalf of these pursuits if necessary. In the plan she recognizes the gap in today’s parenting, and explains how she believes the gap is meant to be filled by parents, not more government. This includes strengthening parental rights through parental choice in education, whether that be public, private, or homeschool. She also commits to defending traditional family values in light of the threats posed by the federal government.

            After looking at the track record Kristi has accumulated, realizing the caliber of candidate she is and studying her vision for the future of South Dakota, the choice becomes very clear. Kristi Noem should be the next Governor of South Dakota.

She speaks our language.

 

 

 

 

 

And Then There Were Three

A few weeks ago, Ed Randazzo published an article discussing a billboard that we spotted in Rapid City. Now, there are three such billboards that we have spotted. (See updates at bottom of page). We know they are sponsored by a foundation in Colorado, but what message are they spreading? What are they calling for? If you visit the website noted on the billboard and navigate to the South Dakota page, you will see the assertion that South Dakota is legally discriminating against members of the LGBT community. They give links to “fact-finding” pages, as well as the personal story of Crystal and Amanda. The article claims that Crystal was fired by an anti-LGBT boss, which caused great financial hardship. It never says that Crystal and Amanda are from South Dakota, but it makes the claim that a similar situation could easily arise here and that we need legal protections to prevent it. This request sounds quite reasonable and compassionate at first glance. Should someone be fired, or denied housing, or denied healthcare because of who they choose to be in a relationship with? Or because they identify as a gender other than their birth sex? The reaction of most people would be “No, that sounds really mean! We should protect against that.” And you’re right, we shouldn’t be mean. However, the solution they offer is to add Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) to the list of legally protected classes (race, sex, religion, etc.) and here is the problem…

SOGI ordinances and laws that are presented as protective shields, often become swords used against those of a Biblical worldview. The most prominent example is that of Jack Phillips (click here to watch his story). Jack was simply living out his faith in his business, when someone used SOGI protections against him. The same is true for Baronnelle Stutzman in Washington. And Blaine Adamson in Colorado. And the list goes on…

UPDATE: They are going after Jack AGAIN

Although we believe that we as Christians should show love towards those in the LGBT community and would never advocate for anyone to target them, placing sexual orientation and gender identity in the protected class list is not the right step. What is presented as a shield, will someday be used as a sword.

So what’s next? It’s yet to be seen. The BeyondIDo website doesn’t say what specific policy changes they will seek, nor does it tell us if they will be seeking state or local changes. But we do know this: once the proposals surface, we will need your help to spread the message of truth about these dangerous changes. Stay tuned, and let us know if you see a similar billboard in your community!

UPDATE: There are currently 5 Billboards in Rapid City, 1 in Sturgis, & 1 in Ft. Pierre

Board of Regents Free Speech Hearing

During the hearings for HB1073 and SB198 this last legislative session, it was mentioned several times that the policy fixes being discussed should be taken care of at a more local level. Namely, the Board of Regents policies and several of the South Dakota University policies. Thursday was the first significant step towards that goal. Near the end of the committee hearing on SB198 Senator Soholt explained that she would be voting against the bill, but that the Board of Regents needed to take a serious look at the policies and practices of our universities. Senator Bolin made similar remarks, explaining that in South Dakota we are in the habit of letting local control work the problems out.

The free-speech hearing was added into a two-day board meeting by the Regents on the campus of South Dakota State University. They gave opportunity for testimony from University faculty, students as well as national experts. The overall flavor of the hearing: let’s tweak what we have and get it right. The Chicago Statement was mentioned by several of those giving testimony, as well as several board members as a good standard to glean from. One concept outlined in the statement that was discussed throughout the hearing is that the proper response to a message someone deems offensive or even abhorrent is more speech, not censorship.

Blake Meadows with Alliance Defending Freedom outlined 5 common miss-steps they have seen by universities: Misunderstanding who qualifies as a State actor, granting too much power to administrators, vague or unconstitutional policies, speech zones and limiting equal access or expressive association. Tyler Coward with The F.I.R.E. recommended ensuring that all university harassment policies are in line with Davis v. Monroe.

A few other key points made during the hearing:

-Many messages are controversial, but the right to express them must be protected if we value free-speech.

