Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. She has earned the reputation of an effective, results-driven legislator focused on getting things done that make a real difference in people’s lives.
In the last Congress, Amy distinguished herself as the senator with the most bipartisan bills, and she ranked third for introducing bills that were signed into law. Amy has always sought to stand up for families and workers, find common ground and work to deliver results on our country’s most pressing issues, including lowering prescription drug costs, ensuring quality health care for our veterans, protecting our democracy, and restoring America’s standing in the world.
In the 2022 election, Minnesotans sent a clear message about their values and about who they trust to govern. For the first time in state history, Minnesota has a pro-choice trifecta. Pro-choice women were critical in securing this historic victory.
Tina Smith serves as Junior United States Senator from Minnesota. As someone who believes that politics should be about improving people’s lives, it didn’t take long for her to become active in her community when she moved to Minneapolis to work for General Mills and Planned Parenthood. She started by getting involved in local campaigns—first by taking her two young children in a stroller to talk with voters in apartment complexes, who were often ignored—and then went on to manage multiple political campaigns. Tina served as chief of staff to Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and following that, joined Mark Dayton’s campaign for governor. When he took office in 2011, there was only one person he imagined as his chief of staff: Tina Smith.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Tina would run for office for the first time as Governor Dayton’s running mate. Tina became Minnesota’s 48 th Lieutenant Governor in 2015 and was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2017. She won back-to-back election victories, securing her first 6-year term in November 2020.
Tina believes the best ideas come from those closest to the issues, which is why she has made it a priority to travel across the state to listen to Minnesotans and transform what she’s learned into laws that will help them. Her collaborative approach to leadership has led her to pass over 70 bills and provisions into law that have benefited working families, farmers, veterans, businesses and Tribal communities. Her bipartisan record sets her apart as a leader with a knack for finding solutions to problems that members from both parties can get behind. This work has made health care more affordable and accessible, expanded broadband service across the state and boosted the efforts of schools and teachers to prepare students for in-demand careers.
She also has been a progressive leader fighting for racial justice, women’s reproductive rights and a clean energy future.
Her work has led to the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday, to giving back over 11 thousand acres of land to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and to providing a path to citizenship for Minnesota’s Liberian community. As the only U.S. Senator to have worked for Planned Parenthood, she has been a key leader in the fight to protect women’s right to choose. Additionally, as the country faces the climate crisis, she has risen as a leader in the push for a clean energy future.
Tina currently serves on four Senate committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Indian Affairs. In 2021, she was named Chair of two Senate subcommittees: Housing, Transportation, and Community Development; and Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade.
In the 2022 election, Minnesotans sent a clear message about their values and about who they trust to govern. For the first time in state history, Minnesota has a pro-choice trifecta. Pro-choice women were critical in securing this historic victory.
Growing up in a mobile home park, Angie didn’t expect to end up as an executive at a Fortune 500 company, or to be serving in Congress, but her life experience taught her that hard work and a good education could lead to a better life. One of three kids raised by a single mom who worked while going to school to earn her college degree, Angie worked two jobs to keep up with the cost of her education, and graduated from a state college. She began her career as a newspaper reporter then worked her way up in business over fifteen years to eventually lead a workforce of 16,000 employees for a major Minnesota manufacturer. In Congress, Angie is working to make sure that all families have a path to create a success story like her family achieved. A path to success means having access to high quality public education, affordable college and meaningful, good paying jobs. She is a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, Agriculture Committee and Small Business Committee, and a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
In the 2022 election, Minnesotans sent a clear message about their values and about who they trust to govern. For the first time in state history, Minnesota has a pro-choice trifecta. Pro-choice women were critical in securing this historic victory.
Betty McCollum is the dean of the Minnesota congressional delegation and a trailblazer when in 2000 she was the second woman elected to Congress in Minnesota’s history.
McCollum is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and serves as chair of the Defense Subcommittee with responsibility for providing more than $700 billion in annual funding for the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community. McCollum is also the vice-chair of the Interior-Environment Subcommittee where she has championed funding for environmental justice, protecting public lands, climate resilience, clean air and water, and Native American health care and education.
A tireless champion for women’s reproductive freedom, McCollum is a fierce advocate for abortion rights, comprehensive family planning, and unrestricted access to sexual health services. Internationally, McCollum has advanced legislation to end child marriage, promote the U.S. commitment to family planning, increase funding for maternal and child health for the world’s poorest women.
Throughout her congressional career McCollum has worked to advocate for human rights for all. McCollum knows all too well that women do not possess full equal rights and continues to work for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. McCollum’s record supporting civil rights for all communities, LGBTQ+ rights, and workers’ rights has always put her at the forefront of the struggle for equality and justice.
Betty McCollum is a leader in Congress for Minnesota and an example of effective and determined leadership that reflects the values of equality that Minnesota and all Americans deserve.
Peggy Flanagan is a qualified and effective leader. She is Minnesota’s 50th Lieutenant Governor and a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. She is the first Native American elected statewide in Minnesota and the highest-ranking Native woman elected to executive office in the country. At the center of all her work is advocating and making progress for children, working families, communities of color and Indigenous communities, and Minnesotans who have historically been underserved and underrepresented. She served on the Minneapolis Board of Education before becoming one of the original trainers of Wellstone Action’s signature program Camp Wellstone, where she trained thousands of progressive activists, community organizers, elected officials, and candidates – including Governor Walz. In 2015, Peggy was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving her own community of St. Louis Park, as well as Golden Valley, Plymouth, and Medicine Lake. Peggy brings her experiences of building coalitions and advocating for children and families to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office as she works in close partnership with Governor Tim Walz to build One Minnesota. Peggy lives in her beloved community of St. Louis Park with her husband, Tom, her daughter, Siobhan, and their dog, Reuben.
State Auditor Julie Blaha is serving her first term and is Minnesota’s 19th State Auditor. As State Auditor, she oversees nearly $40 billion in local government finances to ensure transparent, accountable and effective government. Under her leadership, the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) is seeing the largest rebuilding in 18 years, while taking on the additional oversight of CARES Act and ARPA funds.
State Auditor Julie Blaha is a former math teacher who knows firsthand how to help people understand data.
As a labor leader, Auditor Blaha fought for policies that lift all working people. She worked to protect the freedom for working Minnesotans to negotiate a fair return on their work and to pass the 2017 historic, bipartisan pension bill as a member of the Public Employee Pension Coalition.
As chief financial officer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO — the state federation of labor representing more than 1,000 local unions with over 300,000 members — she analyzed budgets and audits to ensure their resources were matched with their goals and values.
And as president of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota, Auditor Blaha worked alongside parents, neighbors, and students to help build the schools Minnesota students deserve, from advancing statewide anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBTQ students to ensuring our schools had effective funding.
In her first term as Duluth’s State Senator, Jen McEwen has advocated for the needs of working people statewide and for her Duluth community, including supporting essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing the cause of universal health care in Minnesota. Senator McEwen has fought to defend and expand reproductive freedom as a Co-Chair of the legislature’s new Reproductive Freedom Caucus, and has also fought for the legislature to meet the moment by taking meaningful action on the climate crisis. McEwen’s roots as a Duluthian run deep. Before their retirements, her mother was a nurse at St. Mary’s and her father was a teacher in the Duluth Public Schools. As a parent of two children in Duluth public schools, Senator McEwen is looking to the future, with an understanding that the choices we make now will not only determine how we come through these times, but will also chart the path for the kind of future we want for ourselves, our children, and the generations to come.
Liz is a mom of three, a Registered Nurse of 20 years and has spent her life ensuring people are cared for. She views her work in the legislature as another way to do just that. In her first term in the Minnesota House, she has emerged as a champion for childcare, democracy and healthcare. She’s committed to building a just and inclusive Minnesota, where everyone has what they need to be cared for, safe and thrive. She knows that the path to reaching this vision requires flipping the Minnesota Senate, which is why she’s stepped up to run for Senate District 25. Liz is a tireless champion for women’s rights and will be a strong leader in the Senate.
