Gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz met with MAPE members Friday to thank them for their endorsement and update them on campaign plans.
“Thank you for the work you do: Setting the guidelines for safety of cleaning up illegal meth labs, folks caring for our heroes in our veterans’ homes, IT professionals who are making sure all our services work, making sure our food is safe,” Walz told the group gathered at MAPE’s Shoreview office.
In the photo on the right, MAPE-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz (center) talks Friday at the MAPE office in Shoreview.
“My job as governor will be to tell the story of what the professional employees do to make this state great. Your services are all over the state and we all share the same values,” Walz added.
“Tim believes, as we do, that union membership is the surest pathway to the middle class. He supports workers’ rights and the freedom to organize,” MAPE President Chet Jorgenson said.
“Collective bargaining rights benefit everyone in this country,” Walz said.
In the photo on the right, MAPE-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz (second from left) poses with members of the MAPE PAC Friday in Shoreview. From left to right, are: PAC member Sheila Scott, Walz, and PAC members Sue Opsahl and Cindy Kolodziejski and PAC Chair Cathleen Cotter.
Earlier this month, MAPE’s Political Action Committee (PAC) endorsed Rep. Walz for governor. The unanimous endorsement followed a gubernatorial candidate forum and intensive interviewing of the candidates.
“We know Tim has the intelligence, temperament and shared values to bring Minnesotans together to advance our state’s economy. As a longtime teacher, Tim also supports a viable pension system for people who dedicate their lives to public service,” said Cathleen Cotter, chair of MAPE’s PAC.
MAPE Presidents Committee Chair Anne Claflin says she has “come a long way in my involvement in MAPE.” Claflin, who is running for a House seat in District 54A added, “Being part of the labor movement here has really let me take public service to a place I did not think I would go, and I’m proud that MAPE made that possible for me.”
MAPE Region 3 Director Celi Haga, describing herself as “a Wisconsin refugee,” told members about the disastrous consequences she experienced after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed anti-union legislation, Act 10, which was approved by that state’s legislature in 2011.
“We had to sell our house and pack up our family because we couldn’t afford to live there. Wages are stagnant. I don’t even recognize my home state,” Haga said.
She urged members to become involved in the 2018 election to elect labor-friendly candidates.
“We have a great political team who can help you get connected to the campaigns and help you get connected to other people in your locals who are interested in getting politically engaged. We are building power and we are going to get through the Janus v. AFSCME decision.
“Door knocking is not scary. Phone banking is not scary. We can’t control the Janus ruling, but we can control what happens this fall,” Haga added.
Walz reminded the group, “It’s our job to not just preach to the choir, but to also talk to our neighbors. Don’t underestimate what it means for one of you to say, ‘We’re doing this because I believe together we can make a difference.’ ”
To view a photo gallery from Friday’s meet and greet, or to download your photo with Walz, go here: http://bit.ly/April20Walzevent