DAVID BLY Elected to Minnesota House District 25B in 2006, served from 2007 to 2010; and now re-elected to the Mn House in Dist. 20B; born Jan. 8, 1952, Dubuque, IA.; home Northfield; St. Olaf College, Northfield, B.A. 1974; University of St. Mary’s, Minneapolis, M.A. 2004; Congregationalist; two children (Gareth and Julia).
A little background — I grew up and still live in Northfield, MN, attended local public schools and graduated from St. Olaf College here in Northfield. I’m the third generation to live in the home my parents moved into after my grandmother passed away, my children are the fourth generation, our roots here go very deep. My mother was a neighborhood welcomer. When new families moved into the neighborhood, which was fairly frequently in this college town, she would bring them warm apricot bread and fill them in on what she felt they would need to know to become part of the community. She was a nurturer and a helper. My father, a newspaperman by day, was a scout leader and an organizer of neighborhood softball games. He took a particular interest in the kids we played and grew up with, taking time to get to know his children’s friends. My father suffered all his life with severe diabetes and succumbed to it in 1968 at the age of 43.
That was a difficult year for losses, if you remember, both Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were killed. Financially, my family always struggled, there were always hospital and medical bills to pay, but we got by. We lived modestly, an example that serves me well today. We never went hungry, and I felt we always had what we needed. We were fortunate in that my father always had a job, and after he died, my mom worked as a waitress. Both my father’s parents were educators and education was highly valued in my home, and all three of the children in our family went on to college.
I doubt that my story is remarkably different from others. On the other hand, there is a fundamental theme that stretches back several generations – investment in community — my family has been intensely committed to service and community. That commitment is more than just words, it is decades of missionary work, volunteering in community, arts, and church venues, and careers that focus on the obligation we have to contribute to and improve the world we live in. This commitment was reinforced and supported for me by the traditions developed and fostered in my own years at St. Olaf.
Since then, I taught in Minnesota Public schools for 30 years, and in those years I was drawn to those students in my classes who struggled because of learning difficulties or because of the detrimental effects of a troubled home life. Where ever possible, I did what I could to show them a more likely path to success, to help them have goals and reach them. This has lead me to the position as Lead Teacher at the Northfield Alternative Learning Center, where I worked with students who needed a different approach to succeed in school. I have learned a great deal from my students about overcoming obstacles and the courage it takes to move forward in life.
I served two terms in the Minnesota State Legislature 2007 to 2010. I was proud to serve the residents of House District 25B and am proud to now represent the people of the newly formed District 20B. I believe my knowledge and experience of the legislative process and my record of helping people make me the best candidate for the job. I’d like to hear more of your thoughts and concerns, so please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-645-8328.