Hintz Inducted into Oshkosh North’s Hall of Fame


Alexis Holovack

Principal Jacquelyn Kiffmeyer awards 1992 graduate Gordon with his induction into Oshkosh North’s Hall of Fame.

Ruby Snow, Writer

On Friday, April 29, 2022, Wisconsin State Rep. Gordon Hintz was inducted into the Oshkosh North Hall of Fame. 

Hintz said being inducted into the school he graduated from meant a great deal to him.

 “I mean, [the induction], it’s incredible. Oshkosh North, as ridiculous as it sounds, is easily my favorite school—ever. I had a positive experience here, and it means a lot. I’m honored. I’m humbled. I’m proud. I feel a lot of gratitude, and I feel a lot of pride.” 

Hintz graduated from Oshkosh North in 1992 with several accolades and even more memories.

As a participant in three sports, an active member of the Student Council, and a violin player in the orchestra, his teachers recall him as a character. 

“He liked having fun, and he was very much a team player. He never called attention to himself. [He was] a very nice young man, and that spilled into his political career,” retired English teacher Jim White recalls. 

Ron Harell, another one of Gordon’s teachers, says, “He was a decent student, and he was concerned about some of the things then that he pursued as an adult.” 

During Hintz’s induction speech, he touched on multiple aspects of his career.

“While some of my most aspirational goals weren’t achieved, I’m proud of the work I’ve done in office. As a white man from Oshkosh working with black and brown colleagues, and [LGBTQ+] colleagues, it has influenced me greatly.” 

Hintz continues to fight for equality and opportunity for all. 

“It’s a forever fight.” 

His legislative record shows this. His accomplishments regarding equality issues include both the Compassionate Care for Rape Victims act and the Well Woman Program Funding. 

Hintz was asked to speak on the achievement he was most proud of throughout his 16 year run in the Assembly. But, he claimed he didn’t necessarily have just one. 

“I think this is what I was struggling with…when [I] try to think about what has my term and my time in office been about. If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, I wrote the law that requires you to have one. You know, we all try to make everyone know that we did this and we did that. I try to remember that as long as I’m doing this, [I need] to use the platform I have and use the voice I have to try to advocate for a different world, the way that I think it should be.” 

Lori Palmeri, the mayor of Oshkosh who was the spokesperson for Hintz’s induction, had positive things to say about him. 

“I appreciate his honest and unvarnished truths he’s fought for,” she announce. 

Not only did she induct him, but Palmeri officially declared April 29 as the official Gordon Hintz day. 

For how much Hintz has done during his term, it’s surprising to know he didn’t always want to go into politics. 

“I was living in Southern California in Los Angeles and working in Long Beach. I wanted to be a city manager, so I thought. I had gotten where I needed to be, and I was sitting in a cube crunching numbers. I’m an extrovert, and I was upset about the war in Iraq under the Bush administration. You know, I was frustrated, motivated, and kind of reassessing what it is I wanted to do. My dad was on the city council in Oshkosh and he said he got asked by the governor if he wanted to run for state assembly…and I was like wait a second, maybe I should do that. It kind of went from spontaneous thought to I was ready to get back to the Midwest.”

While Hintz spent much of his adult life in politics, he would not call himself a career politician as he started outside of it, and has now announced he would not run for another term.

“You know, Barack Obama knew he wanted to be president in kindergarten, and some people find their call later on.”

Hintz realized citizens needed someone who was really going to stand up, and he wanted to be that person. Although he wasn’t always aware of the passion he would find later on for politics, Hintz had advice to give for students seeking to become politicians.

“I mean, there are a lot of ways to make a difference, and I try to remind people of that. [My advice] would be to remember that it’s not about them. Think about what it is that you want to achieve by doing that and go for it. Once you decide to do it, that’s the biggest hurdle—do or don’t do.” 

Besides Hintz’s 16-year-long political career, he had a short-lived career as an air-guitarist competitor in LA. His audacious social persona allowed him success in air guitar as well as politics. 

“I am a performer. I would stand on the corner in Los Angeles with my headphones on, and I would practice, and these cars would drive by, and I was just trying to get over how absurd it was that I was doing this.” 

At the end of the competition, Hintz came out on top for technicality, originality, and “airness.” “You know it when you see it,” according to Hintz.

 “For someone working for the government in Los Angeles,” he said, “it was my most Los Angeles moment.”

Hintz found his way not only into the renowned film Air Guitar Nation but also into Oshkosh North’s Hall of Fame by being unequivocally himself.