Heather is a teacher and community organizer running for Minnesota State Senate to represent Senate District 36. Having worked hard for change in Vadnais Heights, Heather is now driven to bring her voice, and the people’s voice, back to the state Capitol, fighting for a better Minnesota. Having worked as a teacher for over a decade, Heather knows what families have gone through over the past two years. “Families have been left behind, especially those with young children. We need a voice in the legislature focused on raising up our community, our families, and our schools. One that will work to bring good jobs to this district and fight for our community’s needs. The current representation of our area has failed to do that, focusing on issues that do not matter to us, do not keep our kids in school, do not support teachers, do not bring us jobs, and do not keep us safe. It’s time for a change.” Heather is married with four children. She grew up in central Minnesota to become a well-known DJ for K102 until giving up that career to give back and become a teacher. From rural to suburban, Heather understands how important it is to listen and lift the community. She plans to focus on healing what divides us while fighting hard for education, jobs, and our community.
Susan Pha is the SD38 DFL candidate for State Senate. She currently serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Brooklyn Park. She was elected to the City Council in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. She is a Commissioner of the Economic and Development Authority and a Board Member of the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth. For almost 20 years Susan has organized and built community power to uplift women and girls through mentorship, addressing gender inequities, and creating economic opportunities. Susan is known as a leader and champion for youth programs, education and economic opportunities, livable wages, and affordable housing. She is a passionate advocate for access to mental health services, and affordable healthcare. Susan is ready to work and fight hard for policies that improve the lives of the people in her district and across Minnesota.
First elected to the MN House of Representatives in 2016, Mary Kunesh represented District 41B, a first ring suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her first term, she was a founding member of the first Native American and the POCI (People of Color Indigenous) Caucus in the Minnesota House of Representatives. In 2019, she authored and passed legislation to initiate a Missing and Murdered Task Force in MN. She also authored and passed components of the Increase TOCAI (Teachers of Color and American Indian Act), the ERA amendment, the “buttocks” bill, equity funding for our BIE schools, and the first increase in MFIP grants in over 30 years, among others.
Mary was elected to the Minnesota Senate in November 2020 and serves as the Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL Caucus. Senator Kunesh sits on the Education Finance and Policy Committee, the Mining and Forestry Policy Committee, and the Redistricting Committee.
Judy is running for senate in the newly created District 41 which includes the cities of Lake Elmo, Afton, Lakeland, Lake St. Croix Beach, St. Mary’s Point, Lakeland Shores, Cottage Grove, and Hastings, and the townships of Grant, Denmark, and Nininger. She has spent her life dedicated to service and helping others. She is a public school teacher, a paramedic, a member of her local fire department, a lawyer, the wife of a Navy Captain, and a mom. She is also a former city council member and school board member. She understands the dedication and sacrifice which comes with public service. Judy believes strongly in the value of our public schools and will work to ensure Minnesota remains a leader in education. She supports paid family leave and accessible, affordable healthcare. She is a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and believes everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
Bonnie Westlin is a family law attorney and mediator running for the Minnesota Senate in SD42. She will bring her advocacy and negotiation skills to the legislature to support our public education system, create and affordable health care system for all Minnesotans, and pass urgently needed legislation to address the climate crisis. She is a mom and a grandmother, devoted to working for a world where all kids are valued, loved and provided the tools they need for a happy, successful life.
Ann Rest represents Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope, Plymouth, and Robbinsdale in the Minnesota Senate. She served 16 years in the Minnesota House including four years as Tax Committee Chair. She has been in the Senate since 2001 serving as Assistant Majority Leader (2003-2007) and as President Pro Tem (2013-2017). She is the Lead Democrat on the Senate Taxes Committee and serves on the Housing and Rules Committee. She is a member of the Legislative Audit Commission and the Great Lakes Commission and is a founding member of the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus. Ann serves on NCSL’s Task Force on State and Local Government and is the immediate past chair of the Streamline Sales Tax Governing Board. Her legislative interests include tax policy, election law, education funding, transit policy and housing policy. She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and has graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and the University of Minnesota. She taught English at Armstrong High School from 1970 to 1979. She is a retired Certified Public Accountant. In 2016, she authored the Presidential Nomination Primary legislation supported by a broad bipartisan majority of the Legislature. She lives in New Hope and is a long- time member of the League of Women Voters and Rotary. Ann is the lay leader of Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church.
Kelly is a practicing OB-GYN and has spent her career taking care of women’s reproductive health. She has also served as the secretary of the board of Planned Parenthood. She ran for office for the first time in 2018 in the wake of the 2016 presidential election because she wanted to be a voice for science and evidence based policy making and to work to bridge our political divides. She has been a productive lawmaker in Minnesota’s divided legislature, and 23 of her bills have become law. She is a founder and co-chair of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus in the legislature and has been a fierce voice for reproductive justice and the protection of reproductive rights. She has chief-authored multiple bills aimed at protecting and expanding access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare for Minnesotans. Kelly is finishing her second term in the Minnesota House and is now running for the Minnesota Senate in the new district 45.
Nicole Mitchell is a mother, scientist, and veteran running for Senate in district 47. She has spent her entire adult life volunteering with underserved groups, especially with abused and neglected children. As a parent, including to foster children, she believes our public schools need to be fully funded and accessible to all. Additionally, Nicole has almost 30 years of military service, including 16 years as a Hurricane Hunter, flying into dangerous storms to protect the public. Despite experiencing discrimination in the military as a woman, she persevered and is currently a Commander in the National Guard. If elected to the Minnesota Senate, she would be the first female veteran in the Minnesota legislature in over a decade. As a meteorologist, Nicole has studied and educated on climate change, including getting students interested in the sciences. She is committed to protecting the natural beauty of Minnesota.
Dr. Alice Mann
Dr. Alice Mann
Dr. Alice Mann is a family medicine physician, immigrant, mother, and former state Representative running to be the new State Senator in SD50. She moved to the US, from Brazil, when she was 8 years old and dreamed of becoming a doctor. She did her medical training at the Mayo Clinic program in LaCrosse, WI and received her Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. After years of trying to provide medical care in a system that continuously prioritizes profits over patient care, Dr. Mann decided to run for office and unseated a 2-term Republican opponent. She believes that open and honest communication from leaders, leads to trust and community building. She, her husband, and three sons live in Edina, MN.
Melissa Halvorson Wiklund
Melissa Halvorson Wiklund
Senator Melissa H. Wiklund is running for a fourth term in the Minnesota State Senate representing the new Senate District 51, which includes Bloomington, Richfield and Minneapolis. Sen. Wiklund brings her past career experience as an electrical engineer, manager and director in the field of Internet services and telecommunications to her work in the Senate which is an asset in working on information technology and cybersecurity issues as well as providing a sound analytical skillset to evaluate budget and policy proposals. Sen. Wiklund serves on the Health and Human Services Policy and Finance Committee where she is the DFL Senate Lead, the Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee and the Technology Reform Policy Committee. She spent 6 years on the E-12 Education Finance and Policy Committee. Her priorities include improving our early childhood and mental health systems, strengthening our state cybersecurity infrastructure and addressing the needs of our E-12 public education system in Minnesota. Sen. Wiklund is seeking re-election to continue work on budget and policy priorities that improve the lives of young children and families across Minnesota. Sen. Wiklund is a member of the Reproductive Freedom Caucus and has been a strong supporter of protecting and improving women’s access to all forms of reproductive health and abortion care for all her years in the Minnesota Senate.
Senator Lindsay Port was first elected in 2020 to represent Senate District 56 in the State Senate, representing Burnsville, Lakeville, and Savage. Port is a non-profit executive who has spent the last 8 years working to advance progressive values through volunteer work. She is the co-founder and senior advisor of Blueprint Campaigns, which works to increase leadership in politics by underrepresented communities. In the Senate, Senator Port serves on the Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee, Housing Finance and Policy Committee, and Technology and Reform Policy Committee.
Erin Maye Quade
Erin Maye Quade
Erin Maye Quade is a former Minnesota State Representative who was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016. There, she quickly established herself as a candid and fierce advocate for Minnesotans championing paid family leave; expanding access to affordable child care; ending childhood hunger; eliminating gun violence; and investing in treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. She currently serves as the Advocacy Director at Gender Justice, where she work to advance gender justice through public education, strategic partnerships and coalition-building.
