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Candidate's View: Opt for a movement for our shared future

ABOUT THIS RACE: Since 2015, northern and eastern Duluth have been represented in the Minnesota Legislature by University of Minnesota Duluth economist and instructor Jen Schultz. Rep. Schultz chose not to run again this year, setting up a race in the Nov. 8 election between Republican Becky Hall and DFLer Alicia Kozlowski. Early voting opens Friday.

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Alicia Kozlowski
We are part of The Trust Project.

I’m honored to be the DFL candidate running for Minnesota House District 8B.

I’m proud to be non-binary, Ojibwe-Latinx, a parent, and a first-generation college graduate. I hold a master’s degree in business administration from the College of St. Scholastica and serve as community relations officer for the city of Duluth.

From the column by Becky Hall: "We talk about runaway government spending but never do anything about it. Well, let’s start now."

As a survivor of a heavy life, I’m living proof of what’s possible when Duluthians come together and insist that we all deserve a fighting chance, that we matter.

Through thousands of conversations in my work and knocking on doors campaigning, I know even more fully who we are — our collective struggles, strengths, and hopes — and who we are becoming.

Together, we are a shared movement. Our time is here and now.

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In 2020, my mom died waiting for stable housing and battling addictions. I’ll champion policies and funding for emergency to permanent supportive housing, affordable rent and homeownership, and community-led public-safety initiatives. I’ll work to address the root causes of houselessness. Housing that is socially just matters. It’s critical to the development of children, for holding meaningful jobs, and for people to live their fullest lives.

My daughter attends the Misaabekong Ojibwe School where she receives a culturally specific education. I know how important this is for our family, and I’ll be unrelenting for our youth in fully and equitably funding public schools. I’ll work for early learning and affordable child care, for mental health supports, and to ensure educators and curriculum are responsive to increasingly diverse students and families. Youth are our today and our tomorrows. Their bright futures are worth fighting for and investing in.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats our communities face. As part of the city’s executive leadership team, I’m proud to have worked alongside climate leaders to write Duluth’s first-ever Climate Action Plan. I’ll support legislation that strengthens environmental protections, rapidly moves us toward our carbon-free future, and makes state investments in a labor-led clean-energy transition. Together, we’ll move toward a clean-energy economy powered by union jobs with high-quality, family-sustaining wages.

As a product of unions, I’m proud to have earned the backing of unions and will strongly support unions in the fight for all workers. I’ll take a holistic approach to workforce development and to growing our economy. I’ll be a steady leader for Duluth, advocating for affordable child and elder care, increased local government aid, and support for entrepreneurs. I’ll push to invest in local jobs and projects that build sustainable infrastructure. Workers and families matter deeply, and I’ll always have their backs in the fight for a more secure life across race, gender, and place.

My dad is a proud veteran who suffered cardiovascular disease from his two tours of duty. I sat with my dad as he fought to receive the health care coverage he needed, and you can count on me to fiercely fight for your loved ones, too. I’ll support the Minnesota Health Plan, fully protected and expanded abortion access, ending the opioid and gun-violence crises, expanding mental health and substance-use resources, and culturally and gender-affirming care. Health care matters because it’s a basic human right.

If you care about economic development that pulls everyone forward, this is your movement. If you believe abortion, health care, and housing are human rights, this is your movement. If you believe in voting rights and equitable democracy, this is your movement. And if you believe we can urgently, equitably, and intentionally co-create systems that allow all of us to thrive, this is your movement.

I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Alicia Kozlowski is the DFL candidate for Minnesota House District 8B and wrote this for the News Tribune at the invitation of the Opinion page.

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