Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As the weeks pass, we legislators become busier and busier with visits.
A couple of weeks ago my son and his family stopped to tour the capitol, and to leave me in charge of one of their pets while they enjoy a trip to the southwest.
So, I continue to “Betta Sit” for grandson Cash’s fish that he calls Skittles. My staff loves this little fish and wants to feed her all the time – a NO NO. It is very nice, however, that Skittles waits for me to arrive at about 6:15 a.m. every morning. Believe me, she loves company throughout the day, and I feed her just once a day.
I welcome all who come to St. Paul, because they bring issues for me to support and/or to ponder.
Visiting last week was Nancy Campbell from Princeton Municipal Liquor to voice her concerns about Sunday Sales, a proposal that does not rise to the top of my priorities.
Among those coming to the capitol this week were LeRoy and Carolyn Koppendrayer from Princeton. LeRoy served in the Minnesota House from 1991 until 1997, when he resigned to accept a position on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which changed my future.
What followed was a special election in 1998, that I won (I had managed LeRoy’s campaign) and, even though I lost my re-election in 2008, I returned in 2011 and continue to serve as LeRoy’s successor, ready to enter my 10th term next year.
Also visiting this week from Princeton was newly-elected Princeton City Council member, Jeff Reynolds, who urged me to support local government aid but also ways to reduce business taxes to grow the economy of rural Minnesota.
Coming yesterday from Milaca were staff from First National Bank: President Joe Tapp, Rachelle Nelson, Brett Freese and Andrew Allen. I always enjoy learning about the good work done in our area by First National, and reminisce about Andrew’s father, the late Pete Allen, who led the way during his life to ensure that Milaca was a vibrant, growing community.
Finally, visiting from the Ogilvie area yesterday during Minnesota Milk Day were Pete and Stacy Ripka who farm near that small town. Stacy also serves on the school board of Ogilvie so we talked education issues as well.
By way of a closing thought, frequently students visit the Legislature to shadow us. This week a student from FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders) spent a day following me from committee to committee, to the House floor at the Capitol to observe a session and then observing those who lobby me during office hours. I enjoyed having them come along with me through my schedule, and was reminded of this quote:
“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” –Anne Frank
As an educator, and Chair of the Education Innovation Policy Committee, this articulates my conviction about every child in our education system. As a young Jewish girl writing in her diary as she hid during the Holocaust, Anne Frank could never have imagined the impact her story and writing would have on generations of American school children. All students have this potential, and I am honored to serve them at the Capitol.
Please know that you are welcome Monday through Friday, even though I have a heavy committee meeting schedule. If I have to, however, I will leave committee (unless it is the committee I chair) to visit with you.
Have a great weekend,