Saturday, March 24, 2012

Senate District 41 - Thoughts on Redistricting

Contributed by Rachel Nelson, a.k.a. Katie Foley

            I loved my DFL family in the old SD50. Barb Goodwin’s candidacy for the Minnesota Senate gave us a common purpose around which we could unite. This single event, which took place over several months, gave our district the common struggle and history that gives rise to lasting relationships.
            When the Court came down with its redistricting plan, it was a plan about which I could not form a real definitive opinion. Sure, it put a lot of really good sitting DFL legislators against each other, but it did the same for the GOP. I did not have to be too anxious about meeting a bunch of new Democrats because much of what comprised SD50 had been swallowed up by the new SD41. Also, SD41 managed to nab some of the great party leaders of the districts neighboring the old SD50.
            However, it was not until last night that I became truly excited about the new SD41. As Connie Bernardy’s endorsement campaign coordinator I’ve been in a unique position to learn the names of the delegates from the new House District 41A. Last night Connie and her husband Dan hosted an HD 41A get-together. It was very well-attended, including an appearance and speech by Congressman Keith Ellison. But perhaps more important than the campaign atmosphere and upbeat endorsements from Ellison and Carolyn Laine was the chance I had to meet some of the people with whose names I have become so familiar.
            I met and spoke with people who are bursting with ideas and talents that could really make SD41 a shining example of what works for DFL politics. Fundraisers, the centralization of information, complete lifetimes of knowledge and experience – the people I have so far had a chance to meet from the new SD41 have reinvigorated me.
            So I suppose that have I finally had a chance to form a real opinion about the Court’s redistricting plan. State-wide it gives the DFL a chance to take back the majority in the state legislature, giving Minnesota’s policy makers a real chance to enact policies that will make Minnesota great once again. Locally, I couldn’t be more excited about the ideas, energy, wisdom and thoughtfulness displayed by my new DFL family. Let the fun begin!

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: Elect Rachel Nelson for SD 41 Chair at the DFL Senate District 41’s Endorsing Convention on March 31 at Columbia Heights High School. 

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