For 59B, go Green

Minn. House Green Party candidate argues he’s better than long-time incumbent Kahn.

by Dan Craigie

My name is Dan Craigie and IâÄôm the Green Party-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 59B. Our district encompasses the entire University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus and the surrounding neighborhoods of Marcy-Holmes, Como, Prospect Park and Cedar-Riverside, along with portions of Seward and Northeast Minneapolis. The district is home to great diversity with an eclectic mix of students, home-owners and a multitude of ethnicities.

I recently had a great conversation with a resident in the Como neighborhood about what I bring to this race that separates me from the other candidates.

This was a great question, and after thinking for a few seconds I answered back, “30 pounds.” This confused him, so I explained further that this is how much weight IâÄôve lost after knocking on over 7,000 doors and talking to thousands of voters in the district since March of 2009. This is what separates me from every other candidate, including the incumbent, DFLer Phyllis Kahn âÄî my unabashed dedication and passion to serve the constituents of this district by talking directly to them.

As a University graduate, I understand the issues surrounding the high costs of tuition and the difficulty of finding a job after graduation. More importantly, however, have been the countless interactions with voters telling me stories of hardship, frustration and feeling like they have no support from the current representative.

My opponent has served in the Legislature for 38 years and is no longer an active advocate for people like you and me.

Consider the following: More than half of the residents in the district are currently enrolled in a higher education institution and yet she does not sit on the Higher Education Committee in the House, where most of the legislation concerning funding for the University originates. At the same time Kahn has neglected this opportunity to lead, tuition at the University has more than doubled since 2000. Of the 72 pieces of legislation she authored this past session, most have not seen the light of day and only one was made into a law that impacted the district directly. As your representative, I will introduce and fight for legislation that increases state funding for higher education institutions in order to avoid tuition increases.

I will work with the district to build a focused legislative agenda that directly addresses the needs of its constituents, and I will follow through on that legislation with the same energy and tenacity that I have shown throughout the past year in meeting with all of you.

As you head to the polls tomorrow, I ask you to join me and the thousands of voters who are supporting the idea of a true representative for this district. I believe I am the only candidate with the passion, energy and experience necessary to advocate for the constituents of 59B the way they deserve.


Dan Craigie wrote this column. Please send comments to [email protected].