Address: 10642 184th CT NW
Family: Fiance Chad Hobot, Son Jadison Willey
Education: AA in Fine Arts Normandale, Licensed Life Insurance, Licensed Health/Accident Insurance, Licensed Real Estate Agent
1. Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.
I’m Diane Nguyen, I am a mom to a 6th grade full distance learning and fiancée to Chad Hobot. I received my CNA certification in 2005 and Associates of Fine Arts degree from Normandale Community College in 2014. I’m licensed in life and health/accident insurances 2018 and real estate agent 2019. I hold memberships with the National Association of Realtors and the Minnesota Association of Realtors. During the day, I work as a freelance graphic designer for a local marketing company.
2. What is your biggest accomplishment in public life?
Receiving my CNA in 2005 to help seniors and their families support their loved ones in ADL cares and independence with dignity. It’s the best feeling, reward and one way I could give back helping our geriatric population that gave so much to make what America is today.
3. Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for the 2021 Legislature? Why are you running for office?
I’m running for the Minnesota State Senate to create jobs and economic development, especially amidst a pandemic, ensure every Minnesotan has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, usher social & criminal justice reform, make sure everyone who is eligible to vote can do so in a safe, secure and private manner, appropriately fund education & infrastructure and protect Minnesota’s environment.
4. COVID-19: How do you grade the state government’s response to the pandemic? Are additional measures necessary? If so, what?
I rate our state and Governor Walz a high rating for their swift and pro-active guidelines and mandates. He used science, data and facts to execute his decision with his knowledgeable team and elected officials. The state has been very transparent about Covid-19 updates and weekly televised briefings in March when we all were in a state of chaos and panic.
We all need to unite and protect each other during this pandemic. We need to follow CDC guidelines and go on to the MDH website. I believe in wearing masks in public, social distancing, hand washing, getting tested if having symptoms, quarantine during symptoms and isolation if confirmed with Covid-19.
5. Gridlock: What specific measures do you support to reduce the increasing partisanship of the lawmaking process and resulting gridlock? Do you support reforms that would prohibit consolidating multiple subjects into a single omnibus bill?
As a leader, we all need to hear each other’s ideas and reasonings. In the end, listening and compromising to execute the best outcome and goal for our state in getting things passed. I do not support consolidating multiple subjects into a single omnibus bill. Although the idea sounds good, it’s not practical and realistic. Rural and non-metro districts would be harmed to get legislation passed.
6. Budget: The Legislature will be tasked with adopting a two-year budget in 2021 with a looming shortfall due to the financial impact of COVID-19. What will be your approach to balancing the budget in terms of reducing spending and/or raising taxes and fees? Be as specific as possible.
COVID-19’s impacted all of us and we need to be taking the proper precautions to allow our economy to recover. Businesses need the resources to thrive and workers need protections to do their jobs in a safe manner. I support a robust bonding bill that puts people to work on projects across the state, including on our own wastewater treatment plant in Albertville. I am proud to be endorsed by the AFL-CIO, Education Minnesota, IBEW Local 292, LiUNA, MAPE, the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, Sprinkler Fitters 417, Women Winning, and SEIU.
7. Education, K-12: COVID-19 resulted in dramatic changes to the delivery of education. What weaknesses in the system were highlighted by distance learning? Did we identify any best practices that should be incorporated in the post-pandemic era?
Having a son in ISD 728 doing full distance learning, I have been evermore appreciative of the work that teachers, staff and schools do for our communities. I will fight for increased education funding, closing the opportunity gap and will relentlessly put pressure on our representation in Washington D.C. to ensure the federal government fully funds its commitment to special education. We need more funding for special needs students and mental health specialists for all students to Succeed. I am proud to be endorsed by Education Minnesota
8. Education, higher education: Prior to the pandemic, many employers were challenged to find qualified workers. Now we’re faced with unemployment as many businesses are downsizing or closing. Is our higher ed system equipped to pivot and train workers for the changing business landscape?
