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As the debate over a controversial statue continues, GVSU student launches write-in campaign for trustee seat

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 22:24:28-04

ALLENDALE, Mich. — While most college students are still wondering if there will be in-person classes by November, Katherine Parker is hoping she’ll be on the local ballot

“I need around 50 votes to get on the ballot, which honestly I feel like is pretty doable,” Parker told FOX 17.

The Grand Valley State University junior is running as a Democrat write-in candidate for Allendale Township Trustee.

“I think if Allendale wants to change what it's known for, because right now it's known for being the only town in the entire state of Michigan with a confederate statue, I think if it wants to change that image which the community does, we need young people,” Parker said.

The controversial statue Parker is referring to has put Allendale and the township board under a microscope.

At a recent meeting, many younger people voiced their problem with it and the township’s decision to not remove it.

Parker believes the statue is racist.

“I felt really gross complaining and saying like, oh I don't like how they're handling this. I wish there was new candidates, a lot of the positions are running unopposed. I’ve always wanted to go into politics, and I just felt like this was the time,” Parker explained.

Parker says the goal of her campaign is to make Allendale more inclusive, build more sidewalks and bike paths and support businesses and workers during the pandemic.

If she gets on the November ballot, she believes the younger vote could propel her to victory.

“GVSU is literally half of our population. I think I’ve got a really good shot, because I think if I can get GVSU students to realize that they're going to be spending four years of their life here, they should probably care about what's going on outside of just Allendale campus,” Parker added.

Parker who signed her intent to run at the beginning of this month, needs 50 write-in votes next week to be put on the ballot in November.