Senator Kari Dziedzic was first elected in a special election. Her district includes NE & SE Minneapolis, Cedar Riverside, the Minneapolis Campus of the Univ of MN, and the Augsburg University Campus area. Senator Dziedzic worked as a legal assistant at several law firms while studying engineering at the Univ of MN. She then went on to work as Executive Assistant to Sen Paul Wellstone in DC. She has also worked in the private sector for communications companies and was a Senior Policy Aid for the Hennepin County Board prior to her election to the Senate. As minority lead on the Housing Committee, Sen Dziedzic has fought to increase affordable housing options across MN, close the homeownership disparity gap, and improve tenant rights. As a member of the Tax Committee, she has advocated for a fair tax system that lifts up those still struggling to recover from the pandemic. Senator Dziedzic is working to ensure all Minnesotans have the opportunity to succeed regardless of where they live or what they look like.
Zaynab is a working class immigrant and policy advocate, running to represent South Minneapolis in the Minnesota Senate. Through her experiences supporting her family and navigating government services, Zaynab is acutely aware of the government’s ability to impact lives. As a policy aide for the City of Minneapolis and as the Community Advocacy Director at the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Zaynab has advocated for stronger protections for renters, public safety and police accountability, and support for small businesses.
As Zaynab Mohamed runs to be the first black woman elected to the Minnesota Senate, she is focused on eliminating the educational achievement gap, expanding health care, and doing everything we can to combat climate change. She is a strong advocate for the most vulnerable in the community and will push everyday to have a government that works for us all.
Erin Murphy is a Registered Nurse and the former executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association. She was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2006 where she served as the Majority Leader in 2013-2014. In 2018, Murphy ran for governor, earning the support of Women Winning and the DFL endorsement. Murphy was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2020, representing Senate District 64, which covers the westernmost neighborhoods of Saint Paul. Murphy attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, graduating with her B.S. in nursing and later earned an M.A. in organizational leadership in health care at the College of St. Catherine, where she currently teaches. Erin is married to Joe Faust. They have twin daughters. She believes deeply in a politics to improve the lives of people. She loves her work.
Clare Oumou Verbeten
Clare Oumou Verbeten
Clare Oumou Verbeten is an organizer, a public servant, and a fighter for justice. Clare is running to represent District 66 – Saint Paul, Roseville, Falcon Heights, and Lauderdale – in the Minnesota Senate. Clare is the proud daughter of Rama and Hans, a Senegalese immigrant and a 2nd generation Dutch American. Clare grew up in Roseville, graduated from Roseville Area Public Schools and currently serves as the Chair of the Roseville Area Schools Foundation. She works for the City of Saint Paul and lives in the beautiful Como neighborhood with her husband, Garrison, and their Goldendoodle, Honey. Clare is running to build a community that is safe for all. She will bring bold leadership in the Minnesota Senate that puts the fight for racial justice and human dignity at the center of everything we do.
Mandy Meisner became an Anoka County Commissioner in 2019 becoming the first woman in this seat and the first person of color on the Anoka County Board. Mandy’s background is community service and the arts. She is a connector, collaborator and creative at heart! For over a decade she served a variety of local non-profits and community initiatives, advocating on their behalf, including women’s issues like workforce development and violence against women. She continues to be active in the community.
Laurie Halverson is currently serving as Dakota County Commissioner from District 3 representing the communities of Eagan, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake and Lilydale. She serves as the chair of the Community Services Committee of county board, and represents Dakota County on numbers regional and statewide boards including—the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Inter-County Association, MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Association) Board of Trustees, and the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Commission. Prior to being elected to the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, she served 4 terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. As a legislator, she was recognized as a leader on critical legislation to support working families and healthy communities. Laurie also worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota in public affairs, advancing public health policy initiatives. She is an active community volunteer who has served as chair of the Eagan Parks Commission and secretary of the Eagan Foundation Board of Directors. She continues to volunteer throughout the community at local schools, the Open Door food pantry and local arts organizations. Laurie graduated with a degree in Political Science from St. Catherine University and attended the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She lives in Eagan with her husband, teenaged son and two dogs.
Irene currently serves as Hennepin County Commissioner for District 2, which includes Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, southeast Plymouth, St. Anthony, North Minneapolis, Northeast Minneapolis, and the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis. Irene was elected to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in November of 2018. Together, she and Commissioner Angela Conley (District 4) were the first people of color elected to the County Board in Hennepin’s 169-year history. She is the youngest woman to serve in this position, and she is the first Filipino-American elected in the state of Minnesota. Before joining the County Board, Irene worked in not-for-profit and corporate settings, and she instructed college courses. Her expertise is in youth development, social entrepreneurship, shared leadership models, talent development, and systems change. Irene studied at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master of Education in Youth Development Leadership, and she is also currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Human Resource Development. Irene lives in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis with her partner Kent. She loves this community and can often be found out on her front porch chatting with her neighbors or cheering on the Minnesota Lynx!
Commissioner Marion Greene represents District 3 (all of St. Louis Park, SW Minneapolis west of 35W, and most of downtown Minneapolis) on the Hennepin County Board. She currently serves as Chair of the Board, chosen by her colleagues for the last four years. Marion’s recent accomplishments include chairing the board during a global pandemic and time of significant civil unrest and change, guiding the county to develop its first ever Climate Action Plan, building consensus around the allocation of $500 million in federal relief funding, participating in negotiations to secure $1 billion in federal funds to support regional transit, and championing myriad programs to successfully expand our regional supply of deeply affordable housing. Before serving on the board Marion was in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Marion’s career before elected office spanned the non-profit and private sectors. She was a leader in health policy and economics for med tech giants Boston Scientific and Abbott, and previous to that worked in brand management at General Mills. Before graduate school she worked for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the Clinton-Gore ‘96 campaign. In her free time Marion enjoys travel, the great outdoors, and weeding in her new garden. She is married to Bart Cannon, a retired public school teacher, and is adoring stepmom to two brilliant and beautiful stepdaughters.
Angela Conley is a proven leader who has a track record of crafting policies that improve the well-being of our most marginalized residents. From declaring racism as a public health crisis, infusing new funds into maternal and infant health, or prioritizing the voices of those most impacted in the journey towards climate justice in our communities, Angela Conley has accomplished these things and more in just one term. Over the next four years Commissioner Conley will focus on achieving greater outcomes in home ownership for BIPOC residents and continue to lead on maternal and infant health outcomes and impacts. Commissioner Conley is a mom of four and understands the complexities of policy-making while parenting while supporting all efforts in Minnesota that protect our right to choose.
Trista MatasCastillo is a mother, a wife, a veteran, and a vocal and effective advocate. Over her career, she has tirelessly spoken out for important issues like affordable housing, homelessness, mental health, disability services, autism research, urban agriculture and veterans services. Trista joined the United States Navy at 17, and served on active duty for 16 years. She is one a only a handful who have served in three branches of the service, both as an enlisted person and as an officer the Navy-Marine Corps and the Army National Guard. Trista often served as the only or first woman in each of her duty assignments and was the first woman to serve as Commander of the 34th Military Police Company. After her military service, Trista became a community organizer and policy leader for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, where she developed government relationships as an advocate for affordable housing. During this time she helped found the Homes for ALL Coalition, working to increase funding for the entire housing continuum. She has served on the Ramsey County Board since 2019, and was elected Chair in 2022.
Candidate Rena Moran for Ramsey County Commissioner of District 4 is the current Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means in the Minnesota House of Representatives. In 2010, Rena Moran became the first African American to represent District 65A. As a legislator, she has focused on protecting children in the child welfare system, strengthening schools, reducing educational disparities, and fighting for affordable housing, economic opportunity for all, and women’s rights. Rep. Moran formerly served as Chair of the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee, House Deputy Minority Leader, and was the founding Chair of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and the United Black Legislative Caucus (UBLC). She currently serves on the Governor’s Executive Council for Young Women Initiative and the Governor’s Council on Justice Reinvestment. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University and was recently the Director of Prevention Initiatives and Parent Leadership at Prevent Child Abuse MN dba Minnesota Communities Caring for Children.