Minnesota is known for our good education system ranking #17 in our country. Speaking to the Superintendents in our area, there’s a need for qualified teachers and the tier system needs some changes. I would propose an incentive for those in the tiers to receive their license, higher wages for our teachers and staff, and promote more people to do go in the education and teaching field, and turn-around the public stigma of being a teacher. We need our teachers, educators and mentors to keep Minnesota innovated, on-top and a model state.
9. Health care: Affordable health care remains a concern for many Minnesotans. Do you support the expansion of government-run health insurance plans? If not, what options do you support to stabilize health insurance premiums?
I believe in affordable and accessible healthcare, especially during this pandemic with families losing their jobs and healthcare insurance. I would propose healthcare insurance that’s not connected to their employer. Many people lost their insurance after losing their job and COBRA is still expensive to fill the gap in coverage, causing stress and worries. We need a healthcare plan and expand on Obama Care which was a great bill and a step closer for all citizens to get healthcare.
10. Workplace regulations: Mandated paid family and medical leave for all Minnesota employers were debated in 2020. It passed the House but failed in the Senate. Do you support such a mandate? Why or why not?
I support paid family and medical leave for Minnesota employers because if we give our time and hours away from our family, while promoting high standards and exceeding in our job duties for profitability and recognition for their employers, the least employers can do is support their employees in time of need in return such as paid medical and family leave without the stress and worry of losing their jobs for missing work.
11. Transportation: What is your preference for raising additional money for roads and bridges? Or is current funding sufficient?
We need to first work together and have the Bonding Bill passed, but our elected officials held it for political leverage while families were waiting to get back to work on approved projects and infrastructure. Senator Kiffmeyer had three times in the special sessions to do something for our state and district and couldn’t get it done.
12. Energy: Should Minnesota increase its renewable energy mandates on utilities? Or are market forces sufficient to promote sustainability?
Minnesota is known for our lakes, pristine woods and forests and scenic, breathtaking nature. We need to transition to renewable energy when we can. If it’s not reasonable and cost-efficient to help in the transition, or impossible because we need our mining jobs in the Iron Range, funds and incentives should be in place to assist in renewable energy in other ways to help with global warming. We need to keep jobs and hire companies from Minnesota that care about the environment and follow Minnesota’s environmental guidelines.
13. Police reform: Police reform has become center stage in the aftermath of the George Floyd death and prompted passage of legislation during the special session. Did the laws go far enough or too far? Should the Legislature take additional measures?
We need to pass new laws and amend our current ones to bring our state into the 21st Century. Judges and public defenders should take mandatory classes in Domestic Abuse Awareness, PTSD and Trauma to better understand why human actions and behavior from post-traumatic experiences. Police officers take continuing education classes just as other licensed professionals in our state are required to do. I would propose incorporating a mandatory code of ethics class and other classes that pertain to de-escalating conflict to keep their badge current. As a licensed real estate agent and licensed in insurances, I participate in continuing education classes every year to maintain high licensing standards to protect and serve the public. 911 calls should be screened, and Mental Health and Domestic Abuse professionals could be dispatched with officers to help with de-escalation in these situations. If the police respond to incidents such as gun shots heard, crime and murder, let the officers do what their badges are for: to SERVE and PROTECT. I support and thankful for our police departments.
14. What, if any, local initiatives or legislation do you have in mind if you are elected?
If elected as District 30’s MN State Senator, my priorities would be education funds for our district, healthcare assistance from our counties for options for families in need, help our small and family-owned businesses, manufacturing and keeping jobs here instead of oversees, protect our union jobs and their benefits, farmers during hard times and global warming and sustainable living, affordable housing to promote equity to all races to have the opportunity for better living, jobs for our roads, building and infrastructures to get things moving because all I see is a lot of orange cones, not only during fall and Halloween season, but all year round causing major traffic and time-wasted in our cars.