DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

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Aug/14

22

August, 2014 Newsletter

What Our Candidates are Doing

Rep. Yvonne Selcer, HD48A

Yvonne_Selcer

Rep. Yvonne Selcer and her team continue to work hard knocking on doors and phoning our community members, and the reception has been great. As our legislator for 48A, she’s gathering valuable information on our community’s priorities during these conversations. She’ll then use the information to craft legislation during the upcoming session at the Capitol.  Yvonne enjoyed seeing many of you at the Neighborhood Night Out gatherings; please contact her if you would like her to stop by or have an event you would like to invite her to attend.

Yvonne continues her busy schedule serving her constituents, and most recently attended the Metropolitan Council’s “Metro Water Supply Planning Meeting”, which was held at the Minnetonka Community Center. Even in the Land of 10,000 Lake, there are some looming water supply issues. Rep Selcer is working hard to ensure we’re ready to partner with our locally elected officials to meet these challenges.

As we’ve said, the response to Rep. Selcer, her work and her message continues to be positive. Unfortunately, her race remains a top target for outside organizations, such as the billionaire Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. She needs your help to win in November and continue the good work begun in the last two legislative sessions.  You’ll find Yvonne’s door knocking schedule on our Senate District 48 website.  Please contact Maars to help with door knocking or in any way you prefer and time allows.  As always, Rep Selcer is grateful for all the help and support she’s receiving, and looks forward to celebrating victory with you in November, and continuing to partner with our community members to move MN forward.

Joan Howe-Pullis, HD48B Candidate

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Joan and her team have knocked over 4,000 doors on the B-side of the district. She’s continue to have extraordinary conversations with the people she’s meeting during her door knocks.

If you have some free time over the next weeks leading up to the election and you’d like to join Team Joan, they’d appreciate your help coordinating lawn sign locations and helping volunteers in getting sign locations and placements. E-mail info@joanhowepullis.com if you can help.

Laurie McKendry, SD48

laurie-mckendry

While this isn’t the year for the State Senate race, Laurie McKendry is continuing to work with both Rep. Selcer and Joan Howe-Pullis in their races this year.

“I’m enjoying getting out to the doors again and seeing familiar faces as I talk with people about both Yvonne and Joan,” said Laurie.

The B-Side Ticket is Set

We now know that Jenifer Loon, the incumbent in House District 48B, will be the challenger Joan Howe-Pullis will face this November.

Most people think Rep. Loon is a nice, little lady hold views the majority of our district does. But, that last part just isn’t true.  And, one vote doesn’t erase everything else she’s supporter, or not supported over the years.

Ms. Loon is an Assistant Minority Leader in the House. That means she helps the Minority Leader keep the Republicans in the Minnesota House united.

Think she’s a moderate when it comes to voting? Not so much. She voted with her party over 94% of the time.

What’s Her Background?

Rep. Loon comes from a family in South Dakota which has had people in office there. Her first job was working in her uncle’s State Senate office.

She’s worked in positions in Congressional Republican offices for many years. She’s also lobbied government for Republican positions (anti union with the Association of Builders and Contractors and against average people for the Association of Credit and Collection Agencies).

We can’t help but wonder about someone who talks about “pocketbook” issues while always getting a paycheck from the government or for using the connections she made while working for the government to help industries get special access really understands the pressures regular people face in today’s economy.

It's a Party PartyWe’ve got a night of fun and games planned for our Party (DFL) Party (Celebration) event. When:  Saturday, September 6, 7:00 to 10:00 pm Where:  Minnetonka Community Center, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN Visit our website to purchase your ticket, so you can enjoy:

  • Music
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Bingo
  • Black Jack
  • Poker
  • a Great Silent Auction (check out the items) and
  • Candidates and Officials

Ticket prices are $25 for an adult, $15 for students and people 65+. In addition to a great time, you’ll be able to start your holiday shopping with our auction items AND help us support our candidates this election cycle. See you there!

What Can You Do Between Now and Election Day?

Things are heating up was we move toward Election Day in November. If you haven’t yet offered your time to a campaign, please make time to do it. You’ll have a great time, meet some great people AND help our candidates win in November.

What can you do?

There’ are lots of things a campaign needs help with:

  • Make a contribution to one of our local races or to SD48 DFL if you haven’t yet
    • your first $50 contributed to a state campaign or party unit is refunded by the State of Minnesota to help make it possible for regular people to run
  • Have some time on upcoming weekends or week days?
    • Help set up lawn signs
    • Help knock doors (there’s good training and you don’t go alone)
    • Help with phone calls (we’ve got a great office in Hopkins, or we can set you up with a virtual phone bank)
    • Help enter information
    • Help write a letter to the editor
    • Help feed volunteers
    • Got other ideas? Let us know, and we’ll “hook you up.”

You’ll meet a great group of people, and help make change in our district with your time  (It’s also a great thing for families to do.) Need to get connected?  Email us at info@dfl48.org. We’ll get you in touch with the right people.