In 2020 Rep. Moran was recognized for her leadership by receiving several awards including:
- Twin Cities Business, Top 100 People to Know in 2021
- MN Physician, top 100 influential Health Care Leaders
- NAMI Minnesota, Legislator of the Year Award
- Nancy Latimer 2020 Legislative Champion Award – Early Childhood Education Award
- St. Paul YWCA Changemaker Honoree
Rena Moran is a proud mother of seven children.
Karla Bigham was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in February of 2018 in a Special Election and re-elected in 2020. She currently serves on the Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Local Government Committee. Additionally, Sen. Bigham is the ranking minority lead on Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee. She previously served on the Environment Finance, Human Service Policy and Finance Reform, and the Veterans Affairs Committees. Bigham served on the Washington County Board of Commissioners from 2015 until being elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2018. Bigham served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2007 until 2011. She was the Vice Chair of the Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee, and served on the Public Safety Finance, State Government Finance, and Veteran Affairs Committees. From 2005 until 2007, Karla served on the Cottage Grove City Council. Prior to serving on the city council, she chaired the Cottage Grove Public Safety, Health, and Welfare Commission. Additionally, Karla was chair of the Cottage Grove Charter Commission and was a member of the Cottage Grove Environmental Commission. Karla obtained a Master of Public Affairs Degree from the University of Minnesota. She received her Bachelor’s Degree as a paralegal, with minors in sociology and political science from Winona State University in 2001. She is a proud graduate of Park High School in Cottage Grove. Karla currently works as a paralegal in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in the Child Protection Division. Senator Bigham and her husband, John, are residents of Cottage Grove.
April Graves was born and grew up in St. Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood. She is the third born of a family of five siblings. April became a mother as a teen but was resilient, continued in school and became the first in her family to graduate and go on to college to obtain a degree. She graduated from Metropolitan State University and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Social Science in 2010. She also received the Outstanding Student Award from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Recognition of Excellence Award from the Metropolitan State University Foundation and gave the keynote speech at graduation. April Graves has been serving as a City Councilmember in Brooklyn Center, MN since January 2015, when she became the first woman of color ever elected to the council. April Graves has worked in youth outreach and engagement in Minneapolis, academic tutoring and mentorship through AmeriCorps, and currently as Public Health Specialist focusing on Youth and Community Violence Prevention at the Minneapolis Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention. She teaches donation-based yoga classes in her community, is a certified reiki healer, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) trainer, racial equity workshop facilitator and is the mother of four children. April’s work has focused on economic and racial equity, creating safe and healthy communities, and ensuring marginalized voices are part of the decision-making process. She prides herself on being the builder of bridges across differences and the spreader of hope and positivity in the face of adversity.
Amáda Márquez Simula
Amáda Márquez Simula
Amáda Márquez Simula is running for re-election as Mayor of Columbia Heights, MN, a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. Amáda will continue to represent our diverse communities by connecting across generations and cultures. Meeting people where they’re at and listening, supporting, and working with people as their needs arise. She centers her Mayoral work on health, safety, and 21st-century strategies to bring services to the community. In addition, Amáda brings a positive outlook to local government, welcoming families, individuals, and the public to council meetings and to Mayoral Town Hall Zoom meetings so that everyone knows they are welcome and important to the city of Columbia Heights, MN.
Kim Norton is first female elected as Mayor in Rochester – Minnesota’s 3rd largest city. She retired from the Minnesota Legislature in 2016 after ten years where she represented NE/NW Rochester and, prior to that, served on the Rochester School Board for 8 years. Norton won a two-year Bush Foundation Fellowship in 2016 which included completion of an MPA from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School focusing policy, leadership and sustainable energy. She recently completed an Executive Certificate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She is the proud owner of two electric vehicles and purchases solar and hydro power as energy sources for her home.
Richfield At-Large Council Member Mary Supple is running for Mayor of Richfield. Supple is an active local leader and was a teacher in Richfield Public Schools for 33 years. She currently serves on the City Council and is chair of the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Council Member Supple was active as a local union leader in Education Richfield serving as local president as well as lead contract negotiator. She was also a member of the Education Minnesota Governing Board, a member of the National Education Association Board of Directors, and a trustee of the Minnesota Teacher Retirement Association. Supple is excited about the future of Richfield and wants to work together with residents to dream about and build the future of our thriving community.
Emily currently works as the Data Privacy Manager for a publicly-traded corporation. She believes all of us have a right to privacy and to have our personal information protected. Emily analyzes state and federal privacy laws and develops policies to protect our clients’ personal data. She also values government openness. Previously, Emily was the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Data Practices Compliance Officer, responsible for ensuring its employees faithfully complied with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. Emily’s MBA is from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Lori Saroya is a proud resident of Blaine and a candidate for Blaine City Council, Ward 1. Lori and her husband have lived in Blaine for 17 years ago and are raising their three children, ages 11, 6, and 2. She has spent the past seven years serving on the Blaine Charter Commission. Lori is the daughter of immigrants who came to the United States in the late 1960s. Her family settled in rural Iowa and she moved to Minnesota to attend St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Lori earned her Juris Doctor from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Lori is committed to service and community. In addition to being a Blaine Charter Commissioner, she served on the Minnesota Judicial Branch Committee for Equality and Justice, St. Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Board of Directors, and the Alumni Board of Mitchell Hamline School of Law. As a nonprofit leader, Lori has spent her entire career empowering communities to learn, grow and succeed together. She is committed to building a safe and inclusive Blaine where everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
I am not a politician, I am someone who loves people and a believer in public service. Brooklyn Park is a one-of-a kind city, a wonderful place to live, and is growing. I’m running for City Council to use my skills and experience to ensure we work together in building our future. I believe that women need to be represented in all levels of government and need to be at the table where decisions are made. As a mother and grandmother, and with years in social service work I have a unique perspective on what impacts our community and in how to build consensus.
Rachel grew up in rural Minnesota on a small dairy farm with a big family. She moved to Columbia Heights in 2010 with her husband Leo and their 2 children. She immediately fell in love with this small town in the big city! Columbia Heights has all the opportunities for connection and community service as her hometown, along with the diversity and opportunities of an urban center. Rachel has worked at First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights for 8 years as the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries. You can find her most days walking around Silverwood Park with her family or visiting the Columbia Heights Library for a good science fiction book.
Therese Kiser is running for re-election to Crystal City Council, Ward I. She was first elected in 2018 and wants to continue the work during a second term. Therese is a long time Crystal resident and has been involved in her community in many ways. She has volunteered for many organizations. Currently, she serves on the Community Board of the New Hope YMCA and is Vice-president of the Crystal Historical Society. Therese and her husband, Randy, have been married for 35 years, they have two grown sons and love to travel.
Kristy has developed a vibrant, strong family of supporters through years of service to her community. She is your neighbor who answers the call to service and works hard for you in many capacities. Whether serving as treasurer on her home owner’s association board, as church council VP, as a leader in the American Legion and Rotary, she has deep ties to the community. Her Ph.D. in design and sustainability give her an evidence-based approach to policy making, which she has used in her day job at Hennepin County. She is ready to hit the ground running as a new city council member in Maple Grove.
Carly Johnson was elected to the Oak Park Heights City Council in 2018 and while in office, she has had an active role as the Parks Commission Liaison, helping start the City’s first community garden, community events, and trail expansion efforts. Outside of the City Council, Carly is an attorney at Maslon LLP and graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2021.
Mia Z Parisian has spent most of her life in Robbinsdale. Mia’s mom raised her and her siblings in a little blue house with a red door in Ward 3. Mia attended Robbinsdale schools, and her first job was with the Parks and Recreation Department. She graduated from St. Olaf College and moved abroad to teach at a University in Southeast Asia. Upon returning home to Robbinsdale, she now works as an Instructional Designer and lives with her husband in that very same blue house with the red door in Ward 3. She is passionate about inclusion, the environment, and representation. Mia serves as the Chair of Robbinsdale’s Planning Commission. Robbinsdale has never had more than one woman serve on its City Council at one time. Mia is now the only woman on the Robbinsdale City Council ballot and looks forward to serving her community in a new and impactful way.