-Controversial speakers and events may result in the need for significant security costs. It was expressed that charging the student groups or the speaker an extra security fee because of this fact may be a barrier to that groups right to present their message.

-Universities in South Dakota aren’t significantly hampering free speech on their campuses, but they are modifying the definition of it and have policies that may prove unconstitutional.

-It is not the role of a University to shield students from views or messages.

-Security fees should be charged based off a viewpoint-neutral standard, and allowing campus and local police the ability to act will often times reduce the potential for a problem.

-Actions that cause damage are illegal, but words, no matter how offensive, are not actions.

-We should not wait until we have a significant event that outlines problematic policies, we should fix them beforehand.

-Including an explanation of free-speech rights in student orientation may be a low-cost way to increase understanding on the issue.

The next step is for the Board to examine their policies and compile possible fixes. They expressed a desire to send the verbiage changes to the major stakeholders for input/advice before they finalize the new policies.

FHA Action Endorses Paul TenHaken for Mayor

Family Heritage Alliance Action is honored to endorse Paul TenHaken for Mayor of Sioux Falls. Paul has led in the private sector with the same values shared by FHA, that of Faith, Family and Freedom. He will lead in public service as the Mayor of Sioux Falls with this same passion and purpose. Paul considers serving the community of Sioux Falls as a calling with the greatest purpose of all; that of “loving our neighbor.”

Each Mayoral Candidate was asked 6 survey questions. Here are Paul’s answers:

Are you a person of faith? If so, how do you see your faith affecting your decision making and leadership of Sioux Falls?

“Throughout my personal and professional career, my faith has been the primary driver in my decision making. In fact, my faith and feeling called to serve is the primary reason why I am running to be the mayor of Sioux Falls.”

 

Candidates for office normally decide to run for office because they are dissatisfied with an issue or issues or they have a desire to promote a specific issue. What issue(s) caused you to run for Mayor of Sioux Falls?

“I have a desire to serve the people of Sioux Falls. It’s a calling that for the past several years, I tried to ignore and ultimately decided it was something I needed to pursue. Of all the issues facing our city right now, I see the need for a leader who can unite the community and city leadership again”

 

Drugs and crime tear apart families. What specific steps would you take to reduce drugs and crime in Sioux Falls?

“Currently, I am the only candidate to have written and published a plan for the next eight years of our city and the issues I think will be most important to the health of Sioux Falls. This plan can be found at https://www.tenhakenformayor.com/2026-plan In this plan, you will notice that battling crime and narcotics growth is initiative #1, and it is there for a reason. I have seen the trickle down impact of our narcotics problem on our crime rate, growth in poverty, the impact on kids, the strain on our workforce, and more.  In my plan, I specifically mention the following:

  • Increased training resources for officers, which are currently underfunded
  • Additional drug and fugitive task force agents to collaborate with the county and state
  • Recommitting prevention education dollars to our schools which have been dropped
  • Examining opportunities for stronger treatment options to end cyclical addiction
  • Working closely with our state and federal delegation to get more DEA agents for South Dakota (currently SD is under-resourced with only two DEA agents).

 Obviously these are just a start to what I hope to implement, but these items do have the potential to have significant impact for both the short and long-term issues we are facing with crime and narcotics growth.”

 

There’s an attack on free speech in this country with buzz phrases such as hate speech, free speech zones. What will you do to ensure that open civilized dialogue is championed in Sioux Falls?

“Increasingly, we tend to submit to the vocal minority in free speech settings versus allowing all side to openly discuss all angles of an issue. As stated in the question, the civility of these discussions is the lost art we need to regain. My administration will not discriminate among ANY group that wishes to make the positions known in a productive and civilized fashion and will ensure that political correctness does not override our free speech liberties.”

 

Do you believe the government in Sioux Falls and transparency problem? In brief, what would you be your plan to address it? 

“As previously mentioned, I am the only mayoral candidate to have the vision and leadership to release a 2026 plan for the next eight years of our city. The act of releasing that plan in and of itself shows my commitment to transparency in government. This plan can be found at https://www.tenhakenformayor.com/2026-plan I would ensure the open communication is re-implemented in City Hall through open office hours with the mayor, stronger communication with our city council, the releasing of information that we typically have kept secret (as long as the integrity of any proposal and/or decision is not compromised by doing so), and using digital and social media much more effectively to open up communication and decision making to citizens.”

