Dear Senate District 59 Friends and Neighbors:
My name is Kari Dziedzic, and I am proud to be a candidate for the Minnesota State Senate.
On Tuesday, December 6, there will be a special DFL primary election because our friend Larry Pogemiller is leaving the Senate to serve in Governor Dayton’s administration.
Replacing Senator Pogemiller, who served us so well for so many years, will not be easy. I would be honored if you would consider me to succeed him. I have the background, experience, energy, dedication, temperament, maturity, and ability to serve you as we struggle with serious problems facing our neighborhoods and our state.
Creating and protecting jobs has to be our top priority. The best strategy for a good job is a good education.
We are failing our children on all levels. This must change. We need to fully fund early childhood education. Our K-12 schools are underfunded and becoming more crowded. Our University of Minnesota, which is the economic engine of the entire state, needs more state resources: state funding has fallen to 1998 levels and tuition is beyond affordable, forcing students to mortgage their financial futures to get a degree. Job creation will be my top priority—and a quality education is key to a good job.
The tea-party-dominated Republican legislative majority is raising property taxes for homeowners at alarming rates by cutting Local Government Aid and by eliminating the Homestead Credit. Their cuts to the Renter’s Tax Credit are a disgrace. Taxation must be based on the ability to pay. We simply have to make the most affluent among us pay their fair share of taxes; it is only right.
Our seniors, the disabled and the disadvantaged are all at risk because of cruel and unnecessary funding cuts made by the Republican majority in the legislature.
And, of course, these same legislators have done absolutely nothing to help create jobs to improve the Minnesota economy. Tax cuts don’t promote jobs. Just the opposite: the Pawlenty administration cut taxes and we lost jobs. Yet, for all the rhetoric about jobs, the signature Republican issue this year was to stain Minnesota’s honor by trying to put discrimination against gay and lesbian people in the Minnesota Constitution.
Of course, one State Senator alone cannot solve these problems. But I will make sure that the Senate knows what these ruinous policies and decisions are doing to the people. When they hear from me, they will be hearing from you. Believe me, they will listen not because I will be making loud speeches, but because I will be reaching out to other legislators, no matter their politics or the area they represent. And, of course, I will work with Governor Dayton in his efforts to help our city, our neighborhoods and the University. On your behalf I will be both gracious and relentless.
I am confident that I can represent you because for many years I have been responsible for solving real-life problems in both the public and private sectors. I have spent my life working on behalf of the Eastside. I worked on the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) and fully support its continuation as a real neighborhood-based program.
Except for the year I spent in Washington as a member of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone’s Senate staff, I have lived in the district where I was born. I went to Edison High School and attended the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology. I have worked for a major law firm, a multimedia communications company, and as Press Secretary for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
Currently, I am the policy assistant to Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein, serving county residents and leading transportation and transit, library, budget, public safety, health care and environmental projects. I also serve on the Board of Catholic Eldercare. These experiences have prepared me to represent you in the Minnesota Senate. As your State Senator, I will roll up my sleeves, build bridges, and form the necessary coalitions to get the job done.
In the weeks ahead I look forward to visiting with you. I want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time at 612-623-7758 or firstname.lastname@example.org to share your concerns and ideas.
Please consider voting for me. No one will work harder or more thoughtfully to justify your support and confidence. While I have already received labor endorsement and support from a number of elected officials, the most important endorsement is yours expressed through your vote on Tuesday, December 6.
I hope I can earn your support.