Wendy Berry was first elected to the West St. Paul City Council to represent Ward 3 of the city in 2018, where she became the first openly queer person and only the six non-male to serve in the city’s history giving her the opportunity to her voice for people that have been historically underrepresented. She has spent the last four years working diligently on building a strong and resilient community where people are proud to live. Outside of their city council time, Wendy serves as the Director of HR for a non-profit focused on equitable health care access for people running into barriers due to their identity as gender, sexual, and/or racial minorities or their health status. They also serve as a member of the League of Minnesota Cities’ Board of Directors, on the South Metro Fire Board, as the council liaison to the city’s Park & Recreation Advisory Committee, and several other committees that have continued to make positive changes in West St. Paul and the surrounding areas. They genuinely believe West St. Paul is a vibrant and thriving community and is committed to making sure it stays that way for everyone.
Robin Wonsley is the first Black independent socialist in Minneapolis City Council history. Her numerous achievements include the budget allocation of $1.6 million to fund working-class residents’ priorities, leading the creation of a new Office of Community Safety in response to ongoing police violence, created a $300k abortion access fund and leveraged county support for an additional $500k, and won unprecedented opportunities public engagement in the city’s contract negotiations with police unions.
She has consistently collaborated with her colleagues without compromising the strong values that put her in office. Robin has pushed Minneapolis to explore municipal sidewalk plowing, voted for 24-hour dedicated bus lanes, and has been a vocal advocate for the East Phillips Farm Project. She has led the push for a strong rent control policy and condemned the city’s inhumane responses to homelessness. Robin authored and unanimously passed a Resolution of Support for striking educators and Starbucks workers, hosted a fundraiser to support the Minneapolis educators’ strike fund, walked the picket line with workers, and co-authored a resolution increasing paid parental leave for all 4,000 city employees.
LaTrisha Vetaw is the current Minneapolis City Council Member for Ward 4. She is running for re-election because she believes Northsiders deserve a Council Member who listens and puts residents’ voices first at City Hall. She’s worked on the Northside for nearly two decades, previously serving as the Director of Health Policy and Advocacy at NorthPoint Health & Wellness, and as the Vice President and Chair of the Intergovernmental and Legislative Committee on the Minneapolis Park Board. Her top priorities as the Ward 4 City Council Member are public safety and police reform, increased livability in Minneapolis, and Northside economic development. During her first term, LaTrisha has already been instrumental in helping select the new Commissioner of Public Safety and new Police Chief, and secured $300k in funding for lighting improvements on the Northside and $1 million for community violence prevention efforts. She is looking forward to continuing to serve and support residents in Ward 4 and across Minneapolis.
Katie is a sustainability leader, a renter, and a community organizer, who is running to be the next City Council member to represent Ward 7 in Minneapolis. Katie has spent her career fighting for environmental justice both in Minnesota and across the world. While working at the United Nations, she focused on helping cities make implementable policies to improve urban health and environmental standards. Katie founded Climate Action Academy to implement climate education in schools and teach leadership skills across the world. Currently she works at the Minnesota Center of Environmental Advocacy, where she works in partnership to uphold the laws and regulations that keep our water and air clean for all. Katie is committed to leading Minneapolis through its green transition to a safer, healthier, more vibrant place to live and work. Katie is running to ensure our city doesn’t fall back into complacency, citizens of Minneapolis are ready for more equity in our policy making and she is ready to deliver.
Andrea Jenkins is currently the president of the Minneapolis City Council and represents the 8th Ward in South Minneapolis. Jenkins is the first Black transgender woman to be elected to public office in the United States and continues to be the only Black transgender woman elected in the country.
Aisha Chughtai is a renter, immigrants rights activist, labor organizer, and eldest daughter to a Muslim immigrant family. She has the honor of serving as Councilmember for Minneapolis’ Ward 10. When she first ran, she promised to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with working-class people and ensure their voices are heard. She promised to work towards building a safe and vibrant community. And that’s just what she’s done: from her work expanding the behavioral crisis response program and to getting $300,000 in the Mayor’s budget for abortion access. Aisha is running for re-election because while she has fought to truly put us on the path to a safer, more just Minneapolis, and has achieved so much in her first sixteen months, she also knows there is so much more to do. Aisha knows that when we build power together, we can truly make this ward and this city safe for all of our neighbors. Aisha is fighting to build a city and a ward where everyone has what they need to thrive, a Minneapolis that honors people’s dignity and demonstrates that a safer, better world is possible.
Emily Koski is the Minneapolis City Council Member for Ward 11 and is running for re-election in the 2023 Minneapolis Municipal Elections. Ward 11 is located in South Central Minneapolis and includes the Tangletown, Windom, Field, Page, Diamond Lake, Northrop, Hale, Keewaydin, and Wenonah neighborhoods. Emily Koski is the DFL Endorsed Candidate in the race for Minneapolis City Council Member for Ward 11. Emily Koski was originally elected in the 2021 Minneapolis Municipal Elections. Before she was elected, Ward 11 hadn’t been represented by a woman in 20+ years. Emily Koski is dedicated to showing current and future generations of women that they can and should run for elected offices, because they can and will win. Emily Koski is a lifelong Minneapolis resident, a mother to 2 young kids, involved in her local community, and a long-time leader and advocate. She is a thoughtful, passionate leader on the Minneapolis City Council. She is dedicated to representing the values and the voices of Ward 11 on the Minneapolis City Council. Emily Koski’s top priorities include public services and infrastructure, public safety, affordable housing, economic growth, climate and public health, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Aurin is a first-generation Bengali-American, the daughter of working-class immigrants, organizer, renter, and experienced policy aide. She is running to fight for working families, deliver progressive change,, and work collaboratively to move the city forward. Aurin spent her early years growing up on the Southside, went to Minneapolis Public Schools, and developed a deep appreciation for the community. She has always been passionate about public service and community building because she believes that the community has the power to create the world they deserve. She is running because Ward 12 deserves an experienced and thoughtful progressive leader.
Aurin is a dedicated public servant. has spent years shaping public policy and building inclusive coalitions – first at the office of Senator Kari Dziedzic and now as a Policy Aide at the City of Minneapolis. In her time at city hall, she has developed policies to combat wage theft, expand affordable housing for students, and deliver funding for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences have provided her with a strong understanding of what it takes to get things done for residents of Minneapolis and the importance of delivering excellent constituent services. She has a strong record of public service and advocacy and is ready to bring that experience to fight for everyone at city hall.
Linea Palmisano has been a champion for Minneapolis as the 13th Ward Council Member for the last nine years. Council Vice President Palmisano knows our city must work better for everyone – no matter where we come from. Council VP Palmisano graduated from Notre Dame (Bachelor of Science), University of Minnesota (MBA), and St. Thomas (Non-Profit Management). Before being elected, her professional career included fifteen years in the private sector working for IBM and UnitedHealth Group, and volunteering in executive capacities for her community. During her two and a half terms on the City Council, Council VP Palmisano has made genuine progress on the issues that matter, whether it be working to innovate our core city services, protecting the rights of workers, managing the city budget, or transforming public safety, she is deeply committed to Minneapolis. A particular policy passion are things that touch women’s rights and issues. Outside of City Hall, Council VP Palmisano lives in Linden Hills with her spouse and two young children, and has lived in her community for 24 years. Local government is personal to Council VP Palmisano. Minneapolis has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years and she brings a vision of pragmatic progressivism to City Hall each day. Council VP Palmisano listens to every voice, respects opposing views, understands the issues and pushes for lasting change in our city. When re-elected, Council Vice President Palmisano’s voice will center on advancing government accountability, combating economic inequity, and continued transformation of our public safety system.
