Why I am running

I am running for the House of Representatives for District 25B, the seat currently held by Ray Cox. In the last election, he won by 20 votes, 44 in the recount, and that close vote is hardly a mandate. In this election, I will work for a decisive win that shows the commitment of this District to make Minnesota better. I am running for the state legislature because I want the Minnesota I’ve grown up with, with the promise and opportunities this state has offered to me, to be available for our children and grandchildren.

As we look to the future and a vision of what can be, we must look, as the early settlers of our great state did, beyond the here and now to the generations to come. If sacrifice is called for, as it is now, it should be spread equally so that it is bearable, and not foisted on one group or another. Instead, we are witnessing, both on the federal and state level, a dismantling of the social safety net that benefited the poor and the middle class at a time when that safety net is more important that it has been for sometime. Over the last thirty years, I have been drawn to work with those young people whom others had given up on, because I believe that while on the grand scale the answers to the world’s problems seem insurmountable, on the human level, person to person, we can, by seeing each other, find a future for us all. This means that we need to be challenged not only to overcome financial poverty, but we must overcome our own poverty of spirit that cripples us and pits us against each other.

I believe that I can make a difference to assure that the children who need a hand before they start school will get it, so that our schools can be the best they can be for everyone because children are ready to learn. To do that, we must invest in education and return control of those schools to local school boards. We must make sure that counties, cities and townships have what they need to provide the vital services to all citizens, that the care that senior citizens require will be provided, and that we all have the opportunity to prosper, not an invitation to fail. We must fight for a living wage and respect for all workers so that all can benefit from an invigorated economy. Tax cuts and the trimming or destruction of the safety net will only hurt us in the long run as it will push financial burdens on to our children and grandchildren. If we believe in a future that benefits all, we must move beyond a vision that only benefits a few.

Leadership requires setting an agenda founded on principles, being clear about where you are headed and what you intend to accomplish. This clarity about our mission, strategy and purpose is the first step to reaching our goals and sets up the criteria by which we will be judged and held accountable. That’s democracy, transparent actions based on citizen input, all in the public interest. I’m a different sort of leader, practicing not leadership of flash, smoke and mirrors, but substantive leadership, quietly determined step-by-step progress towards a goal, able to do the hard research to thoroughly understand the issues, and most importantly, bringing together those who may not see eye to eye or even have the same vision, to take a project to fruition in a collaborative process.

That’s also the kind of leadership that is the essence of the legislative process. This is why I’m running for office. I look forward to a lively campaign.

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