Don’t be a “Drop Off Dem”

Haven’t heard the above phrase? It’s what people involved in politics call those of us who only bother to vote in presidential elections. And, it’s what we’re betting Sen. David Hann hope you’ll be this November.

Why?

We have the numbers to elect the people who are putting all their efforts into running for office if we just bother to vote.

What happens when we don’t?

Remember 2010? That’s the last non-presidential election. We wound up with a Republican-controlled Legislature. That legislature shut down our government for the longest time in our state’s history. It also brought us the two constitutional amendments that so divided our city.

CD3 DFL Picnic

???????????????????????????????We had a great time at the CD3 DFL annual picnic at our own Round Lake Park. We were joined by CD3 DFL Candidate Sharon Sund, DFL Hennepin County Eddie Frizell, Senate District 48 DFL Candidate Laurie McKendry, HD48A Rep. Yvonne Selcer and HD48B Candidate Joan Howe-Pullis.

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Jul/14

25

July, 2014 Newsletter

What Our Candidates are Doing

Rep. Yvonne Selcer, HD48A

Yvonne_Selcer

Rep. Yvonne Selcer and her team have been busy with great conversations at the doors and on the phones with many of you. She’s also continued to attend wonderful community events in our area, including the Hopkins Raspberry Festival and the Minnetonka ICA Food Shelf’s grand opening.   She looks forward to seeing many of you at upcoming Neighborhood Night Out gatherings; please contact her if you would like her to stop by or have an event you would like to invite her to attend.

Rep. Selcer continues to have her nation leading legislative POSA (Protect Our Students Studying Abroad) work highlighted, most recently in the Gail Rosenblum’s July 20 StarTribune column.  As she door knocks, she’s finding the face-to-face conversations she is having on your legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session very helpful.

The response to Rep. Selcer, her work and her message continues to be positive, but her race is a top target for outside organizations such as the billionaire Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.  She needs your help to win in November and continue the good work begun in the last two legislative sessions.  You’ll find Yvonne’s door knocking schedule on our Senate District 48 website.  Please contact Maars to help with door knocking or in any way you prefer and time allows.  As always, Rep Selcer is grateful for all the help and support she’s receiving, and looks forward to celebrating victory with you in November.

Joan Howe-Pullis, HD48B Candidate

joan-440-300x285If you haven’t seen Joan in your neighbor-hood, you’ll be seeing her soon.

Joan and her great group of volunteers continue to be out talking with voters just about every day of the week.

She’s excited by the conversations she’s having with the voters of the southern side of Eden Prairie.

If you have time to join her campaign, they’d love to have you join them. Like every campaign, help reaching out to talk with voters about what’s important to them is our most important task. So, any time you can spend door knocking or phoning with Joan, would be appreciated.

Joan also needs help with your treasure. To get her message out, your contribution is critical.  If you’re able to help, contributions can be made on her website.

“First, I want to thank all the great volunteers who’ve already come out to support my race,” said Joan. “I’m honored you’ve given of yourself to help me.” If you’d like to find out more about Joan, her positions on issues or more, just send her an e-mail.

Laurie McKendry, SD48

laurie-mckendryWhere this isn’t my election cycle, I’m continuing to work with both of our House candidates. I’ve enjoyed going out to the doors with both Rep. Selcer and Joan Howe-Pullis. We’ve had fun and it’s been a pleasure dealing with weather that, for the most part, has been more moderate than when I ran in 2012. It’s been great seeing familiar faces from my door knocking when I ran in 2012, as well as meeting new people.

My work continues with the Eden Prairie AM Rotary. I continue to enjoy the opportunity to be of service and working with my fellow Rotarians. I know many of them tend to vote the other side of the ticket. Although we differ in our political believes, we always work through our differences to come to a stronger solutions to whatever we’re working on. I truly value this and believe this is what we need in our government at both the state and national level to move the People’s business forward.

So, as we move toward November, look for our House candidates and me at your door some day soon.

Last Call for Plant Certificates

DFL48_grow-with-us_logo-400w

2015 UPDATE:  Holasek Greenhouses is now out of business. We have no information on how to receive refunds. Please contact the organization you purchased your certificates from for further information.

Have some plants that haven’t worked out or have run their course? Through July 31, you can still get quality plants from Holasek’s Greenhouse and support our district and our candidates. So, visit our sale page now and make your purchase.

We had a great time July 4th

???????????????????????????????We had great weather and a great group of volunteers at our booth this year. Hope you were able to stop by. If you didn’t, please look for us next year.

Think Erik Paulsen is a moderate math guy?

07.28.14.Boehner

Well, he’s playing with money — big money — to re-elect John Boehner. He holds what we call “drive by Congress on Your Corners” with little to no notice. Or, he does the “sorry I missed you” tele townhall.

But, he can host a fundraiser with a $10,000 price tag for the U.S. Speaker of the House who’s presided over a Congress that has done less than any other for their paychecks.