Meet Anika Bowie, a dynamic candidate for Saint Paul City Council Ward 1 who’s building a community, not a campaign. As a former trailblazer pro-choice candidate, Anika brings a wealth of experience and a passion for transformative leadership. Hailing from the historic Rondo community, Anika is deeply connected to her roots and committed to improving people’s lives through local change. With a background in social entrepreneurship and arts for social change, she understands the transformative power of community organizing. Having worked on grassroots campaigns for over a decade, Anika has built connections with voters and advocated for progressive candidates nationwide. She is determined to be a voice for her community, listening to their concerns and amplifying their voices. With a strong focus on community safety, access to government services, healing arts, and community wealth building, Anika’s values align with the aspirations of the people she aims to represent. Her personal experiences, including overcoming adversity and navigating systems of injustice, have shaped her into a resilient leader who empathizes with the challenges faced by her constituents. Anika is energized and ready to tackle complex problems with an equity lens and compassion for all, working towards a brighter future for the Ward 1 family.
Rebecca Noecker is a Saint Paul City Council member running for re-election to represent Ward 2 which includes the West Side, downtown, and portions of the W. 7th Street, Railroad Island and Summit Hill neighborhoods. Rebecca is a graduate of Harvard College and a former middle school science teacher. She lives with her husband, Shane, and their two sons, Whitman and Fitzgerald, on St. Paul’s West Side where they enjoy biking, reading and playing video games.
Saura Jost is a mom, engineer, and long-time community leader. From organizing the Central High School Young Democrats to elect Amy Klobuchar to her first term in the Senate to serving as a Women Winning Political Leaders of Tomorrow participant for former State Senator Ann Johnson-Stewart to serving on her community council, Saura has a lifetime of rolling up her sleeves with her neighbors to make positive change. As a civil engineer, Saura brings a range of technical expertise on infrastructure and project management that will make her an outstanding addition to the St. Paul City Council.
Mitra Jalali is the Councilmember for Ward 4 Saint Paul, which includes the neighborhoods of Merriam Park, Union Park, Raymond-University, Saint Anthony Park, Hamline-Midway, and parts of Como and Mac-Groveland. Mitra was first elected in a special election on August 14, 2018 and re-elected for a full term in 2019, running on a platform of affordable housing and renter protections, building community wealth, community-first public safety, and climate action/sustainability.
In her first four years on the Council, Mitra has led the work to implement a comprehensive tenant protections strategy for Saint Paul, including rent stabilization; championed and supported the creation of thousands of new homes across the city at all income levels; worked closely with community to create an expanded public safety strategy with alternative 911 responders and key investments in people for greater stability; secured millions in public funding in neighborhoods experiencing commercial displacement; and fought for sustainable city policies and practices that address the climate crisis. In her first term as a Councilwoman, she has been recognized by both the City Pages and the Star Tribune for her clear and consistent leadership through multiple concurrent crises in state and city history. She is running for re-election to continue leading the fight for lasting progress in Saint Paul.
Hwa Jeong Kim
Hwa Jeong Kim
Hwa Jeong Kim is an organizer, Korean American, non-profit executive director, former Legislative Aide, and proud North End resident. She is running to represent Ward 5 because she believes in a Saint Paul with healthy homes, neighborhood jobs, clean air, community safety, and transportation options that meet our changing needs. Hwa Jeong served Ward 5 residents and represented shared values on the Saint Paul Planning Commission and its Zoning Committee. As a Legislative Aide for Ward 5, she organized alongside communities to fight for progressive policies that protect our most marginalized neighbors.
Hwa Jeong has spent the last several years working to elect progressive women, women of color, and LGBTQIA2+ women to offices that represent our communities. She’s worked tirelessly, visibly and behind the scenes, to see our shared values represented in places of power. Over the last several years, she knocked on thousands of doors in the Ward and listened to our neighbors on the issues that matter to them most. She knows that by earning each other’s trust, we can achieve the future we are urgently building together when we are clear on shared solutions.
She is the executive director of Minnesota Voice, a non-profit focused on voting rights, voting access, civic engagement, and education.
In 2019, Nelsie Yang became the first Hmong American woman and youngest person elected to the Saint Paul City Council. As the Council Member for Ward 6 in Saint Paul, she has provided strong constituent services and advanced policy to improve the lives of everyday working people. Nelsie Yang is a new mom, and one of her favorite hobbies is going on walks with her son and husband.
Cheniqua is running to be the positive, community focused leader that is our collective voice for all east siders. During the day, Cheniqua is a program officer at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. She reviews grants in health, civic engagement, and domestic violence prevention. Cheniqua also serves on the East Side Funders Group, City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR Board, Nexus Community Partners Black Community Trust Fund, and aided as an East Side representative on the Saint Paul Police Chief Examining Committee. Cheniqua’s history working in public service and ability to govern spans from almost a decade of experience in Minnesota, St. Paul, and Washington DC. Cheniqua graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Family Social Science. Cheniqua has worked at every level of government and has also been a staffer, intern, or organizer for some of our favorite DFL’ers including Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Al Franken, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and Commissioners Angela Conley and Rena Moran. Most recently, Cheniqua was the former State DFL Party Outreach & Inclusion Officer.
As an experienced political organizer and philanthropic leader, Cheniqua has spent her career advocating for what will continue to be her top priorities: housing, climate and green space, public safety, and economic development. Cheniqua has the relationships and ability to govern and lead the East Side. If elected, Cheniqua would be the first Black woman elected to City Council since 2007 following Mrs. Debbie Montgomery. Cheniqua would be the 2nd Black woman in our city’s history.
Wendy Durrwachter is a composer who has worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years. Durrwachter originally came to Duluth for the outdoors but quickly fell in love with the community and opportunities available here. Her passion is music, and she was able to pursue her passion while a single mother of two, working two to three jobs to afford rent. She has now composed several musical works that have been performed across the Northland and the country. We all know this wouldn’t be possible for a single, working mother in other cities.
Wendy’s entry into political action came in 2016 when she stepped up volunteering with Duluth for Clean Water to protect our watershed and drinking water, joining the boards of the Senate District 8 and Duluth DFL to elect progressive leaders, joining the planning team for the MLK day rally, and serving on the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Grant Panel to foster Duluth’s community of artists.
She lives in the Lakeside neighborhood with her cats Poofy & Maude. Her adult children are pursuing education and careers in the Twin Cities.
Janet is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin Superior earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies combining skills in communications, psychology, health promotions, and social work. She also earned degrees: Associate of Applied Science (Physical Therapy Assistant), Associate of Arts Liberal Arts), Associate of Science (Corrections). Proprietor/Principal Director of Operations Healthy Alliances Matter LLC Company, building community impact investments through community collaborations for improved social, economic, and health factors for everyone. Founder/Executive Director of Health Equity Northland dba Healthy Alliances Matter for All non-profit. Trained in Real Estate Development Initiative (REDI) program through the Urban Land Institute in St Paul MN. Retired as Program Director/Director of Rehabilitation for PT, OT, and Speech. Worked twenty-five years as a Physical Therapy Assistant in a vast range of clinical settings, including as a traveling practitioner. She serves with the Arrowhead Parish Nurse Association as the Parish Nurse/Community Health Coordinator for St Mark AME Church and the Central/East Hillside neighborhoods. Trained in conflict resolution and Results Based Accountability strategies, she is passionate about and served as staff/steering committee member for the Health in All Policies Campaign, (HiAP) worked to ensure that policies within local governance units are creating and fostering opportunities for health and fairness for everyone. Janet is serving her first term on the Duluth City Council as the President. As a life-long resident of Western Duluth she is honored to serve her community. She has two children, nine grandchildren, a dog named Teddy and is caregiving for her elderly mother Annie with dementia. She believes a community will prosper when everyone is walking on even ground and that she is her ancestor’s wildest dreams.
Council Member Nadia Mohamed has served as at large B council member since 2020. Mohamed is a 17-year resident of St. Louis Park. As a four-year member of the St. Louis Park Multicultural Advisory Committee, Mohamed participated in strategic planning and implementation efforts to connect various communities within St. Louis Park. That work resulted in Mohamed being named a co-recipient of the St. Louis Park Human Rights Award in 2019 and helped her to understand what could be achieved through civic activity.
