Saturday, June 2, 2012

Teacher Refuses to Abandon Struggling Kids for Congressional Campaign, Weisser Will Teach Summer School Social Studies

Teacher Refuses to Abandon Struggling Kids for Congressional Campaign, Weisser Will Teach Summer School Social Studies

Contact: Mikel Weisser, 928-234-5633,

After a solid month of trying to wait out the request, Mikel Weisser, newly certified candidate for US House of Representatives for Arizona’s brand new CD-04 seat, has accepted the position of teaching 8th grade summer school social studies for the Kingman school district when no other teacher came forward. “I didn’t see how I could say that I am a champion of education and ignore the kids wanting to learn, who are right in front of me.”

Weisser has been a social studies teacher for 11 years, but just completed his first year in the Kingman schools, after ten plus years of teaching at Bullhead Junior High, Bullhead City’s original junior high.  “My degrees are in English, but social studies is too important to not teach.” Weisser credits his students as his initial encouragement for running for major public office. “They all kept saying that I should run for something, so to honor them I wanted to make sure it was for something important.”

Though he has been an outspoken advocate for a variety of progressive issues from recycling to immigration, to impeaching Bush, to the peace movement, LGBT, cannabis reform, or Civil Rights issues, this is Mikel Weisser’s first campaign for public office, aside from his work within the AEA. “I am on the AEA’s fund council for state legislative races. It is a chance to apply a little of what I learn in my own campaign to help the state’s teachers’ association and thus public education.” Weisser worked on his wife, Beth’s, 2010 campaign for AZ State Senate and learned the ropes of creating a bare-bones campaign. This year both Weissers, Beth and Mikel, are juggling campaigns, personal businesses that are life-long passions, and, full-time careers as educators.

But teaching is Mikel Weisser’s passion. “It is all the same thing, really, when you talk about poetizing, politicking and educating. Like banned author, Paulo Freire once pointed out, once you’ve educated yourself to the injustices in society, you are obligated to educate the public to it. Running for office and teaching 8th grade social studies are amazing similar.” Arizona’s 8th grade standards include a dizzying mix of time periods including the pre-US Revolution, comprehension as analysis of the US Constitution, as well as the history of its creation, AND 20th Century US History starting around 1930. “It is a smorgasbord no kid could comprehend in a year. I’ve got four weeks,” Weisser laughs.

The Weisser campaign, which qualified on May 29th, with the AZ Secretary of State’s office, as a verified candidate, based on petition signatures, originally launched at the Democrats’ January quarterly convention in Tucson, when no traditional candidates came forward to run for the newly created AZ CD-04 Congressional seat, a region Weisser fondly refers to as, “The Left Coast of Arizona.”

Weisser maintains that the classroom assignment of having one month to teach 36 failed social studies students the material they did not learn over an entire school year, is a challenge that will make him a better leader, even if he never discusses his own campaign for House of Representatives as he attempts to explain the intricacies of Congress. “Kids have a BS meter. I don’t have to talk about my stuff. America history tells its own story. They’ll decide on their own. I just want them to grow up knowing that to love one’s country means to act for it, not just wave a flag on the Fourth.”

Of note: this year, Weisser’s former 8th grade students of 2007-2008 at Bullhead Junior High graduated from Bullhead City’s Mohave High School and once again, Weisser’s former students excelled. “This year’s Mohave High School Valedictorian, June Truscow, is the fourth time a former student of mine wound up valedictorian and this year I also was involved with shaping the salutatorian. It may just be coincidence, but I know I make a difference every day and this feels like that difference manifested.” 

Weisser declares he will still be maintaining his aggressively active campaign schedule, which has seen appearances in all 7 counties within his massive Congressional district that is larger than the state of Illinois. “It’s time for a big change in politics. I won’t get the change I want by waiting for it. I hope all Dems realize that this is our chance to make the change America so desperately needs.”


For more info on the Weisser campaign, contact:

Mikel Weisser for US Congress

Mikel Weisser

4490 Sundown Drive

So-Hi, AZ 86413


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