Please Help Turn Out the Vote for Rebecca Otto

There’ll be several phone banks to help let Democrats know it’s important to turn out and vote for Rebecca in the August 12 primary. Here’s a list of upcoming dates:

  • Saturday, August 9, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm with Rep. Melissa Hortman
  • Saturday, August 9, 2:00 to 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, August 10, 12:00 to 4:00 pm with Rep. Lyndon Carlson
  • Monday, August 11, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm with Rep. Jason Isaacson
  • Tuesday, August 12, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm with Congresswoman Betty McCollum
  • Tuesday, August 12, 2:00 to 5:00 pm

State Auditor Rebecca Otto will be stopping by the Primary Election GOTV Action Center at DFL Headquarters at 255 E Plato Blvd in St. Paul.

Get a group of friends together, carpool to St. Paul and help make certain Rebecca’s on the ballot in November.

RSVP to Jessica Andrist at 651.214.6443 or jandrist@dfl.org.

Don’t be a “Drop Off Dem”

Haven’t heard the above phrase? It’s what people involved in politics call those of us who only bother to vote in presidential elections.

And, it’s what we’re betting Sen. David Hann hope you’ll be this November.

Why?

We have the numbers to elect the people who are putting all their efforts into running for office if we just bother to vote.

What happens when we don’t?

Remember 2010? That’s the last non-presidential election. We wound up with a Republican-controlled Legislature. That legislature shut down our government for the longest time in our state’s history. It also brought us the two constitutional amendments that so divided our city.

Have You Seen This Piece of Literature?

Stensrud 1

If you’ve received this piece of literature at any time since July 19, please let us know.

The State DFL has served the Stensrud campaign with a cease and desist action.

Your report of where and when you’ve received the literature will help the State DFL hold Mr. Stenrud and his campaign accountable for “stretching the truth” again.

 

CD3 DFL Picnic

You’re Invited to Our Annual Picnic

Picnic BasketEnjoy good food, good friends — plus meet new ones — and great conversations with your elected officials, candidates, party officials and special guests.

August 9, 2014, 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Round Lake Park Pavilion, Eden Prairie

The park is located near the southwest corner of Valley View Road and Eden Prairie Road. You can enter the park from Valley View Road (across from Eden Prairie Community Center). The parking is free.

Round Lake Park Map

You’ll find fun for your family.

The park offers a playground, Splash Pad, walking trails, restrooms, fishing lake and more.

The event will be held rain or shine.

There’s no charge, but free will donations will be accepted.

Rebecca Otto Needs Your Vote

Rebecca_OttoAt the last minute, State Auditor Rebecca Otto had a challenger file to run against her in a DFL primary. She needs your vote to be on the ballot this November.  So, please take the time to vote.

No Excuse Early Voting for Primary Happening Now

img-vote-rebecca-otto-2014If you’re not able to vote in the August 12 primary, you can go to your City Hall and place an early ballot between now and the day before the election.

So, please vote for Rebecca. She’s done a great job and will continue to do so for us when she’s re-elected.

Your Vote for Judges Matter

gavelThe people running for Hennepin County judgeships run as non-partisan people. That doesn’t mean they don’t have views, experiences, etc. that impact their decisions from the bench. We recommend you do some checking on everyone’s background.

To get you started, here’s some information:

We’ll be voting on two open seats, Districts 43 and 61. In both situations, the top two vote getters for each district will move on to the November ballot.

District 43 has 7 people running for this seat. From the information we’ve been able to find, we believe there are two people to consider voting for:

Brian C. Hagerty

Paul Scoggin 

There are 5 people running in District 61. After reviewing the information we could find on these positions, we believe there two people to consider voting for:

Jean M. Brandl

Amy Dawson 

You may be wondering why we don’t mention Bev Aho as a candidate to consider. As the two above, please do your research. We believe that her activity as a major fundraiser for George W. Bush, positions with the local Republican political party and her work for other Republican candidates raise red flags on her ability to put the Republican point of view away when it comes to judgments from the bench.

August Primary Early Voting Going on Now

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Want to vote in the August 12 primary but have plans to be away from home that day? Thanks to no excuse absentee balloting, voting in Minnesota is now easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Request an absentee ballot online from the Minnesota Secretary of State and election officials will mail the absentee ballot materials to you after receiving your application.
  2. Fill out the absentee ballot. You’ll be asked to have a registered voter or notary verify that you received a blank ballot and you were the person to vote.
  3. Return the absentee ballot via mail or drop it off in person at your city or county election office up to the day before the election.

You can request, receive and cast an absentee ballot in one visit to your county election office. Some cities and towns also provide ballots at their offices. Beginning Friday, you can cast your vote for the August 12 primary:

  • Monday – Friday during normal business hours
  • The last Saturday before Election Day – Aug. 9 – from 10 am to 3 pm
  • Aug. 11 until 5 pm

If you are not registered to vote, you will need to complete a voter registration form and show proof of residence at the election office.

Remember, there’s no excuse not to vote in 2014! Cast your vote to support our DFL-endorsed candidates.

 

 

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

What Our Candidates are Doing

Rep. Yvonne Selcer, HD48A

Yvonne_SelcerThe campaign is pleased to announce that Maars Beltrandy is now onboard as Yvonne’s Field Organizer. If you’re interested in helping reach out to voters in HD48A, please get in touch with him. You can call him on his cell at 612.524.8427, or by e-mail at maars@dflhouse.com.