 

As mayor how will you respond when city employees keep bibles on their desks in the city office and request to use city conference rooms to conduct Bible studies after working hours?

“I actually plan to do this myself. That statement should tell you all you need to know.”

 

Note: Jolene Loetscher gave no response to the FHA Action questionnaire

SD Right to Life Scorecard

South Dakota Right to Life has release their 2017/2018 Legislative scorecard!

“Our legislative scorecard is out for the 2017-18 sessions just in time for the primaries. Feel free to print, copy, cut, paste, quote, and use the resource however you see fit. Make sure voters in your district know how your legislators are voting, and thank your legislator for standing up for LIFE! Don’t have a pro-life legislator? You can donate to South Dakota Right to Life PAC, 342 N. Sunset Dr., Mina, SD 57451. Specify which district race you want your funds used in. Questions about the scorecard? Email spencercody@hotmail.com”

SD RTL Scorecard

Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate Survey

Recently LaVonne Fosness with FHA Action along with input from our constituents, sent six questions to the six candidates running for mayor of Sioux Falls. The questions covered topics ranging from their personal beliefs, the biggest issues they plan to address, drugs, crime, free speech, and more. Here are the answers we received from the candidates:

Note: Jim Entenman and Jolene Loetscher gave no response.

Note: Of the four candidates that responded, the order they are listed was chosen at random.

1. Are you a person of faith? If so, how do you see your faith affecting your decision making and leadership of Sioux Falls?

Paul TenHaken: Throughout my personal and professional career, my faith has been the primary driver in my decision making. In fact, my faith and feeling called to serve is the primary reason why I am running to be the mayor of Sioux Falls.

 

 

 

 

Mike Gunn: I am a person of faith however, I do not push my faith onto anyone else that may have different beliefs. My faith controls all aspects of my life in general and by that I mean; I treat others as how I would want to be treated. I believe that every individual deserves respect and compassion. I also believe that our Constitution was written by Men of Faith and God was an important part of its making. Therefore, I will not allow any part of my leadership to harm the Freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. Nor will any decisions be made without complete well informed knowledge to those whom I serve. I believe that our Government today has forgotten the simple idea of what serving means? We are not your parents rather, we are your servants and should be compelled by the needs of those we serve which includes all classes of Citizens in an equal and fair manner for all.

Greg Jamison: I’m a person of deep personal faith.  As a Christian, we are called to a walk with Christ.  Of course, our faith is a personal decision.  Not all people are born into a Christian home or have heard the Good News.  That means, people won’t always have the same view as me regarding their personal spirituality.

I have always thought being a witness was a part of Christian life.  I’ve chosen to live my life in a way people will know I’m committed to serving God by serving others.  Being a living example of my faith is the best way I can let the Holy Spirit work through me.

My work as our new Mayor will be guided by the strong moral and spiritual foundation my parents taught me and my eight brothers and sisters.  I will not be influenced by those with hidden agendas or ulterior motives.

Kenny Anderson: I am a person of faith and when troubled with a decision I have found that my faith and common sense will assist me in making the right decisions for my community and its citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Candidates for office normally decide to run for office because they are dissatisfied with an issue or issues or they have a desire to promote a specific issue. What issue(s) caused you to run for Mayor of Sioux Falls?

Paul TenHaken: I have a desire to serve the people of Sioux Falls. It’s a calling that for the past several years, I tried to ignore and ultimately decided it was something I needed to pursue. Of all the issues facing our city right now, I see the need for a leader who can unite the community and city leadership again.

Mike Gunn: Our City Government would rather penalize hard working Citizens than enforce those who intentionally commit serious crimes. I see a need to deregulate ordinances or codes now on the books to restrict hard working citizens from any ability to live free. This stems from control of your own property to if you can work where you live, to what you can say at city events. Peoples voices are silenced and heard today and that is in complete reverse of how things were meant to be. The City today speaks as if they are a separate entity from the Taxpayer. Too me that is not only wrong but it is against every Citizens rights. The truth is that the City or any other Government entity is a caretaker for what we the people all own. In reality the Government owns nothing. “We the People” do.

