"We the People, are taking the Flag back"
Education is the cornerstone of our future, carried out by the next generation. Public institutions should provide the same services and options for all students regardless of income, including no-cost Pre-K (optional not mandatory) and no-cost nutrition services for all students (breakfast, lunch and snack).
Educational funding continues to fall short, year after year. We have yet to fully-fund special education, requiring schools to shift funding from the general education budget leading to increased class sizes and reduction of resources including support staff.
Andrea understands the everyday challenges families are facing because she is listening and working with us to find solutions. We can create a better future for all of us if we focus on the issues that matter most and work together to get things done. We can help families better afford their lives by working to reduce the cost of health care and prescription drugs and hold big corporations accountable for their role in rising prices. We can fully fund our local schools and improve opportunities for our children. We can reduce gun violence and improve safety in our communities. And we can protect abortion rights and women’s access to health care. Andrea will work for these issues and more, so we can build a better community and a better Minnesota.
A healthier Minnesota, is a stronger Minnesota. We should never have to choose between our basic needs and and routine care, because healthcare is a necessity. The reality is, nearly 300,000 Minnesotans are without health insurance, and far more can barely afford to pay premiums or the cost of prescription drugs.
I support expanding public healthcare coverage with public buy-in option for Minnesotans to ensure costs remain affordable. Optimize Minnesota's bulk purchasing power to reduce prescription drug costs, and ensuring insulin is accessible and affordable.
Access to healthcare is more than cost and includes the location where you live. I recognize the importance of improving access to healthcare in greater MN including mental health services.
Those who Served
The sacrifice of everyday Americans in making the decision to serve our country is something near and dear to me. I am the granddaughter of Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Umerski serving in both the Army and Air Force. Freedom exists because of the men and women who made the choice to serve in the armed forces, and this freedom enjoyed by citizens everyday should not occur on the backs of our soldiers. A soldier facing homelessness or suicide is one soldier too many.
My father, a Navy Veteran struggled with lasting impacts of mental health, something that impacted my entire family. Soldiers do not serve alone, it is a sacrifice that impacts caregivers, families and survivors- we need to ensure interim and long-term services and resources are available. It is time we fully fund the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and expand supportive services that establish pathways to education and employment and improve access and availability of mental health resources and homeless prevention programs.
I come from a time where morals and values are taught at home, and my children say "yes ma'am" and "yes sir", where strong foundations create responsible adults. Every election cycle there is a hot-button issue that divides the masses, this election is no exception. Government involvement on personal decisions must remain minimal, if we the people are to retain our individual rights.
Gun ownership is a careful balance of rights and responsibilities, where common sense gun legislation should be targeted towards those who break the law, not infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners. I support full background checks on all purchases, increased penalties for violent offenders and revocation of gun rights for straw purchases.
Pro-choice is no exception to this concept, let's focus on what we teach our kids versus what we restrict in rights. Pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion, just as pro-life will not stop illegal abortions from occurring. My personal choice to not have an abortion is a personal choice, and only I can decide what is best for me. The further we allow the government to infringe on our rights, the more rights we risk being taken. I do not want personal decisions made on my behalf, just as I do not want the government to infringe on my right to bear arms.... the topic is unique, while the concept remains constant.
I recognize the importance of law enforcement , as a victim of a violent crime. In 2021 my family fell victim to a community member who spent 83 days stalking our home, a crime motivated by bias. On July 24, 2021 he stole a truck and drove it into our home. The magnitude of the situation required multiple agencies to work in unison, while preserving the integrity of the case and ensuring public transparency. I personally understand the impacts of break-downs in the system and recognize these instances as opportunities towards meaningful change.
I support increased transparency and accountability, that promotes community involvement and increases trust in law enforcement. Community policing agreements are integral and establish a forum of ongoing conversations. In 2022, I attended community meetings that resulted in Cold Spring Police Department's Community Policing Agreement.
Equally integral to public safety are the men and women who protect and serve. Funding, resources, training and support are necessary and further promote retention and recruitment. Fully staffed agencies with necessary resources improve the well-being of law enforcement officers and allow for necessary and earned time off.
I support legislation limiting the working hours of officers and increasing funding for recruitment and retention, expanded de-escalation training, paid wellness and mental health days, and increased government contributions in PERA.