Rep. Selcer is still busy reaching out to her constituents with regular door knocks Saturday mornings from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. There are phone banks Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and Sunday evenings from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Maars can schedule you in for either activity.

Joan Howe-Pullis, HD48B Candidate

joan-440-300x285Since her endorsement, Joan has been building her campaign team. Things are well underway with a strong and growing group of volunteers.

She’s also working hard to raise the funds she needs to communicate with the voting public, and has had strong success.

Joan also been out 6 days a week. She’s reached over 2,000 doors already and has an aggressive goal of reaching 10,000 by Election Day. Her message of a government that works and cooperative problem solving is resonating with the voters in her district. And, her daily message of empowering conversations and daily debriefs with volunteers is inspiring to watch. The SD48 candidate, Laurie McKendry is door knocking with Joan weekly.

The campaign held it’s first phone bank June 7 with 11 volunteers making calls. They expect to have at least that many on upcoming phone banks.

Their website is up and running, and while they’ll continue to tweak content and design, contributions can be made on her website.

They also have their Facebook page and Twitter feed up and running, so please like Joan’s page and follow her on Twitter.

There is much to do and little time to do it. The campaign could use your help. If you’re able to help, please contact them at info@joanhowepullis.com. They’ll be in touch to find out how you’d like to help be it campaign leadership, helping with communications, voter contact, putting up lawn signs or helping with a letter to the editor.

“This is a winnable race, and winning will be the reward of a lifetime for all who contribute to the work of this campaign,” said John Pullis, Joan’s Campaign Manager.

Laurie McKendry, SD48

laurie-mckendryThis year’s election is for Minnesota House. Even though Laurie McKendry’s election won’t take place until 2016, she and her campaign are dedicated to working to help our Senate District 48 Minnesota House candidates. Laurie’s goal is to help re-elect Yvonne Selcer and elect Joan Howe-Pullis.

Laurie McKendry is out door knocking with both Rep. Yvonne Selcer (HD48A) and Joan Howe-Pullis (HD48B).

Laurie is also continuing to work on her Masters Degree.

Did You Lose Any Plants in the Deluge or Haven’t Got Your Summer Plants In?

DFL48_grow-with-us_logo-400w

2015 UPDATE:  Holasek Greenhouses is now out of business. We have no information on how to receive refunds. Please contact the organization you purchased your certificates from for further information.

If you lost plants in our June downpours or have yet to get your gardens and pots, we’re continuing our “Grow with Us” plant sale. You’ll purchase certificates good at the Holasek Greenhouse in Chaska or the Great Gardens by Grandma outlets at several locations in our district or nearby.

A portion of the proceeds go to support our district and that means we have a better ability to support our candidates. So, visit our sale page now and make your purchase.

We’ll be at Round Lake Park July 4th

If you will be, stop by and say hello

2013 SD48 Book

Again this year, SD48 DFL will have a booth at Eden Prairie’s Round Lake Park (southwest corner of Eden Prairie Road and Valley View Road) for Eden Prairie’s Home Town Celebration.

We’ll have fun for the kids while mom and dad talk politics.

Our candidates will be with us

We’re pleased to announce that we will be joined by:

  • Rep. Yvonne Selcer (HD48A)
  • Joan Howe-Pullis (HD48B)
  • Laurie McKendry (SD48)

Early voting for the primary begins Friday

check-mark110x110As DFLers, we do have a primary race on this year’s ballot with the last-minute registration of Matt Entenza for the State Auditor position. He’s running against DFL-endorsed and incumbent Rebecca Otto. Rebecca has been doing a great job, receiving federal awards. So, your vote is needed on August 12.

Want to vote in the August 12 primary but have plans to be away from home that day? Thanks to no excuse absentee balloting, voting in Minnesota is now easy as 1, 2, 3 – and early voting for the August 12 primary opens Friday.

  1. Request an absentee ballot online from the Minnesota Secretary of State and election officials will mail the absentee ballot materials to you after receiving your application.
  2. Fill out the absentee ballot. You’ll be asked to have a registered voter or notary verify that you received a blank ballot and you were the person to vote.
  3. Return the absentee ballot via mail or drop it off in person at your city or county election office up to the day before the election.

You can request, receive and cast an absentee ballot in one visit to your county election office. Some cities and towns also provide ballots at their offices. Beginning Friday, you can cast your vote for the August 12 primary:

  • Monday – Friday during normal business hours
  • The last Saturday before Election Day – Aug. 9 – from 10 am to 3 pm
  • Aug. 11 until 5 pm

If you are not registered to vote, you will need to complete a voter registration form and show proof of residence at the election office.

Remember, voting opens this month, June 27, for the August 12 primary election. There’s no excuse not to vote in 2014! Cast your vote to support our DFL-endorsed candidates.

