State Legislature profiles for District 66B: Alice Hausman

Alice Hausman is the Democratic-Farmer-Labor incumbent candidate.

Anna Weggel

Some constituents say what they appreciate most about candidate Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, is her genuine concern for people and their issues.

“She always is glad to sit down and talk with people about cares and concerns,” said Marge Grahn-Bowman, one of Hausman’s constituents.

First elected in 1989 to the Minnesota House of Representatives, Hausman is running again to represent her St. Paul constituents.

Grahn-Bowman said that if Hausman cannot solve people’s problems, she guides them in helpful directions and encourages them to take the right steps needed to solve their community’s issues.

Before she was elected to the State Legislature, Hausman received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, taught elementary school classes for six years and served as a hospital department manager in St. Paul for 12 years.

She said she has a strong feeling she fits her district well.

“You have to feel that the position you are representing at the Legislature represents those of your constituents,” she said.

She said a woman once wrote her a letter saying she feels exactly the same way Hausman feels about many issues.

“That is a positive reason to feel that you are in the right place,” Hausman said.

Hausman said one emphasis of her work is to improve public transportation. She said she is working on formulating a more comprehensive mass transit system.

“There is still a huge amount to be done in the next few years,” she said.

Hausman said her 43-year-old opponent, Warren Anderson of St. Paul, speaks only of personal rapid transit. Hausman said the system should be on the table and studied, but she is more focused on an array of transportation choices, such as investments in roads, mass transit, bus, rail, bicycles and streets.

“We simply have got to have a balanced system of transportation choices,” she said.

Focusing on only one form of transportation is a problem, Housman said, because it’s sometimes difficult to get enough support for only one plan.

Margaret Beegle, a director of Citizens for Personal Rapid Transit, said it’s been a battle to get any legislators to listen to personal rapid transit concerns.

“A lot of these legislators are kind of afraid, because it is new, and they don’t want to be the first to advocate something new,” Beegle said. “If there’s a problem they would be embarrassed.”

Beegle said her group believes it is unrealistic to look at building more highways with the costs involved and personal rapid transit is an effective option for meeting transportation needs.

Gordon Murdock, Bell Museum of Natural History education curator, said he cannot imagine a better voice in the Legislature than Hausman’s.

“I think she values people,” Murdock said. “I think she understands that people are diverse and need to be taken seriously, and I just think she’s awful darn good at it.”