Ms. Schuyler Windham.Thank you for this interview. My readers do not know you. Could you tell us about yourself? And specifically your run for candidate for the Nebraska State Legislature.
Thank you for interviewing me. I can tell you are passionate about third party candidates -- you and your followers know how important it is to elect candidates who care about our communities and are not beholden to the corrupt two-party system.
I am a lawyer, musician, and fiction author. Most of all, I am a Nebraskan who loves my family, community, and country. I adore my husband and we’re raising our nephew after my sister-in-law passed away earlier this year. Raising a teenager really puts the future in better perspective. It’s not about me. It’s about the next generation. My parents come from blue-collar families. My dad grew up on a farm in northern Missouri. My maternal grandma was a pediatric nurse and my grandpa worked in construction. I am the first lawyer in my family and very passionate about using my skills and talents to co-create a freer, more peaceful world.
A little background on the Nebraska State Legislature for your followers who may not know much about us. We have a part-time Unicameral rather than Bicameral form of government. It is a proportional representation system, however because it is one house, we call our representatives ‘Senators.’ My primary is in May 2022 and the general election is November 2022.
Ms. Windham, what made you go into politics?
I am following my calling. I graduated from Nebraska College of Law and worked as a lawyer and lobbyist for several years. After meeting with Nebraska Senators and Congress and the community members I was trying to help through my advocacy efforts, I realized that I was empowered to run for office myself and represent my neighbors in the Unicameral rather than just lobby or testify on their behalf. I know a lot of unfortunate information about many of the current policy makers which at first was very frustrating. I decided I will be the change I wish to see, serving with integrity and reason.
Ms. Windham, how does your campaign or policies differ from your opponent?
My opponent actually reminds me of myself from a couple years ago in some ways. We are both young lawyers, however I kept true to my roots and remained in Nebraska for law school while he went off to Washington D.C. and lost touch with what truly matters to the American Heartland. He’s a public defender where I have practiced Constitutional Law in addition to actually drafting successful legislation. I walked away from the Democratic Party in 2020 because I witnessed that the policies were harming people, not helping us. I differ from my opponent in that I am wise enough to learn and grow, to keep an open yet critical mind in the face of truth. I am a self-starter and completely independent, funded only by people, not interests. I’m running for office because I’m passionate about supporting my community, the people I believe in. I see stark evidence that my political opponent is running for office only because it’s a path that was laid out for him by local party elites. He was asked to run by them and for the Democratic Party to push destructive policies. I chose to run by my own volition to actually represent the interests of real people.
Ms. Windham, what are you happiest you have accomplished in politics so far and how will that
My favorite part of working as a lobbyist was speaking directly with people from my community, listening to their wants and concerns, and then converting that into change by drafting legislation. In fact, the first bill I ever wrote as a legislative intern, the Sexual Assault Protection Order, passed unanimously in 2017. It was a gap filler between the already existing domestic abuse and harassment protection orders. So far, as a candidate I have really enjoyed speaking with small business owners about repealing some corporate special interest laws which are hurting them, especially as we are trying to recover from the pandemic. I’m optimistic I can get legislation passed in my first year as a senator because I already have the experience to hit the ground running when I’m elected.
Ms. Windham, while you are a candidate for Nebraska State Legislature, what would you change about the current policies from the current representative?
I know the current Senator who is terming out. In some ways I thought he was well-intentioned, but somewhat detached from the unique district we live in. I’m confident that I will better represent the interests of my neighborhood in LD 26 who are mainly independent blue-collar working families. My district is honestly sick and tired of party politics as usual (for instance, we have a higher ratio of Libertarian and Independent registered voters) -- they are ready for someone who really cares about our community interests rather than party interests. People in my city of Lincoln, NE are responding very favorably to Libertarian candidates versus Democrats and Republicans. People crave real change and care from leaders.
What have you done for the state, city or county that would make people think of you as a candidate for the Nebraska State Legislature in Northeast Lincoln? What have you done for Nebraskans?
Though I am young, I have always prioritized service to the community including donating time and money to causes I care about. I served on a nonprofit board of directors as well as the board of trustees at my church. I have volunteered at Hyde Observatory and at the Center for People in Need as well as donated to the Lincoln City Mission. As the representative for LD 26, I will put the interests of my community first as our district is part of the patchwork fabric of what makes Nebraska the good life state.
Ms. Windham, have you talked to other third party candidates to help each other coordinate both rallies, and potential voters?