Minnesota gains 154,300 new jobs

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has released new jobs numbers for the month of May. Highlights include:

  • 10,300 – Minnesota gained 10,300 new jobs in May.
  • 154,300 – Since January 2011, the state has gained 154,300 jobs – regaining all the jobs that were lost during the Great Recession, and adding thousands more.
  • 7 years – At 4.6%, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2007 (seven years ago).
  • 2.8 million – Current employment in Minnesota stands at 2,817,000; that means there are more jobs in Minnesota than ever before.
  • 2.4 million – For the first time in state history, Minnesota’s private sector employment has surpassed 2.4 million jobs.

For more information about the report, click here. The news follows the recent announcements of several new business expansions across Minnesota, including:

  • maurices in Duluth – This new $70 million office tower is the largest commercial development project in the history of downtown Duluth. It will create and retain 900 jobs and leverage $50 million in private investment.
  • Cardiovascular Systems in New Brighton – Medical device manufacturer Cardiovascular Systems Inc. announced plans last week to build a $30 million headquarters in New Brighton and expand its workforce with 205 new, high-paying jobs within two years.
  • Daikin in Owatonna – Plymouth-based Daikin Applied Americas Inc. announced plans this week for a $9 million expansion project that will create 40 jobs at its manufacturing facility in Owatonna.

Flood response efforts

Recently, Gov. Dayton’s focus has been on the many Minnesotans whose homes, businesses, and farms have been impacted by the ongoing flooding and severe weather across the state. Last week, the Governor:

Minnesota’s Emergency Operations Center was activated several days ago to coordinate the state’s response to ongoing severe weather events, and to provide assistance to local first responders. Check the Department of Public Safety’s news center for more updates on ongoing severe weather, and the state’s continuing response efforts.

Minnesota Chambers and Republican at Odds Over SWLRT

This may be a first, because historically the Chamber and the Republican Party have always been in lock-step. The best way to begin to characterize what is a philosophical/political versus reality problem is to clarify that the Republicans do not support rail (public transit), but they do support the SWT (Southwest Transit Bus) and the airlines. These are all public transit. Any transportation that provides scheduled service and receives federal and state funding is considered public transportation

Minnesota Finance and Commerce Magazine had this to say, “Despite Republican legislative leaders’ opposition to dedicating $25 million in bonding money this year to the proposed Southwest light rail transit line, leaders from three local chambers of commerce lined up this week at the Capitol to express their support for the LRT….”

MnDOT reports that 50 percent of the state’s highway pavements and 35 percent of its bridges are more than 50 years old, and says the highway system faces a $12 billion funding gap over the next 20 years. You can’t miss the construction projects all over the Twin Cities, road resurfacing, highway round-abouts and overheads, new highway exits and entrances, bridge construction and renovation that make getting there safer.

Rail is cheaper than asphalt roads. And though the price tag for the SWLRT project appears high, where’s the context? Who’s done their homework and compared it to the cost of installing the same capacity for roads? When you factor in the cost of a vehicle, gasoline, insurance, the environmental impact, road maintenance, the fact is that rail creates more capacity than roads would ever be able to handle, unless existing homes and businesses are taken through eminent domain, or we figure out how to levitate ton weight vehicles on highways-in-the-sky? Not in this lifetime. Nobody rides or drives for free, but rail offers an alternative that would be less expensive for many Minnesotans.

Republicans don’t want transportation dollars diverted to a multi-modal alternative like rail.

Here’s a sampling of Republicans who oppose LRT in Minnesota.

Robert “Again” Carney, a Republican running for Hennepin County Commissioner this year, is a roadie who believes the only solution to our transportation woes is lots more small buses.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert is “calling on Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, city officials and the Metropolitan Council to end closed-door mediation sessions and vote against the proposed Southwest Light Rail.”

Back in 2012, Representative Mike Beard (a Republican) sought to strip the Metropolitan Council of its powers over transportation. According to Minnpost, the plan was to create multiple boards and commissions to do the work now performed by one agency, the Met Council. The politicization would likely add more government interference rather than a decision making non-partisan agency like the Metropolitan Council, that has met directly with the community groups and elected officials.

House District 48B Representative Jenifer Loon’s (R) strong opposition to the SWLRT project came through in a letter she wrote to the Eden Prairie City Council asking them not to support the project without a final EIS. Loon’s objections included traffic disruption. (Note that Loon did not mention a traffic disruption problem during construction of the 494/169 highway project.) She also offered an amendment in the state legislature that requires legislative oversight of the Metropolitan Council’s authority to use state funds for expenditures on LRT projects specifically.

Loon contends that the LRT project has not had the oversight of elected officials, i.e. the legislature, nor the transparency the Legislature would provide. In fact the Metropolitan Council held extensive meetings with the public and elected local officials of city’s directly impacted by the project, for decades. None of these meetings had a political agenda. We keep hearing from Republicans that local governing bodies are in the best position to make decisions about their community. That’s exactly what has taken place, but now Republicans at the legislature have decided, because they want control over a project they don’t like, that they can interfere with local government decision making.

Businesses, transportation groups, and local chambers support LRT

According to Margaret Donahoe of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance who traveled to DC in June, Congress should “stop kicking the can down the road” with short term fixes, but approve the new, multi-year transportation law.”

