Why are you running for this position?
I am running for Minnesota Senate to represent us — the people. We must move beyond partisan gridlock and special interests and work hard to forge real, common sense, sustainable solutions to the toughest issues facing our communities.
I am running to represent our shared values for excellent public education, accessible healthcare, a healthy environment, community safety, protecting our seniors and veterans, and good government that represents us all.
We need to come together and put our values into action and deliver much needed results to the people of Minnesota, and that is what I plan to do when elected.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
On day one, our legislators must be ready to work together on the biggest issues Minnesota faces for COVID-19 recovery. We need leaders ready to create strong, bipartisan action focused on addressing rapid, accessible testing, economic rebuilding and job growth, making hard decisions to balance the state budget, while supporting education and health and safety of all Minnesotans.
What is the role of the Legislature when it comes to needs like housing or healthcare?
Good government protects our health and safety, and is representative of all voices, including the most vulnerable among us. First and foremost, we need to address the ever-rising costs of both healthcare and housing to ensure that everyone in Minnesota has equitable access to ensuring their basic needs are met.
Then, we need to work together to actually put our tax dollars to work in the way they are intended by investing in a 21st century infrastructure plan to support our innovative, smart growth for Minnesota.
What is the role of the Legislature in creating a healthy business climate in the state?
Businesses need predictability and efficiency from the Legislature in order to thrive — particularly our small businesses.
We need to ensure that our Legislature is working for us, scrutinizing and prioritizing all spending and using all of it’s available resources wisely to build a stronger Minnesota. Whether that is investing in economic development, employing reserves and rainy day funds responsibly or re-evaluating programmatic expenditures and tax breaks, we need to do what we can where we can in order to help our business communities get back on track — while balancing the budgetary needs of our state.
What transportation issues would you like to address during your term?
We must address our unacceptable backlog of infrastructure projects facing our state. We need to put partisan games aside, and actually deliver on the needs of our state and invest in a 21st century infrastructure. We need to put our tax dollars to work on the things Minnesotans expect like maintaining our roads, bridges and water infrastructure.
We also need to expand and invest in high-speed internet and transit opportunities across the state. This isn’t just something that needs to happen, it is an opportunity for job and economic growth in our state.
What circumstances would prompt you to vote across party lines?
Progress for Minnesotans depends on our ability to transcend partisan gridlock. Where I come from in business, we don’t get to just walk away when we don’t agree or when things get tough. There is simply too much at stake for families to have those that they elect to serve them in the Legislature refuse to come together to find real, sustainable solutions for the issues we are facing.
We need to work together to achieve our common aims for a healthy, strong Minnesota and I will work with anyone from any party that has that same goal in mind.
How should the Legislature respond to calls for public safety reform?
The Legislature plays a crucial role in ensuring that our police have the proper support, resources, and training to effectively and appropriately protect our communities. While I do NOT support defunding the police, I do believe that in tandem with making necessary reforms to our current systems, we need to be looking beyond just traditional policing models to create safer communities and protect our officers.
By investing in mental health resources, stable housing, youth programs, substance abuse treatment, quality education, and living wage, we can create more equitable communities with less need for policing, and with more dignity for Minnesotans.
How should the Legislature respond to the pandemic?
COVID-19 recovery is job No. 1 for the Legislature. Government must follow the advice of health experts. The Legislature plays a role in ensuring that rapid testing is accessible to everyone and a plan for universal and equitable access to a vaccine when it becomes available.
Economic recovery and stability is critical to our health and safety. The Legislature plays a role in putting people back to work by funding necessary infrastructure projects, increasing unemployment benefit access, and providing healthcare professionals and other frontline workers with the resources they need to take care of our communities while taking care of themselves.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?