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I attended the Sept. 14 Burnsville Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum with Minnesota Senate candidates Lindsey Port and Dan Hall and have been closely following their campaigns. There are a few similarities between the candidates, and there are stark differences.

Both candidates agree that our suburban police forces need more support, and both oppose any efforts to “defund the police.” Both candidates support a “dig and move” plan to address our overflowing landfill near the Minnesota River, and both candidates support legislation aimed at revitalizing the Burnsville Mall.

Despite these similar views, there are key differences between them. Lindsey Port supports a diverse and inclusive Minnesota and policies that will strengthen equity for black, indigenous, people of color and LGBTQ+ communities. Lindsey Port advocates for fully funding public education for all Minnesotans. Dan Hall sponsored the anti-gay marriage bill that was eventually defeated in Minnesota and the United States. As a pastor, Dan Hall publicly proclaimed, “I will personally go to jail before I ever perform a marriage for a homosexual” (Pioneer Press, February 2013). Dan Hall voted in favor of and believes in dangerous conversion therapy (Savage Pacer, July 2019). Dan Hall proudly removed his children from the Minneapolis Public Schools because of desegregation (City Pages, April 2011).

Lindsey Port believes Minnesota will be a leader in creating clean energy jobs and addressing the devastating impact of climate change. Lindsey Port believes MPCA scientists who warn that the overflowing Burnsville landfill is threatening our local drinking water supply. Dan Hall denies the science of climate change (Savage Pacer, July 2020) and advocates for more oil drilling on his campaign website. During the candidate forum, Dan Hall disagreed with the MPCA science stating he is not convinced that landfill pollution could harm our local drinking water. In his 10 years as our senator, Dan Hall has failed to pass legislation to fix the landfill issue.

Lindsey Port supports the Governor’s actions to keep Minnesotans safe during the pandemic. She has chosen not to campaign face-to-face to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. I have personally seen Dan Hall door to door canvassing in our neighborhood putting our health at risk by talking closely with neighbors without wearing a mask. Dan Hall has voted to fire state commissioners in retaliation of Governor Walz’s use of executive powers to keep Minnesotans safe (StarTribune, September 2020).

Dan Hall does not represent the values Savage, Burnsville, Lakeville and Minnesota. Dan Hall’s beliefs and policies are dangerous and morally wrong. I am voting for Lindsey Port who will ensure affordable health care for all, fully fund public education for every Minnesotan child, protect our environment and local drinking water supply, and represent all Minnesotans including those of us who are black, indigenous, people of color, or LGBQT+.

Daniel Trajano

Savage

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