Minnesota’s farmers are our economic heroes – they work extremely hard in the face of many conditions outside of their direct control, such as the weather and shifting international economic conditions. Anita will focus attention on the needs of Kandiyohi County farmers – both well-established farmers and newcomers to the field– and support research into farm practices that increase yields and reduce waste – such as precisely targeted fertilizing and irrigation options.
A huge concern of Minnesotans is the high cost of health care. Premiums are too high, and pressing issues such as addiction and mental health issues merit considerable attention and improved accessibility. Small businesses and farmers especially cannot afford high premiums and deductibles, and find that they cannot grow their businesses as they would like due to high medical expenses. Allowing buy-in to MN Care or a similar access expansion would be fiscally responsible by increasing the number of people with coverage, and reducing the number of people who do not get timely treatment and thus need more expensive treatment due to an illness that has progressed.
As part of good health care, women deserve access to quality healthcare options – including effective birth control so that crisis pregnancies can be avoided. Although Anita supports a woman’s right to choose the best option for her in the event of a crisis pregnancy, Anita wants to ensure appropriate healthcare, housing, childcare, education, food and other needs are met for children whose parents might otherwise consider an unplanned pregnancy to be a financial crisis. In other words, Anita would like to give support to parents considering options in a crisis pregnancy – and give them REAL, CARING CHOICES.
Not only does childcare cost a lot, there simply isn’t enough available in the Kandiyohi County area. Anita will support legislation that addresses these issues – parents obviously need quality childcare in order to provide for their families!
Economy and Racial Equity
These two issues fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Kandiyohi county includes a wonderful variety of communities with distinct identities – such as the arts scene of New London, the recreational opportunities of Spicer, and the appreciation of and promotion of heritage in Sunburg and other towns. One of the special qualities of Willmar and the surrounding area is the wonderful diversity of the residents. Willmar’s downtown has been revitalized by the addition of many restaurants and stores, and it is a safe and engaging area to visit. Although many of our relative newcomers to the area may have arrived to work at an industrial facility, their contributions have expanded to participating in many areas of society. Economic planning for our area must acknowledge the gifts brought to the area by our diverse population, and must also address the needs of the rich tapestry of all of our beloved community members. Anita will speak out against any physical or verbal attacks on any group in the area and ensure long term and newer residents’ concerns are heard in St. Paul. Moreover, she will support community efforts to build respect and learning between cultural, racial, and religious groups.
Anita has friends and family members who are LGBTQ. Her position is simple – everyone deserves respect, and a community that appreciates everyone is attractive to new businesses, visitors and potential new residents.
Transportation and Communication
Continued funding for maintenance and improvement of roadways in the area is important for businesses’ and individuals’ travel needs. We need to build on the work of the work of the Highway 23 Coalition and other transportation advocates. High speed internet access countywide is increasingly critical as a tool for business and individual education needs, not to mention personal entertainment – and should be available to all residents of the county.
Affordable housing encourages people to remain in the area and it also aids in attracting new talent to the area. We need sufficient apartment type housing to meet the needs of people throughout their lives – whether it is a young person starting a new job, people moving into the area to take advantage of our growing industry, or a senior who is downsizing.
Education at all levels and for all ages opens doors of opportunity. Funding for quality early childhood education, K-12, community and technical colleges, and universities is important for individuals to realize their full potential. Higher education should not impoverish graduates.
As a scientist, musician, and artist, Anita values a well-rounded education for everyone. The arts stimulate young and old minds, and imaginative solutions are needed in a complex world. As a bonus, should anyone or their children think that algebra or geometry is “useless,” just give Anita a call, and she will give a pep talk about how math is useful in art, industry, and music.
Wages, Benefits, and Worker Rights
A living wage enables people to afford the necessities of life, and the ability to organize gives workers a powerful voice in preventing workplace abuses. Minnesota has a rich history of supporting our residents through active unions and through forward thinking legislation. Anita will support the organizations and progressive workplace considerations that distinguish our great state.
Energy, Environment, and Climate
Encouraging further solar and wind energy projects is a priority. Water quality is of utmost importance to everyone, and solutions which work for Minnesota will be best discovered and implemented with input from farmers who benefit from our water resources, and in turn, whose crops benefit our economy as well as from outdoor sportsmen and nature lovers.
Responsible Gun Ownership
When Anita’s son was in Boy Scouts, he was introduced to target shooting, and the entire family nurtured his interest by becoming members of a target range and buying an appropriate gun. Anita understands the importance of hunting and other everyday uses of guns, and she wishes to ensure the safety of everyone with her support of expanded background checks and university funded research with the goal of preventing gun violence.