Mohamed earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Metropolitan State University and is currently getting her master’s in educational leadership at St.Thomas University. Mohamed has spent her career in public service. She has worked as a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) specialist at a local public school and currently works at a state agency doing DEI work. In her spare time, she spends time with her family and loves to travel.
Wendy Webster is deeply invested and committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive community of St. Anthony Village. Wendy and her husband Seth have lived in St. Anthony since 1999 and, in 2012, were lucky to become a family of four. The community of St. Anthony Village warmly welcomed their children and her goal every day is to ensure new residents and young families feel they are welcomed into and valued in her community too. Wendy serves as the Director of Community Services and Communications for the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District since 2008 where she leads with empathy and integrity to inspire and create an equitable community for all families. Wendy is proud to live, work and serve in her community of St. Anthony Village.
In 2019 Shanon Nowell was elected to the Saint Peter City Council to represent the city’s north ward. In 2021 she became the second woman mayor of the city—exactly 100 years after Lillien Cox Gualt was elected mayor of Saint Peter to become the first woman mayor in Minnesota. Shanon loves the vibrant diversity of her community and works diligently to represent ALL Saint Peter residents. She is passionate about native plants and cares deeply about issues of equity that impact all aspects of life in greater Minnesota. In addition to her work as Mayor, Shanon has spent the last 17 years of her career working in higher education. She is a dedicated and prolific volunteer, and has served on many boards, committees, and commissions within her community.
Lona Dallessandro is running for re-election to Bloomington’s City Council after successfully winning the District III election in 2021. As council member, she represents the city as a board member of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and as a steering committee member for the MN Cities Climate Coalition. Lona earned her BS in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix. She has worked for many years in both a professional and personal capacity to improve outcomes for the businesses and people for whom she has worked. Over her 20+ year career, she has held a variety of executive positions in the telecommunications and cloud software industries, and currently directs product management for Paladin, a public benefit corporation that is increasing access to justice by enabling attorneys to do more pro bono work for clients around the world. She lives in Bloomington with her wife, Sarah, and in her free time enjoys nature photography, travel, SCUBA diving, and transforming her yard into a haven for pollinators.
Sophia is a dedicated advocate for a welcoming, sustainable, and secure Golden Valley. With a vision for the future, Sophia aims to make decisions today that will benefit the city for years to come. Her priorities include resilient and sustainable infrastructure, housing choice, and well-maintained parks and trails. With almost 20 years of experience in community affairs, Sophia is a seasoned public sector leader. She has successfully overseen some of the most challenging infrastructure projects in Minnesota. Through her career, Sophia has consistently worked to improve public processes and amplify the community’s voice in government decision-making.
Keri Johnson is a Council Member in St. Peter who is seeking re-election for a 2nd term. She is passionate about shaping public policy for the common good and is grateful to serve the City of Saint Peter and the region. Her approach to the work involves listening, relationship building, courage, and vision. Johnson is rooted in her community and is passionate about its long-term vitality and sustainability. She deeply understands that the decisions that are made now, have impacts for generations. She is committed to being a champion for reproductive rights. In her capacity as City Council Member, that means preventing any erosion of rights that could be determined at the local level and improving systems, policies, and ordinances that create barriers to quality of life, access to quality and affordable healthcare, housing, healthy food, and childcare, work opportunities, etc. All of these issues are interconnected and as a City Council Member, Johnson hopes to continue to do this important work, improve policies, and make a positive difference in her community and for her constituents.
Jenna Carter brings fifteen years of experience working across sectors to advance healthy communities and equity with an emphasis on policy and systems changes. She is an at-large council member in Bloomington, MN representing over 90,000 residents. She is also the Associate Executive Director of Mission and Strategy at the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, leading the organization’s social services, community programming, and public policy efforts. Jenna was recently named a Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree and is also a Humphrey Policy Fellow alumni. She has a Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelors in Nutritional Science from Iowa State University. Jenna is a wife and a mom of Dylan (12) and Evelyn (9) and in her free time loves traveling, reading, and running.
Lona Doolan is an active volunteer in St. Anthony Village and Hennepin County. Her passions are centered around helping seniors in her community, helping kids explore nature, and caring for the natural world around us.
Her background is in Financial Management. She worked as a financial analyst in a financial investment company. The last 10 years she worked in strategic planning where she evaluated and helped prioritize technology investments. Using her analytical skills, she has brought in over $100K in environmental grants for St. Anthony Village schools, churches, and the city’s popular organics collection site.
Lona currently serves as a Parks & Environmental Commissioner in St. Anthony Village and as a Citizens Advisor to the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. She has served as an election judge since 2000 and for the past 10 years has served as Head Judge in Hennepin Precinct 2.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Planning, Analysis and Process Improvement from the University of Minnesota while working and parenting full-time. She started volunteering in St. Anthony’s school system in 2003, when her daughter first started kindergarten, and she continues to work with students, helping younger ones learn to explore and care for nature, and older students learn about climate change, renewable energy, and climate actions. Lona also volunteers as a Minnesota Master Naturalist. She received the 2022 President’s Gold Volunteer Service award for 600 hours in service to her community.
Kissy Coakley was elected to the Minnetonka City Council in 2019. She is the first African American woman to serve on the council. Kissy graduated from Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Criminal Justice. She has consistently advocated for positive reforms to the criminal justice system that rehabilitate people to productive lives vs. keeping them trapped in a costly cycle of perpetual punishment and incarceration. Kissy helped champion a national movement with Take Action MN, through the Justice 4 All campaign that worked with Target Corporation to change hiring policies and make criminal background checks fairer. Kissy has also worked on legislation in the state of Minnesota for several criminal justice reform initiatives and will continue to make sure women reproductive justice rights are protected and women can have their own autonomy on all levels.
Kissy is the Founder of Kissy’s Stay Put Services. Kissy has worked as a Domestic & Sexual Violence Advocate and a Reentry Case Manager both for several nonprofits for 14 years. Kissy’s passion for both unique circumstances help her quickly realize the disparities women face as well as the injustice in the criminal justice system, as it relates to women being the fastest growing population who are being criminalized in our criminal justice system, while trying to keep themselves safe from their abuser. Kissy decided she would take her long history of advocating for criminal justice reform and safe community to create a nonprofit that addresses both critical issues.
Paula Ramaley is a native Minnesotan and the fourth generation of her family to live in the Minnetonka-Wayzata community. She worked for 30 years in the field of International Education and Culture. Half of that time she spent on the East Coast and Eastern Europe before moving back home to Minnesota to raise her family. She is deeply connected to her community’s past and cares just as deeply about its present and future. Paula has long been a volunteer in the community and also for local organizations focused on international citizen diplomacy and assistance, serving as chair and vice-chair of several. Her political and issue advocacy began with her participation in the Women’s March in Washington, DC in January 2017. In 2018 she volunteered for a congressional candidate in her district; after that she quickly expanded her volunteerism to include federal, state and local races. Paula has also been an advocate for local election reform, which helped bring ranked choice voting in Minnetonka. In 2022 she co-founded a Giving Circle that focuses on raising funds and volunteers for key state legislative candidates – those determined to be ‘majority makers.’
Paula lives in her childhood home, a little blue cottage in the Groveland neighborhood of Minnetonka. She is married and the proud mom of two adult children; a daughter who works in the wine industry in California and son who is a Computer Science major at the University of Minnesota.
Rebecca has served as the Ward 2 city councilmember in Minnetonka since 2018. During her time on council Rebecca has worked diligently on behalf of her constituents in advocating for new affordable housing options, sustainability initiatives, development of new parks and trails, and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. During the day, Rebecca practices family law and sees her training and background in the profession as an asset to her role on the council, enabling her deal with highly controversial issues and consider all perspectives before getting too intrenched in a position. It is critical to Rebecca that Minnetonka continues to be a place where zoning, licensure standards, and community development ordinances and policies allow for open access to all reproductive healthcare. Rebecca honors the non-partisan nature of the city council position, while remaining ardent in her support of abortion rights for all.
