I will leave public life in January after eight years of serving in the Minnesota Legislature and 15 years in elected office. One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud — and will most miss — is the Purple Caucus.
The Purple Caucus was begun four years ago on a simple premise — that as legislators we are “Minnesotans first, and other labels second.” These other labels matter — they represent core principles and convictions which motivate each one of us to run for office and represent our constituents.
But our most important label is being Minnesotans. That label compels us once elected to find common ground; to find ways to work together; to find ways to solve the major issues facing Minnesota.
I was so fortunate to find in Sen. Jeremy Miller a willing partner in this work. I am a DFLer from Duluth, he is a Republican from Winona. We represent different political parties, and opposite corners of the state. But we both agreed that the process at the Capitol could work better — that it had to work better.
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Over the course of the past few sessions, we have grown a group that comprises nearly one-third of the Minnesota Senate. Tellingly, these members are largely younger, newer, and from nonpartisan backgrounds like school boards and city councils.
I have found Sen. Miller to be thoughtful, hardworking, and willing to listen. All excellent qualities in any elected official. I have enjoyed our time working together and getting to know him better. I consider him a friend. I feel better leaving the Legislature knowing good people like Jeremy are willing to continue serving.
Our most important label is being Minnesotans. That label compels us once elected to find common ground; to find ways to work together; to find ways to solve the major issues facing Minnesota.