Eagan Designated Coordinator Charlotte Eastin has been known to think well outside the box when it comes to work and volunteer opportunities for the individuals she serves, and participant Zach Sjoblom’s love of politics is leading to some unconventional approaches.
Sjoblom planned to attend a political event in Burnsville for Angie Craig, where Eastin met him. The gathering of nearly 100 welcomed Sjoblom, who posed for photos with Craig, and Congressman Steny Hoyer from Maryland. Craig is running for Congress.
Sjoblom has far more than a casual interest in politics. Ask him a few questions about what’s happening, and he quickly shares a few updates and opinions. He’s studied political science at the college level.
“I just love it,” said Sjoblom. “It’s interesting, the federal government and state government.”
While interacting with him at ProAct, Eastin became determined to come up with ideas based on his passion for politics.
She explored internship opportunities with the governor’s office and a U.S. senator, created a brochure to sell Sjoblom’s political skills and interests, introduced him to community television staffers to explore options, and more. He hopes to attend some upcoming political debates.
During the last election, Eastin called multiple organizations to try to find a ride to the polling place for Sjoblom when he was in Hastings. None could help, and a staff member at his residence ended up taking him. “It should not be that hard,” he said.
Previously living in a group home there, Sjoblom moved to an apartment in West St. Paul, partly for better public transportation so he could be more politically involved. He recently got his wheelchair repaired, a process that took about two years.