Greg Jamison: I’m running to be our new Mayor because I believe in serving others.  And I’m the most qualified person to lead Sioux Falls into the future.  As an eight-year City Councilman, and District 12 State Representative, it has been my honor to help people resolve problems and serve them.  Anyone can dream of being a Mayor, but knowing how to run a city, fix the streets, protect our families and grow our economy is much different than one would expect.  I know how to keep government small and make it work for taxpayers like you.

As for issues, I’m not a special interest candidate and do not run on a personal issues agenda.  I run because I’m the most qualified person to lead Sioux Falls.  The issues I’ll promote are fixing our streets, protecting our families and brining new and better jobs to Sioux Falls plus carefully spending taxpayer dollars.

Kenny Anderson: To give back to a community that has given so much to my family. My grandparents moved to Sioux Falls in 1928 and raised 8 children here. My father and mother raised myself and my 4 sister’s here. All of my family were educated in public schools and attended Washington High School. My father was a city commissar from 1987-1990. After being reelected in 1990 he passed during a commission meeting from a stroke. Later the city named a park and the 1st city community center after him.

 

3. Drugs and crime tear apart families. What specific steps would you take to reduce drugs and crime in Sioux Falls?

Paul TenHaken: Currently, I am the only candidate to have written and published a plan for the next eight years of our city and the issues I think will be most important to the health of Sioux Falls. This plan can be found at https://www.tenhakenformayor.com/2026-plan  In this plan, you will notice that battling crime and narcotics growth is initiative #1, and it is there for a reason. I have seen the trickle down impact of our narcotics problem on our crime rate, growth in poverty, the impact on kids, the strain on our workforce, and more.  In my plan, I specifically mention the following:

  • Increased training resources for officers, which are currently underfunded
  • Additional drug and fugitive task force agents to collaborate with the county and state
  • Recommitting prevention education dollars to our schools which have been dropped
  • Examining opportunities for stronger treatment options to end cyclical addiction
  • Working closely with our state and federal delegation to get more DEA agents for South Dakota (currently SD is under-resourced with only two DEA agents).

Obviously these are just a start to what I hope to implement, but these items do have the potential to have significant impact for both the short and long-term issues we are facing with crime and narcotics growth.

Mike Gunn: More laws will not stop something that is actually not wanted to stop. I say this on the fact we have been fighting the very problem all over the United States for years and to date how much has been reduced? In many ways it is a lost concept but is very crucial today on why drugs and crime are so normal. So many factors are connected that create the same outcome. If one thinks on how most of us deal with despair, boredom, pain, loss, fear, depression etc. It would blow the mind. While our Government on all levels says it cares, this is not obvious to most Citizens. They have little to no willingness to help those trying to better themselves however, they will penalize them for trying. This is called you make too much for the assistance rule. Now I ask where does the despair, depression or other reasons for drugs or crime grow from? You may consider me cruel and unsympathetic yet, I believe that Citizens should get a “hand-up” not a “handout”. So in many ways by actually being there for those struggling a Mayor and Council can give hope and a chance at something better by actually helping those trying. To have the ability to dream the dream and see a chance at real freedom and self sufficiency that most want. Families are not torn apart just because of drugs/crime; moreover financial burden is the most invasive and creates the want for escape. That can mean divorce, drugs, alcohol or crime etc. That would be a good start. Now in becoming more involved in helping those trying by a hand-up approach I would also hope that those getting the help would also get involved as well. For instance: Cats are the Citizens and Rats are the crime. One cat can cover a lot of ground to fight off crime if allowed, but if restrained it is ineffective. One cat can detour crime for a time but needs more cats involved to effectively counter crime. Since crime cannot exist unless it is undetected. Bear with me! Today most families are too busy trying to survive to worry about what is going on around them and with good reason. They feel they do not matter and no one cares! So it is work home and a few errands at most. But they in most cases today have no idea who their neighbor is or even their names. They have no idea what is going on in their own backyard. So by most of what I have projected above with the ability to dream and achieve a better life they hopefully will want to get involved just to protect that they are striving for.