Patsy Foster-Bolton is a mother, wife, community organizer and neighbor of 30 years. “I’m running because I love this city,” Foster-Bolton said. “I’ll work to make it an affordable place so that the people who work here can live here: the teachers, laborers, nurses, healthcare professionals and young families starting out.” Foster-Bolton has been organizing in Minnetonka for over 7 years, working on issues of affordable housing, clean air, and, most importantly to her, a multi-racial democracy with a caring economy for all. Foster-Bolton is proud to say she lives in Minnetonka, “not only because it’s beautiful, and neighbors look out for one another, but also because it is a place where kids from all backgrounds and religions feel equally welcome.”
Foster-Bolton believes Minnetonka is moving in a direction, as a city, that offers a home to everyone, clean air to raise children and a safe place to live and work. She wants to help the city continue in this direction and provide to others what it gave her and her family.
Patsy Foster-Bolton is an escort for the women who choose a Health care clinic that provides abortions. She donates monthly to “Our Justice” an organization that funds abortions for women who cannot afford one. She founded the West Metro branch of ProChoice MN. Called RFAN; Reproductive Freedom Action Network. They have been active in the campaigns of women who are Reproductive Champions in the House and Senate of MInnesota. Her group wrote letters of gratitude to all the women in the House and Senate that made this session so successful for women’s reproductive rights.
Nelly Korman is a first generation Colombian immigrant who has served as a state leader over the past eleven years. She was first elected in 2011, becoming the first Latina to be elected to the Bloomington School Board. She is running for a fourth term in a district wide race. Nelly has been a strong advocate for high quality public education for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and has worked intensively to bring attention to the challenges and strengths of BIPOC students and their families. She is committed to ensuring that all students have access to equal opportunities. Nelly has been a part of the Bloomington community for almost two decades and has two children who graduated from Bloomington Public Schools and one child currently in High School.
Mia Olson is a 4 year Incumbent on the Bloomington School Board. She has been a substitute teacher for almost 30 years, giving her the unique opportunity for direct classroom experience throughout the district. Mia has degrees in Child Psychology, Early Childhood Development, and Elementary Education. She is a champion for children, and values equity in education – ensuring that every student has what they need to feel safe, secure and successful. An all inclusive, comprehensive sex education course is one of the many ways in which Mia believes we can achieve this goal.
Heather Starks is a life-long Bloomington resident, serving her first term on the Bloomington School Board. She is the mother of three children – two in college and one in high school. She is proud to serve on the School Board of the same district she, her husband, and her mother graduated from, making her children third generation Bloomington Public School graduates. Heather is a former public school teacher, a current non-profit development specialist, and a strong supporter of protecting and promoting public schools.
Stephanie Williams has a multifaceted history with Duluth Public Schools as a student, parent and district employee. Stephanie graduated from Duluth Denfeld in 2000 before earning her Bachelor’s degree from UW-Superior, where she began her career journey focused on equity and social justice. Stephanie’s passion for social justice led her to work in the American Indian Education Department for the Duluth Public Schools.
Stephanie is a single mom. Her only son attended Lester Park Elementary. Stephanie has said that her experiences in these different capacities will stay with her for the rest of life. Her desire is to help the district become the best it can be for ALL students, families, and staff. Stephanie is proudly DFL endorsed and counts on the support of so many community members!
Sarah Mikesell is running for Duluth School Board because she believes public schools are the heart of our community. As an involved parent of two children who attend Duluth Public Schools, she has a vested interested in the success of the school district. Sarah is a nurse with 24 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has advanced training in evidenced-based practice projects and quality improvement, and understands that best outcomes occur when all stakeholders are at the decision making table. As a dedicated advocate for safety, Sarah knows that when our schools are strong and well supported, our entire community thrives.
Shannon Andreson currently serves on the Hopkins School Board, and is focused on removing barriers to public education for all. Her work focuses on policy and practice that disrupts and transforms the systems that have delivered predictable outcomes based on race, gender, ability and socio-economic lines. Her life-long commitment to bodily autonomy and reproductive justice informs and guides her community advocacy within the district as well as at the state legislature.
Brooke Roper is a growing social entrepreneur celebrated for her positive attitude, strategic mindset, and ability to drive change through innovative solutions and collaborative efforts. With a decade of experience spanning executive administration, entrepreneurship, community engagement, and youth leadership across diverse sectors, she blends a worldwide perspective with local initiatives, aspiring to become a global philanthropist.
Guided by a strong purpose and a belief in the transformative power of faith, her dedication to continuous learning solidifies her role as a prominent grassroots change-maker, including her advocacy to ensure the inclusion of women’s voices in important decision-making roles and shaping policies that centers their holistic well-being.
With a strong connection to her community, Brooke’s potential to contribute to the Hopkins district is substantial. As a candidate for the School Board, she pledges to infuse a collaborative spirit, promote educational equity, and uphold social responsibility. Her vision centers on empowering children to evolve into compassionate and educated leaders, ultimately creating a more promising future for all.
Anna works for a small consulting firm that helps organizations and leaders identify and build diversity, equity, and inclusion capacity for themselves, in the marketplace and within their teams. Anna has experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) advising, training, strategy development and communications. A former corporate communications professional, Anna’s diverse experience includes small business management, communications and business administration.
Anna has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, social justice and education. She enjoys channeling that passion into group facilitation and is a licensed substitute teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, holds her DEI certification from the same institution, and is certified in change management.
Outside of work, Anna is the cofounder of Equity in Education Community Coalition, a grass-roots organization made up of diverse and underrepresented community members advocating for a diverse, equitable and inclusive education experience for all students in Independent School District 196. Anna lives in Eagan with her husband of 23 years and their two teenage children.
Born and raised in Rondo, Chauntyll Allen is a longtime community organizer, educator, and youth activist. She leads Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, founded Love First Community Engagement, and works as the Director of Criminal Justice and Activism at the Wayfinder Foundation. She joined the Saint Paul School Board in January 2020, but her journey with the St. Paul school district began as a graduate of Central High School, and continued through the years as program coordinator with Community Education, basketball coach for middle and high school, Teaching Assistant, Discovery Club teacher, and Educational Assistant (EBD level 4-6). In her first term, Director Allen was a leader in ensuring SPPS was among the first districts to distribute food by bus to families immediately at the start of the pandemic, raising the pay for paras to a living wage, and divesting district investments in private prisons and fossil fuels. In 2020, Director Allen was entered into the Library of Congress for being the first LGBTQIA person on the St. Paul School Board. She lives with her wife, Satara Strong-Allen, in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.
Erica Valliant is an advocate, organizer, and parent. Even after experiencing homelessness with her family, Erica continues advocating for access to quality education and housing for children and families, working with other parents, coalitions, and statewide stakeholders around systems change through policy and legislation such as Homework Starts with Home and The Community Solutions Fund.
Erica works full-time at People Serving People-the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention, where she manages the Whole Family Systems Initiative in a learning process and partnership, exploring the problem of family homelessness that overwhelmingly impacts African American and Native American families. In the community she sits on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Victoria Theater, and Chairs the Summit University Planning Council. She is also a member of the Saint Paul Charter Commission and was a finalist in 2022 for the recently filled Interim Ward 1 City Council vacancy.
She is an alumni of multiple leadership programs including Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Neighborhood Leadership Program, Community Equity Program, and the Nexus Community Partners (Nexus) Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). In 2018, Ms. Valliant received an Unsung Hero award presented by Minnesota Communities Caring for Children and was an Upswell 2018 Bush fellow. Her professional background includes financial services and insurance, telecommunications, access & equity, community engagement and systems change. Erica is featured as a REbuilder in the book Taking Charge of Change: How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems by Paul Shoemaker.
Erica and her family live in the Rondo area of Summit-University. Erica currently has 4 sons enrolled in, as well a son who is 2020 graduate of Saint Paul Public Schools. A love of children, community, and the pursuit of positive change drive her in her work.
What’s New at Women Winning
Today, Women Winning, Minnesota’s largest women’s political organization, announced the endorsement of pro-choice champion Representative Betty McCollum for Congress in Minnesota U.S. House District 4.
Today, Women Winning, Minnesota’s largest women’s political organization, is proud to announce that Saint Paul has elected the first all women, pro-choice City Council.