Yes, I have talked and coordinated with Libertarian and Independent candidates, including a couple friends of mine. Tyler Cappel is running in rural Nebraska for the Nebraska State Legislature and George Zimmerman out of Omaha is running for Governor. We are coordinating efforts to engage new voters and volunteers to get active. As the Executive Director for the Libertarian Party of Nebraska, I’m proactive in further building up our freedom movement. We actually have the most registered Libertarians per capita than any other state and we are growing fast! I am promoting grassroots coalitions to achieve the freedom we desire. On one hand, we are working with more left-leaning people to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska (yes, seriously, Nebraska is way behind). On the other hand, we’re working with more conservative-leaning business owners to help our local economy and alleviate financial burdens on families. By collaborating with folks across the political spectrum, we are spreading our message quickly: most people are libertarian-minded and don’t even realize we exist. So this is a great opportunity to help people with positive policy change and spread the word that a third option exists and is making a difference.
What policy outside those stated above do you think will help the most people? How would you do it?
My priorities are to 1) alleviate burdens on families and small businesses, 2) defend Constitutional rights, and 3) implement criminal justice reform, particularly restorative justice for minors and decriminalizing non-violent offenses. I will collaborate with various elected officials and stakeholders to accomplish these goals. I love finding common ground between people so that we can act together to make a difference.
What one thing can you say you have done that has helped people the most?
Honestly, it’s the little things that maybe make the biggest difference. Recently, a blind woman was waiting for the bus at her apartment and the bus driver accidentally overlooked her. I dashed after the bus, waving at the bus driver to stop. He rolled his window down and I gestured back toward the woman’s apartment saying that he missed a passenger just right behind him. See -- the truth is that anyone can be courageous, valiant. Anyone can help anyone at any time. All you have to do is care enough and act with intention, compassion, integrity. I’m really just like anyone else. You can run for office if it calls to you, too. You can also save someone’s morning by redirecting a bus. Or give generously to someone in need because you want to make that person’s day. Listen to yourself and you will know what to do. Little by little, step by step, we will share so much good when we choose that together. So the one thing that I do that helps people the most is just by living my true self the most I can each moment of each day. By appreciating what I already have and who I am, I help people, and I hope that others will realize that they are powerful and can do the same. The seemingly smallest acts of kindness make a world of difference.
What else do you do outside of politics?
Other than caring for my husband and nephew, I am an indie author, writing primarily in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. I also have a band (I play the banjo and am a singer-songwriter). I joke a lot that my offensive weapon is my banjo, my voice, the written word; my defensive weapon to protect myself and my family is my firearm. Each must be used responsibly, with precision. This also aligns with the U.S. Constitution. We exercise our right to free speech and we defend that right with the 2nd amendment. I really believe that we must change culture first. I can and will accomplish a lot in the Unicameral while also acknowledging completely that politics runs downstream from culture. So, I emphasize what I am doing to promote freedom and peace with my time and focus as an author and musician perhaps even more so than what I do as a lawyer and politician. If I can fill the world with beauty in this way and also repeal unjust laws as a Senator to get the government out of the way of the people, I know we can generate a better reality together.
What long-term goal other than winning the Nebraska State Legislature in Northeast Lincoln are you looking to accomplish?
I love my country and identify strongly as a Nebraskan and American because of the liberty we have preserved here despite the odds. The best way to continue to defend our freedoms and human rights is to decentralize government as much as possible. Already we see states who are finally standing up to authoritarianism within our own federal government. I would love to see a future where “we the people” realize how powerful we all actually are to make a difference rather than cede our power to incompetent and corrupt leaders who line crony pockets with our taxpayer money and bend the knee to foreign interests. Instead of being a failed military empire, we can continue the positive legacy of innovation and enlightenment our nation was founded on. As the United States remains the beacon on the hill, we will best extend our light to people all over the world to promote peace and freedom for every person.
What question do you wish I had asked? And what is that answer?
I have no other questions to answer. I only thank you for reaching out to me and for interviewing unconventional candidates such as myself. Together, we will make a positive difference. I ask you all to check out the links below for more information and how to support my campaign! You don’t have to live in Nebraska -- so long as you’re a U.S. citizen or green card holder, are 18, and make contributions with your own funds, you can donate to my campaign. I’m currently raising money to get t-shirts for my volunteers and yard signs to go door knocking so would appreciate anything you can give.
Check out my website here: https://www.schuylerfornebraska.com/
Please donate to my campaign here: https://secure.anedot.com/schuyler-windham-for-nebraska/donate
Minds & Twitter: @SchuylerWind