Why are you running for this position?
As a daughter of Carver County, with experience on the farm and in the legislature, I recognize the need to have someone representing our unique community who truly understands us. Not a political opportunist or party loyalist, but someone who has the relationships and experience to bring people together and the drive to get things done. I’m running because I cannot sit by and watch political games get in the way of progress — everyone deserves to live with dignity. I’m running to bring some common-sense leadership to the State Senate and get the Legislature working for us again.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
When I first launched my campaign, I was focused on tackling the astronomical cost of healthcare, expanding mental health services into rural areas, schools, and police forces, and investing in our phenomenal public education system. While those are still my major focuses (among many others), recovering from this pandemic is overarching all other issues. I anticipate a lot of tough, thoughtful discussions on how to make sure we can get the virus under control, keep Minnesotans safe, and help get our economy back on the right track.
What is the role of the Legislature when it comes to needs like housing or healthcare?
One of the chief responsibilities of our government is to promote the general welfare of our citizens. No one should have to weigh their options between getting the care they need and paying a bill or buying food.
Pharmaceutical and insurance companies should not be putting their profits over our well-being. Our health is not a commodity. Minnesotans deserve access to quality healthcare at an affordable price that doesn’t depend on what job you’re holding.
The Legislature should ensure that no hardworking Minnesotan is without affordable housing, quality healthcare and the ability to provide for the needs of their family.
What is the role of the Legislature in creating a healthy business climate in the state?
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Thriving downtown districts like Victoria and Chaska wouldn’t be possible without the investment of small businesses in our communities, and the community’s support of those businesses. Our cities and townships know what’s right for them — I support their right to make those decisions to further the local economy, continuing to make Carver County the greatest place to live.
As someone who helped start and manage several agriculture businesses, I know firsthand the barriers to success. The legislature should rely on local control, while supporting workers and protecting businesses from predatory practices.
What transportation issues would you like to address during your term?
Over 50% of our roads and bridges in the state are over 50 years old — we know what happens when repair is neglected. We must correct the infrastructure funding mechanisms and make the necessary investments to keep us moving and keep Minnesotans safe.
The Legislature must invest in an expansion of public transportation options further into Carver County, and improve the safety and convenience of highways 41 and 212 (and create jobs).
I’d also like to see an increase in Metro Mobility accessibility for those who have mobility issues, and investment in green public transportation for any new busses.
What circumstances would prompt you to vote across party lines?
A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. Neither party is correct 100% of the time. Carver County residents are independent thinkers, as am I. I‘ve made it clear to my colleagues and community that I intend to vote with my district, not with a party. Collaboration on a bill makes the legislation better for everyone — I’ve helped facilitate those conversations in my work at the Legislature. Not only would I vote across party lines, I will be actively working with members of both parties to build support and get our bills passed.
How should the Legislature respond to calls for public safety reform?
No matter what we look like or where we come from, we all want to move through our communities and feel safe. Law enforcement serves a critical function to the safety and security of our communities.
We cannot ignore the voices of communities of color in how current law enforcement models affect their lives. The Legislature should work with all stakeholders to create agency guidelines to protect their communities while making sure that the citizens feel safe.
We must increase accountability and transparency, support excellence, and allow local governments to work to build community trust in law enforcement.
How should the Legislature respond to the pandemic?
In a state of emergency, political games should not be part of the consideration in keeping Minnesotans safe. While both sides of the aisle are, unfortunately, using the COVID response as political weapons, we need to strive to strike a balance between providing for the safety of our citizens and making sure that our businesses have the opportunity to safely provide their services.
Everyone just wants to get back to their normal lives, but we can’t do that when our government is busy playing games and the issue remains hyper-politicized. We must trust the experts and care for our neighbors.
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?