Matt Kramer, president and CEO, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce said, “Roads and bridges are as important as bus and rail, and the Met Council can play an important role in advocating for a balanced mix for the east metro and for the Twin Cities as a whole. Candidates should understand the value of a ‘hub’ when advocating for multi-modal transportation solutions.”

Charlie Weaver, Executive Director, Minnesota Business Partnership said, “Appoint members who are able to focus on the priorities of the region as a whole rather than the desires of individual communities. Focus on few things and do them well: a well-run park system, functioning sewers and making sure the trains and buses run on time. Avoid partisan politics; work closely with your local partners; and don’t try to do everything for everyone. The Met Council is unique in the nation. It is a system that has worked well precisely because past chairmen and council members have taken a regional approach to metropolitan development and done so on a non-partisan basis.”

In 2012, Minnesota’s three largest Chambers of Commerce, the Minneapolis Regional, the St. Paul Area, and TwinWest, who support the business community jointly published a press release supporting Southwest LRT in the bonding bill.

“As the economy edges toward improvement, major Twin City’s employers will be looking to expand — either in our area or elsewhere, in the coming years,” the statement says, adding that 40 percent of downtown Minneapolis employees rely on transit to get to work. “We want to keep businesses growing here and that means making critical transit investments now.”

Rail helps create capacity that roads can’t support 

TwinCities West Chamber and its affiliates support SWLRT because they believe it provides access to businesses and employees that roads can’t. Access supports job growth; mitigates congestion; creates regional and state competitiveness, and provides for economic development. The TwinCities West Chamber is aligned with the Southwest Transit Alliance and the business community in support of SWLRT.

The SWLRT is a regional solution to a getting-there problem. It’s also a NIMBY problem because the rail line goes through different communities with differences of opinion about where, how much, and why we need rail in the first place, since we already have roads and bus service.

Creating more highway lanes to accommodate growth would be unfeasible from an economic and environmental stand-point. All options were considered in determining the feasibility of every mode of ground transportation and the result was that the most cost effective solution, in terms of future growth, must include multi-modal transportation that includes rail. The research for the SWLRT project was submitted to the federal government and like other forms of getting-there e.g. road and air transport, all each receive federal, state, and county funding.

However, truth-be-told dedicated taxes, toll roads, and the gas tax have paid for only a small portion of our nation’s road system. In the past century, road and air transportation have received much more government funding than rail.

MNGOP’s opposition to the SWLRT as stated in their most recent party platform, aligns with a letter written by Jenifer Loon to the city of Eden Prairie and a legislative amendment she authored that would alter the Metropolitan Council’s authority and require all LRT projects be approved by the Legislature. Loon takes it a step further, as does MNGOP in their party platform, to actually eliminate Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council, which has been a regional planning policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services since 1967, including working with other agencies in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region on transportation, wastewater, regional housing, redevelopment authority, plans and funds for parks and trails. The Met Council is granted regional authority powers through state statutes by the Minnesota Legislature, which includes taxing authority.

The latest local actions taken on SWLRT Consent

The Eden Prairie Council took no action on the SWLRT project at their last meeting June 17th.  The council had several options to move on a vote of municipal consent, which meant the city consents to the current physical design only, and nothing else. The city’s lawyer Rick Rosow told council members that they had the option of approving with a list of items not in the design plan. There was also the option of disapproving with proposed amendments, approval with conditions, or the option of voting against the project.

Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens proposed the vote on the SWLRT project be delayed to July 15 after the MOU, Memorandum of Understanding, between the SWT (Southwest Transit) and the SWLRT (Southwest Light Rail) is finalized. Issues of importance related to the MOU that were cited at the council meeting by the Mayor were as follows:

•Protecting existing bus service
•Adequate parking
•Disruption of service during construction

At the City Council meeting on June 17, Council Member Brad Aho brought up the lack of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which he believes should delay the city’s consent of the project. Both Aho and Loon are against the project and don’t want the city to give consent.

The city’s lawyer explained during the meeting that giving “Municipal Consent, per state law, relates only to local governments approving the physical design components of the LRT project, not the environmental impacts. The city can come back and question the DEIS or draft EIS, before a final SDEIS, supplemental EIS is finalized and available for public comment. This is how it works with all infrastructure projects, such as the Flying Cloud Airport expansion, and the 494/169 project.

The simple answer to why MNGOP and Representative Loon want to eliminate the Metropolitan Council is because the Metropolitan Council has the authority from the Minnesota Legislature to tax. At some point-in-time, a gas tax may have to be put on the table to fund all transportation projects and that’s why MNGOP is making the SWLRT an election issue in November.

