Dustin Stumblingbear, Kiowa, attended Haskell in the Summer of 1999. Originally from Tuscan, Arizona, he left the school to help take care of his son who lived in North Dakota (ND) at the time and felt it was too hard to balance the two and wanted to change his focus on his son who has ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). Stumbingbear returned to school, choosing to attend the University of Kansas in Fall of 2009 studying to become a Social Studies teacher.
Stumblingbear always felt interested in politics. Last year, he ran to be a pledge delegate for a candidate running for president at the time. Noting that, he felt “more fired up than before”. So, after caucusing for the presidential candidate, he took the opportunity when given to be pledge delegate and ran with it and kept researching into the past of Kansas state and the Democratic National Party (DNC). “It’s time for me to step up” and for him to know what was “true and what is made up” adding that the DNC got a lot of criticism when selecting their main runner for presidency.
After, he reached out to Representative Highberger, and asked to be an intern for the House this legislative session, Stumblingbear got the opportunity to learn first-hand a lot about how our state government works. After wanting to learn more, he wanted to focus more on an area and a slightly bigger vision by looking into the Lawrence community helping him compare to other state representatives who focus on certain aspects of improving the state.
Stumblingbear chose to run for city commissioner because he’s been in Lawrence for most of his life. He grew up in the Lawrence schools and wants to give back to his community. He feels like he could do more good specifically for Lawrence than he could elsewhere. “I want to serve them back as they have served me.”
“I’m not saying that our current commission isn’t doing a good job but, there have been some mishaps from where taxes were given to people who haven’t conducted themselves in the manner that was meant to be, violating the wording and the spirit of the agreement”, Next, Stumbling- bear wants to improve on the city’s infrastructure such as pipes, side- walks, and roads. “Right now, in the city, the sidewalk is a big issue. There are six million dollars’ worth of repairs that need to be done.” He also wants to reinforce current rules that aren’t being enforced. By having Lawrence citizens pay into those taxes and use it towards fixing up their community. They could pay to fix the sidewalks downtown through a slight tax increase.
Haskell students always get asked if they can participate on campus in various activities that are held here when our community has an open door with the city of Lawrence. Haskell is attached to Lawrence and has been for many, many decades stated Stumblingbear and is currently working on the Veterans Day Parade planning committee which is still in the works of bringing the parade to our Haskell Arch. Having a few activities done there since the Arch is a dedicated memorial to our Native American war veterans. Before Haskell Stumblingbear also did two tours in Iraq serving in the military so he always represents the Haskell purple and gold. “We’ve got wonderful, intelligent people here and great students [at Haskell] and we need to keep them in Lawrence and make sure they are taking places in leadership positions in Lawrence.”
Stumblingbear plans on doing his best to get his name out in the Lawrence community. One method of his campaigning is through door-to-door canvasing. “Meet and greets are great don’t get me wrong but there’s more of a connection when you’re able to talk to someone at their house; they open up to you and discuss their issues.” So far he feels he has been getting good feedback from Lawrence residents by talking to them that way.
Feeling that he would be a great fit for the city commissioner position, Stumblingbear adds, “I was raised that we take care of our people, take care of our tribe; Lawrence is my community. They have accepted me. They have loved me and I want to show that love back.” Dustin Stumblingbear is still a current intern for the House and plans to be there as long as he can to help learn as much as he can about politics. “You have to be aware of the codes, and you have to be knowledgeable about who’s going to do what and when and enforce it.”
Eligible voters from our Haskell community are faculty, alumni and staff who live in Lawrence and also students who rent or own places to live within the city. You can visit https:// lawrenceks.org/city_commission/ for more information on the city commissioner. Currently there are five people running for city commissioner.