Last but not least; we need to encourage a family unit to stay unified, today government promotes divorce and even welcomes it on a daily basis. As Mayor with the Council I believe that we can allow the ability for a Married couple to work threw the normal differences that we all share by offering not only cost effective counseling but the freedom again that they were promised. Crime in many instances brings one aspect that is a common denominator and that is money. That can be spent on all sorts of things from bills to drugs. Not to say rape is not an issue, however, I believe that can be from a sense of no freedom or hope as well. To feel powerless some may see rape as being in power over something and in-turn use that as a copping mechanism? I could go on but I hope you get the gist of my platform on this question?

Greg Jamison: When I ran for Mayor four years ago, I campaigned on crime stating it was the most important issue we faced as a city, but very few people listened.  Since then, the numbers have steadily increased year until this past year.  In August, I started out my campaign talking about two things: roads and crime.  And, I’m still talking about them today.  In fact, I’m the only candidate in the race who’s said crime was one of the top two issues since the campaign started.

National crime studies say if we don’t get crime under control before our population grows to over 200,000 we’ll struggle to ever catch up.  If we don’t act now, Sioux Falls will change forever.  Now is the time to address crime and stop pretending crime is not a problem.

Sioux Falls has become a hideout for criminals from larger cities like Chicago and Detroit.  These criminals are Meth and Heroin dealers in the middle of a price war looking to gain users.  They set up shop in our own neighborhoods here in Sioux Falls while they’re on the run.  The result is cheap drugs and lots of addicted people who commit crimes to fuel their addictions.

Meth and Heroin are at the core of the violent crimes on the rise here in Sioux Falls.

During my first 100 days in office, I’ll lead the fight against Meth and Heroin on three specific fronts: Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.

Prevention: I’ve already met with the Sioux Falls School District Assistant Superintendent looking for ways to improve Drug Prevention education.  It’s with their recommendation I’ll restore resources to re-implement the I-CAN program.  The I-CAN program is designed to help students lead productive successful lives.  I-CAN was taught in the Sioux Falls’ fifth grades several years ago by the School Resource Officers.  The program’s focus was on healthy decisions regarding drugs, alcohol and peer pressure.  Students received an hour of instruction each week for six weeks.  The “I-CAN” program name was a statement to empower students; I can….resist drugs, I can…resist alcohol, I can…resist peer pressure.

Treatment: I’ll work to bring the Sioux Falls Social Services providers and State Agencies together and find additional ways to increase funding for drug addiction treatment.  My administration will collaborate with national foundations and acquire grants to combat addiction on the personal level.

Enforcement: I’ll put new patrol officers on the streets and create a new special crimes unit to capture the top 10 most wanted felons.  I’ll get tough on drug dealers – sending them back to where they came from or to jail for a long, long time.  I will reduce crime, save our community money, protecting our family values.  I’ll support the incredible men and women of the Sioux Falls Police Department and together we’ll face the growing crime problem head on.  And since I know how to get work done in Pierre, I’ll work with the Governor and legislature, along with state and county officials, to solve our unique crime problems before they ruin the great city of Sioux Falls.

No candidate is more committed, or more qualified, to making Sioux Falls a safer city than me.

Kenny Anderson: I have been on a citizens committee working on crime issues in our area. I feel the need to reduce and eliminate the demand for the drugs in our area will also reduce the crime happening in our city and the surrounding areas. By using treatment and educating the young of the downfalls we can reduce the demand. More interaction by our resource and law enforcement with neighborhoods and our young people to build relationships and better the communications with our citizens to let they know we care.

 

4. There’s an attack on free speech in this country with buzz phrases such as hate speech, free speech zones. What will you do to ensure that open civilized dialogue is championed in Sioux Falls?

Paul TenHaken: Increasingly, we tend to submit to the vocal minority in free speech settings versus allowing all side to openly discuss all angles of an issue. As stated in the question, the civility of these discussions is the lost art we need to regain. My administration will not discriminate among ANY group that wishes to make the positions known in a productive and civilized fashion and will ensure that political correctness does not override our free speech liberties.

Mike Gunn: Again by utilizing the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. I would mandate that every individual has a right to speak his/her feelings without fear of retribution. To be well informed is to hear both sides equally. During any debate that I am in charge of Citizens will be knowledge d as Americans only. There will be no sub categories or such things as German-American. Just American. There will no force of belief by others nor influence beyond ones own opinion. Each Citizen has a right to choose their own choice. And not fear because of it. The whole City will be free speech and that would extend to those that work for the City as well. Open Government is just that open to every Citizen and It will be so If I am elected.