Reference Links

http://finance-commerce.com/ 2012/02/ chambers-go-against-grain-to-push-for-southwest-lrt/

http://seifertforgovernor.com /news/ seifert-calls-minneapolis-and-met-council-stop-sw-light-rail

http://www.minnpost.com/ community-voices/ 2014/04 /hennepin-commissioner -candidate-demand-southwest-lrt-alternatives

http://www.minnpost.com/ politics-policy 2014/06/ federal-highway-trust-fund-running-empty-minnesota-transportation-advocates-

http://www.minnpost.com/ cityscape/ 2012/03/ house-gop-floats-plan-restructure-regional-planning

http://www.twincities.com/ localnews/ci_17061334

http://alankandel.scienceblog.com/ 2014/01/11/ rails-vs-roads-for-value-utilization-emissions-savings-difference-like-night-and-day/

http://www.minnpost.com/ cityscape/ 2014/06/what-if-we-made-transportation-systems-regulated-public-utilities

http://blogs.citypages.com/ blotter/ 2012/01/ southwest_lrt_ business_ community_ support. php

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/08/economist-explains-18

http://pedestrianobservations.wordpress.com/ 2011/09/19/passenger-miles-are-overrated/

 

 

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Mar/14

16

March, 2014 Newsletter

Thanks to All Who Attended Caucuses and Convention

Weren’t able to join us for these events? Here’s what happened:

Precinct Caucuses

Thanks to everyone who came out to participate in grassroots politics by attending their precinct caucuses in February.

Over 300 residents of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka came out on a cold, dark evening to meet with their neighbors, talk about issues important to them and elect precinct officers and delegates to the senate district convention.

Senate District Convention

20140308_112127On Saturday, March 10, over 100 people returned to the East Commons of Eden Prairie High School to participate in our convention.

We heard Rep. Yvonne Selcer (HD48A) announce that she is running for re-election this fall.

We also heard from:

  • Lt. Gov. Candidate Tina Smith
  • Attorney General Lori Swanson
  • Senator Terri Bonoff
  • Secretary of State Candidate Rep. Debra Hilstrom
  • Secretary of State Candidate Rep. Steve Simon
  • State Auditor Rebecca Otto
  • House Speaker Paul Thissen
  • Former House Minority Leader and MN2020 Founder Matt Entenza.

20140308_113905Convention delegates then elected delegates and alternates to the DFL State Central Committee, as well as delegates and alternates to the 3rd Congressional District and State DFL Conventions. Resolutions passed out of the precinct caucuses were reviewed and voted on to move forward to the next level of consideration where those passing will be incorporated into the State DFL platform.

What happened at the SD48 Republican Convention

At the Republican SD48 convention. held the same day as ours, the Republican delegates failed to endorse Rep. Jenifer Loon. As of today, Rep. Loon and Sheila Kihne will both be running in a primary.

For those of you who have been involved on the local level for some time will remember Ms. Kihne for her conservative blog, “The Activist Next Door” and position at the Third Congressional District Republican Party of Minnesota.

2014 = New Chance to Loan the District $50

Money

With the start of 2014, you can once again make a contribution to SD48 DFL of up to $50 ($100 per couple) and receive a full refund from the State of Minnesota.

Take the time to write a check or visit the contribution page of this website and make a a secure, online contribution to Senate District 48 DFL.

Or, mail a check to:

Marylu Belisle, Deputy Treasurer
Senate District 48 DFL
15472 Sandhill Cir
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Historically, people supporting Republican candidates have taken better advantage of this program than those supporting Democratic candidates — to the tune of $2 to Republicans through this program to $1 to Democrats.

Now’s the time to change that. Don’t want to make a contribution all at once? Consider making a monthly contribution. We have multiple options on our contribution page.

2nd Annual
Jackie Steveson Dinner
Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stevenson Dinner GraphicOn May 4, Third Congressional District DFL is hosting their second annual Jackie Stevenson Dinner.

Guest Speaker:  Former State Senator Becky Lourey

Emcee:  Buck Humphrey

5:30 PM cocktail hour and Silent Auction

7:00 PM dinner and program

For more information or to get your tickets, visit JackieStevensonDinner.com

Growing with Us Plant Sale

flower-garden_w520

2015 UPDATE:  Holasek Greenhouses is now out of business. We have no information on how to receive refunds. Please contact the organization you purchased your certificates from for further information.

Thinking about green grass and flowers now that we’re losing snow pack? We’ve got a great way for you to spruce up your planters and beds. Buy certificates that can be used at Holasek’s Greenhouse or their Great Gardens by Grandma sites.

You can find more information here.

Want to learn more about creating great containers?

We’re excited to announce we’ll be hosting a workshop Saturday, May 10, at 10:00 am. Shirley Mah Kooyman, a Hennepin County Master Gardener and botanist, will show us how we can create beautiful, unique planters.

We’ll have more information soon. Here’s where you can find information now, and check back to for the latest news.

Update from Rep. Yvonne Selcer

Yvonne_SelcerRep. Selcer has been busy working for the residents of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka in the legislature.

She reports that the state budget surplus has increased from a $627 million deficit last session to a $1.23 billion surplus, allowing the Minnesota House has approved over $500 million in Middle Class tax relief.

On February 28, Rep. Selcer’s free lunch bill for low income children was approved by the House Education Finance Committee. “This is a great opportunity to, in a bipartisan manner, to make a statement that no child shall go hungry in Minnesota because of an inability to pay,” said Rep. Selcer.

