The U.S. Senate Incumbent Democrat: I've fought to help the Northland prosper
I believe northern Minnesota is one of the most distinctive regions in the U.S. For more than a century, iron mining on the Range has been a backbone of the American economy. Now it's a backbone of the global economy. Duluth is a busy internation...
I believe northern Minnesota is one of the most distinctive regions in the U.S.
For more than a century, iron mining on the Range has been a backbone of the American economy. Now it's a backbone of the global economy.
Duluth is a busy international seaport, even though it's located in the middle of a continent 2,342 miles by ship away from the ocean.
And, with the North Shore and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the region offers some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery in the world.
Most distinctive of all, though, are the people: people proud of their immigrant roots but even more proud to be Americans; people who've experienced more than their fair share of tough economic times but who've persevered; people who work hard and play hard, too; and people with a strong community spirit but who are also independent-minded and willing to fight for what they believe in.
As a granddaughter of the Range, I share these values.
My grandpa worked 1,500 feet underground in the iron ore mines. He didn't graduate from high school, but he and my grandma saved money in a coffee can in the basement to send my dad to what was then called Ely Junior College (now Vermilion Community College).
As U.S. senator, I'm dedicated to serving and representing all Minnesotans. But I have a special place in my heart for the people and communities of Northeastern Minnesota.
During my time in the Senate, I've fought hard for you on a number of fronts.
For example, travel and tourism are a big part of the region's economy as a source of jobs and a mainstay for many small businesses. On the Senate Commerce Committee, I chair the subcommittee that oversees travel and tourism, and I worked to pass the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act that will increase international travel to the U.S. This was no small thing, considering that each international traveler to the U.S. spends $4,200 on average during their stay.
Exports are becoming ever more important for our prosperity. I'm an advocate for "made in America." Even more, I'm an advocate for "made in Minnesota." If we're going to win at international trade, we can't tangle our players in red tape or allow the other team to break the rules. That's why I've fought for our steel and paper industries against unfair trade practices ("dumping") by foreign competitors. I also introduced the Export Promotion Act (again, bipartisan legislation signed into law) that will equip small- and medium-sized businesses with the tools they need to sell in overseas markets.
One great success story is Duluth Pack. Despite the economic downturn, this 130-year-old business is expanding sales and adding workers by selling its purses and bags abroad.
Another important part of the economy in this region is the 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard. I've fought to ensure the long-term future of the 148th in Duluth. As a result, in the past two years, the 148th has received 18 new upgraded Block 50 F-16s and has been designated as an "active association," which brings active-duty Air Force planes and personnel to the base. That means more jobs for Duluth.
Across the region, I've fought to secure federal support for important infrastructure projects, whether for roads and bridges, airports, shipping or high-speed broadband communications. These projects create jobs in the short term, but more importantly they're investments that support long-term economic development, especially in rural areas. And as we work to reduce our debt in this country, we must make sure we take a balanced approach so our roads, bridges and ports remain strong.
Civics textbooks tell us the Senate is a place for debates on the great issues of the day. That's true. Ultimately, though, what matters most is not endless debates. It's real results. That's been my focus. That's why I've worked to find common ground in the Senate. In order to get things done, I will work with senators with whom I don't always agree. Nearly two-thirds of the bills I've introduced have had Republican co-sponsors.
Six years ago, I said I'd go to Washington to make a positive difference for Minnesota. I make my decisions with one goal in mind: putting the people of Minnesota first. With your support, I'd like to continue this work.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minneapolis is a Democratic incumbent in the Nov. 6 election.