Greg Jamison: I strongly believe in the First Amendment and I don’t believe in limiting speech.  I believe in bringing people together to learn from each other and build consensus about what we can agree on.

My collaborative leadership style brings people together to achieve a common purpose, tempered by the ability to understand different viewpoints.  I’ll work with the Chamber ensuring City Hall is responsive to our business community as we grow our economy creating new and better jobs.

I organized an Economic Forum in 2009 with business leaders, elected officials and citizens to discuss how we could thrive, as the nation faced the onset of the Great Recession.  As City Councilman, I organized the first meeting of elected officials from metro counties to discuss better metro area collaboration.  And another example is when I brought stakeholders together to organize the Transit Task Force developing a long-term public transit system.  The best predictor of the future is the past and I have a proven track record of bringing people together to communicate and find solutions.

I’ll work closer than any Mayor in Sioux Falls’ history with our amazing faith community.  My administration will keep open lines of communication with our faith leaders and non-profit organizations whose cause is to make Sioux Falls a better place to call home.

Lastly, I’ll keep a good sense of humor, remembering we can disagree without being disagreeable…because we’re in this together.

Kenny Anderson:As a military veteran I strongly believe that free speech is a core base of our country. But some have used it to promote divineness and fear in our communities. I will be a strong voice and stand against those who use this right in a negative manner.

 

5. Do you believe the government in Sioux Falls and transparency problem? In brief, what would you be your plan to address it? (Freedom)

Paul TenHaken: As previously mentioned, I am the only mayoral candidate to have the vision and leadership to release a 2026 plan for the next eight years of our city. The act of releasing that plan in and of itself shows my commitment to transparency in government. This plan can be found at https://www.tenhakenformayor.com/2026-plan I would ensure the open communication is re-implemented in City Hall through open office hours with the mayor, stronger communication with our city council, the releasing of information that we typically have kept secret (as long as the integrity of any proposal and/or decision is not compromised by doing so), and using digital and social media much more effectively to open up communication and decision making to citizens.

Mike Gunn: Change the whole platform of how our City addresses Citizens voices today. Ordinances will be compiled short but to the point to insure that Citizens will always be the ones heard and respected no matter their position. Or their place of employment, as stated earlier even those that work for the City. A Mayor should be criticized as well as questioned when the reason for such arises. He/She can not be soft of heart, mind or sole when it comes to any part, good or bad.

Greg Jamison: I’m not going criticize the current or past administrations.  However, as a citizen, I’ve felt like there have been times we haven’t gotten the full story.

The Jamison administration will be an open door with an open mind.  I will not tolerate side deals, secrecy or people who are involved to hurt others.  Good government is an open government.  We are, after all, a government of, by and for the people.  I’ll be our new Mayor that is of, by and for the people, governing under our State motto, “Under God, the People Rule.”

Kenny Anderson: I will work from day 1 as Mayor to work with the City Council, Director’s, to notify, inform, people of how and why we are doing city business. The city is run as a business but is a service to its citizens.

 

6. As mayor how will you respond when city employees keep bibles on their desks in the city office and request to use city conference rooms to conduct Bible studies after working hours?

Paul TenHaken: I actually plan to do this myself. That statement should tell you all you need to know.

Mike Gunn: Not only bibles will be allowed but any form of religious belief as long as it does not create conflict with others in the work place. Meaning during working hours and hinders others working. As far as use of Public property> as long as it is cared for in a proper manner and left as it was received. Than any Citizen should have the ability to use such area’s. Scheduling would be the only issue that I would foresee. As in the question of freedom of speech, no other entity shall create havoc or disrupt the peaceful practice of others. All that the City has is Public (taxpayer) owned.

Greg Jamison: I will not respond at all if there’s a Bible on someone desk.  There is a Bible on my desk today and there will be when I’m the new Mayor of Sioux Falls.

If a Bible study group requests to use a city conference room, they will be allowed to use it.

Kenny Anderson: I will allow employees to keep religious material in their desk and they are allowed to read on their own time. After hours use of the cities conference rooms or any other rooms in the building are decided on a case by case basis.