She also has a legislative survey available to share your views. You can complete the survey here. She is also continuing an aggressive door knock schedule that includes visiting with constituents on the weekends during the session.

Update from State Senate Candidate Laurie McKendry

laurie-mckendrySenate District 48 DFL appreciates having our candidates from 2012, Laurie McKendry, running again in 2016. She came close to winning the seat in 2012.  And, with your help, she will win in 2016.

Even though her race isn’t until 2016, she wanted to find out more about our communities. Laurie has been busy working in both Eden Prairie and Minnetonka.

She’s looking forward to the Southwest Light Rail join meeting with the Minnetonka City Council and the Economic Development Advisory Commissions, on which she serves.

She’s also serving on the Board of Eden Prairie’s AM Rotary as the Director of Service Projects. “What I love most about my work,” Laurie said, “is getting to know people on a personal level no matter what political affiliation they hold. Doing this gives me and the other person a chance to put politics aside and see one another without labels. I’ve found that most of us have more in common that we have differences.”

“As I look at what’s happening in Washington today,” Laurie continued, “I see a situation where it’s never been more important to elect State Senators and Representative on our local level who share out beliefs. All you have to do is look at the gridlock there and the issues that have worked their way down to the state level for decisions. Last year, Minnesota’s legislators passed legislation in these key areas for you and me and our families:

  • immigration
  • marriage equality
  • voters’ rights
  • affordable healthcare exchange, and
  • environmental issues.

Doing your taxes?
Don’t forget the check boxes!

On both the federal and state income tax return forms, you have the opportunity to help Democrats

Federal Return

On your federal return, you’ll be asked, “Do you want $3 of your federal tax to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund?” Checking the box doesn’t increase the amount to taxes you owe and doesn’t decrease the size of any refund you’re due. The money provides funds for the Democratic presidential candidate and national party convention.

State Return

On your state return, you have the option of specifying $5 of state funds to go to state candidates (including our local legislative candidates like Rep. Selcer). Again, this will not increase the amount of taxes you owe or decrease any refund you’re due.

These are efforts to help keep running for office something a dedicated person can do, not just someone with personal wealth.

But, to work, people like you and me must check the boxes. So, please help our candidates with these two easy actions.

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Jan/14

23

January, 2014 Newsletter

Join Us 2/4 for  Our Precinct Caucuses

caucus_graphicWe’ve got a lot on the line this November:

  • Senator Franken,
  • Governor Dayton,
  • the Secretary of State position
  • Attorney General Swanson
  • State Auditor Otto and
  • Representative Selcer

are all up for re-election in November, 2014.

Here’s the Specifics:

Who:  You and your progressive neighbors (carpool and come together)

What:  Precinct Caucuses

When:  Tuesday, February 4, 2014, registration and short program start at 6:30 PM, caucuses convene at 7:00 PM

Where:  East Commons, Eden Prairie High School, 17185 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

You’ll have a chance to talk with your neighbors about campaigns and issues you care about. Have an issue you think should be part of the State DFL Platform? The process starts Caucus Night.

That evening, resolutions need to be presented on the official form provided by the State DFL. Here’s a link to download a PDF of that form:  2014-2015-DFL-Resolution-Form.

Not Able to Attend the Caucus on February 4?

Want to participate in your local precinct as a precinct officer or be a delegate to the Senate District Convention? You have a chance to put your name into nomination for those positions by downloading this form:  2014-2015-Letter-Nomination-Form.

If you have a scanner, simply complete the form and scan it. Attach it to a cover e-mail and send it to sd48info@gmail.com.

Or, you can mail the completed and signed form to:

Sharon Borine, Chair
Senate District 48 DFL
18285 Croixwood Ln
Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Not Certain What Precinct You Live In?

Visit the Secretary of State’s Pollfinder.

Growing with Us Plant Sale Coming Soon!

flower-garden_w520

It’s hard to believe as we sit in the deep freeze that is Minnesota in January, but Spring is coming soon. The days are getting longer and we’ll be ready to get out in the garden or filling those planters on our decks very soon.

Want to do that and help your local DFL senate district? You can by participating in our Growing with Us Plant Sale.

We’ll have more information for you at our March 8, 2014, convention. And, will be posting information here on our website. So, look for more soon.

Representative Yvonne Selcer’s Door Knocks

Yvonne_SelcerThe temps may be chilly, but Rep. Selcer (HD48A) is out door knocking in her district each Saturday from 10:30 AM until 1:00 PM to find out what her constituents care about leading up to the start of the 2014 Legislative Session.

If you’re able to join her, please let us know at sd48info@gmail.com. We’ll pass your contact information along to her.

New Year = New Chance to Loan the District $50

Money

With the start of 2014, you can once again make a contribution to SD48 DFL of up to $50 ($100 per couple) and receive a full refund from the State of Minnesota.

Take the time to write a check or visit the contribution page of this website and make a a secure, online contribution to Senate District 48 DFL.

Or, you can mail a check to:

Marylu Belisle, Assistant Treasurer
Senate District 48 DFL
15472 Sandhill Cir
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347