The following essays were written by Monroe Consolidated School seventh- and eighth-grade students after interviewing five local residents and researching a person who contributed to the United States of America in the past.

By Abby Morris

"A settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims; principals etc., by reciprocal mortification of demands." Is the definition of compromise...

Compromise is very important in government because sometimes you can always get someone to see you're point of view. So settling in the middle is sometimes hard but its possible.

The seventh and eighth graders sat down with Mr. Brad Bailey to talk about his experience in government. They asked him a page of questions. One question they asked him was, "how do you try to understand other people's perspective, when there's a disagreement how do you get groups of people to come to an agreement." Bailey responded by saying, "politics is the art of compromise," and compromise can be an art. As they sat down with four other government representatives, another person who really understood the "art of compromise" was Wendy Stavseth.

Mrs. Stavseth got involved to find a better healthcare system for Vermont. When the seventh and eighth graders asked her about compromise, she said, "'listening' is the most important thing for compromise." Stavseth often talks with people who may not agree with her about the issue, but she finds that listening to their stories helps them agree on changes that could be made.

Compromise can be difficult but it is the key to actually getting things accomplished. "Truth is the glue that holds the government together. Compromise is the oil that makes the government go." -- Gerald Ford

By Breanna Fearon

Even throughout the test of time, some similarities within politics never fade. Some of the same concepts that were necessary back when politics began, when humans were just hunters and gatherers, are still necessary now. Some similarities between local/community leaders includes: listening to each other and being devoted to the issue you feel strongly about. Nothing would have ever been accomplished so many years ago if no accommodations were made by listening to each other to find a common ground. These key parts of the political timeline may have never been created without political leaders finding a compromise, or trying to make a long lasting impression on the community, and future generations to come.

The 7/8 grade class at Monroe Consolidated School interviewed five individuals that are community leaders around Monroe. Some messages the interviewees left with the class include getting involved, staying educated on the political arguments around the community, and really listening to others in debates to learn both sides of an argument. One person that left a positive impact in my mind was Brad Bailey. Mr. Bailey has been involved in politics for about 20 years and now is the State Representative for Grafton 14 (7 towns). If there's an issue in his district, he takes care of it as quickly as possible, helping people is one of his favorite parts of the job. "It's all volunteer."

Along with Brad Bailey, the class interviewed another leader who takes politics in a different direction, Wendy Stavseth. Wendy Stavseth is more of a one issue person. She focuses more on the "Single Payer Healthcare System in Vermont," trying to ensure that everyone who needs Health Care has the opportunity to get it. She's been campaigning for a long time in the hopes that her work will help to get the message she's campaigning for across. Mrs. Stavseth looks to help, not only herself, but others that the laws would affect. "You want to make a difference, you want to think beyond yourself."

Both Brad Bailey and Wendy Stavseth are positive local, and community leaders. From a multiple issue person, to a one issue person. From an elected official, to a citizen with a voice. From someone who has to see multiple views and make a compromise, to someone who is really focused on a few issues. These almost opposite citizens are both positive people to talk to, but also stand up for what they believe and feel is the right thing to do. These political leaders, Brad Bailey and Wendy Stavseth, really help people understand how two very different people, can both be leaders in their own ways.


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