The Nov. 3 general election will include Minnesota House District 45A. The district encompasses New Hope, Golden Valley, Crystal, Robbinsdale and Plymouth.
The candidates are DFLer Cedrick Frazier and Republican Jesse Pfliger. Lyndon Carlson, the district’s DFL representative since 1973, plans to retire after his term expires.
The candidates were asked to provide biographical information and to answer two questions. Pfliger did not submit responses. The answers were edited for length and clarity.
Address: New Hope
Education: University of Minnesota, Morris-BA, Minnesota State, Mankato-MA, William Mitchell College of Law-JD
Occupation: Labor attorney
Community Involvement: New Hope City Council Member, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Phi Beta Sigma–Zeta Nu Chapter, Minnesota State Bar Association
How should the 2021 Legislature handle the budget issues and meet school and societal needs caused by COVID-19?
Our state’s budget must be crafted through a lens of equity to serve our entire community. This pandemic has pulled the curtain back on the severe inequities that exist in Minnesota. As we rebuild our state’s economy, our budget must ensure that the communities that have suffered the most during this pandemic, get what they need. That includes our local small businesses that needed to shut down and greatly scale back in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The budget must have a specific focus on education. Minnesota has built its economic identity on the foundation of education, yet we have some of the deepest disparities in the entire country. This pandemic has only exasperated those disparities. The legislature must prioritize our students and educators so that they can receive the resources needed to allow for learning to happen safely and equitably for all of our students. We need to ensure that this pandemic does not increase the teacher shortage crisis and that our BIPOC and low-income students do not fall deeper into the opportunity/achievement gap.
Will you support the passage of a bonding bill in 2021 or 2022? If so, where should the priorities be?
I will support a bonding bill. The bonding bill needs to focus on infrastructure. In a recent study, Minnesota has an overall grade of “C” for our infrastructure, while our roads and bridges earned a “D-.” Without significant investment, these structures will continue to deteriorate. No one wants to experience another 35W. I would also like to prioritize fiber-optic lines throughout Minnesota. We have been greatly reminded of our digital divide during COVID-19. Furthermore, a bonding bill with these investments prioritized will create good-paying jobs that will be well-received in an economy rocked hard by COVID-19. If elected, I will work with other members of the Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz to get this done for Minnesotans.