Candidate's View: Redistricting allows Duluthians to reconsider
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.
There’s a familiar saying that “everything old is new again,” and that applies to this year’s realignment of Minnesota legislative districts. The old District 7A that covered most of northern and eastern Duluth for years is the new District 8B, with minor boundary adjustments based on population changes.
Redistricting gives us an opportunity to do some reconsidering. I’m running to represent District 8B because Duluthians can no longer afford to have the reverse be true of that saying, that, “Everything new will be old again.” But that’s exactly what promises to happen if we elect someone whose focus is on the same old thinking about government creating new programs and handouts that don’t get funded by wishful thinking.
Those things get funded by your tax dollars. When does it stop? It will when I represent you in St. Paul, because I will constantly remind elected officials that government needs to do only what its citizens can afford.
How much extra do you have in your family budget to send to the state, once you’re done paying higher prices for gas and groceries, once you’ve seen how far your retirement savings have shrunk, and once you’ve gasped over your latest property-tax statement?
We talk about runaway government spending but never do anything about it. Well, let’s start now. Yes, let’s help Duluthians live better lives. But if we’re adding government programs to do so, let’s see where we can cut other parts of state government so we can afford them.
Let’s not just break even on the cuts, either. Let’s find other fat in the state budget (it won’t be hard to do) so that our individual taxes will go down.
Since there was no primary race for the Republican side of the Minnesota House District 8B race, you haven’t heard much from me yet. Here’s some background on my positions and me.
In addition to protecting your tax dollars, three major areas of my focus will be on increasing public safety, supporting the development of energy resources, and removing roadblocks that hinder job creation.
Duluth, the wonderful city in which my husband and I raised our five kids, has unfortunately deteriorated in terms of safety. If elected, I’ll advocate for more police on the streets, here and across Minnesota, because the bad guys are happy every time someone mentions reimagining or defunding the police. I also will support properly equipping our courageous law-enforcement professionals to shield them from harm.
As for energy, I cherish clean air and water as much as the next person, but I also know there’s only so much we can accomplish with unreliable energy options. I support safe and responsible mining of all kinds in Minnesota, as well as pipeline expansions that are more environmentally friendly than shipping fuel across Minnesota’s highways and rail lines.
State government doesn’t create good-paying jobs, but government definitely can pave the way for job creation with easier permitting, lower business taxes and energy costs, and less interference.
As a former economic-development representative for what was then called the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development, I worked often with the state Legislature. I know what we can do for job creation if we put our collective minds to it.
Since you’ve read this column to the end, thank you. If you didn’t like it, I ask you to remember that I’ll work harder than you can imagine to improve the lives of you and your family, affordably. And if you do like what you just read, I’d appreciate your vote — as well as the votes of others whose minds I’ll keep working to change — on Nov. 8.
Becky Hall is the Republican candidate for Minnesota House District 8B. She wrote this for the News Tribune at the invitation of the Opinion page.