Our public school system, School District 196, has some of the most renowned schools in the nation. Among other notable achievements, our graduation rate is 92% and our teachers have longevity because this is an excellent place to teach. Parents are fully engaged in their children’s education and our teachers and administration are on the same page when it comes to children’s education. We also know our children have a safe and productive learning environment. We must continue to fund our education from pre-K through Grade 12.
We need our elected leaders at both the local and national levels to protect our schools. As your legislator, I will support bills that keep schools fully funded. I will work to advance continued education of our current teachers, support their benefits so they can focus on the education of our children, fund mental health programs for our schools, and most of all I will listen to the teachers to better understand the needs of the district. I will vote against any bill that tries to take away funding from our public school system. I will vote against any voucher program. I will vote against any bill that strips funding for the safety and security of our children. I will vote against any federal mandates that strip away funding for a safe, bully-free environment for our children.
Higher Education & Student Loan Debt
I believe the state should support a public two-year associate program for students willing to work hard for a higher education. States should also support any student who wishes to obtain a trade degree at a public vocational school.
As a state legislator, I will also look at programs that will lead to the forgiveness of a percentage of the current outstanding educational loan debt.
We must protect what Minnesota loves. Minnesota’s environment and natural resources are a bipartisan issue. We need to protect our water, our food, and our air. We need to look to reasonable sustainable sources of renewable energy and ways to conserve our water usage and recover natural sources of water. We need to continue to cut down carbon emissions and look towards cleaner sources of energy. As your representative, I will support legislation that protects our water, keeps our food safe, and keeps our air clean.
As a former union labor leader I understand an honest day’s work for an honest dollar. I know how important collective bargaining is and would never support any legislation to make Minnesota a Right-to-Work state.
Let’s focus on building jobs and opportunities throughout the state. I believe this includes things like broadband throughout rural Minnesota, creating more remote access opportunities for those residents. It also includes focusing on our infrastructure, supporting independent business owners, and ensuring equal pay and opportunities for all people in the workforce.
Healthcare is important for everyone. While we do need to improve the current Affordable Care Act, we also need to enforce what the act has in it. Moreover, we need to look at the cost of delivery for services and products in healthcare. I will not support any legislation that goes backwards on our health care delivery. We need to continue going forward and getting the right people in the room at the right time to make the right decisions that will ensure everyone has access to safe and efficient healthcare.
My family has proudly served in our nation’s military and sadly joined the ranks of Gold Star families when my older brother gave his life as a Ranger.
I was raised by a father who suffered from post-traumatic stress from service in World War II, and a mother who not only gave her eldest son, but she herself served in World War II and Korea. In retrospect, I wish I had joined the military myself before becoming an EMS provider.
I firmly believe that veterans’ issues are not a party issue. We must all work together to address their needs. Active military, our veterans and their families can always count on me for support as their legislator. I look forward to being a champion for them in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Police Fire and EMS
I spent 28 years as a public servant in emergency medical services, serving 10 of those years as a volunteer firefighter. I worked right alongside police officers for most of those years. Police officers, firefighters and emergency medical providers will always have a special place in my heart. They are my family, and like a family sometimes we may need to help one another. These public servants help keep you safe every day. We need to make sure they have the tools and the training they need to do their job. As your legislator, I look forward to supporting the needs that will make our public servants the best they can be.