ST. PAUL, MN – Legislators won’t return to the Capitol for regular session until March 2016, but several legislative leaders joined newly sworn State Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL – St. Louis Park) and her family for the start of her first term on Monday. Rep. Flanagan was elected in a special election November 3rd to finish the term of former State Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley), serving the communities of St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Plymouth and Medicine Lake in the west metro.
“My community has given so much to me, and I’m excited to give back,” said Rep. Flanagan “The organizing principle of my life is giving back, particularly to children, families, communities of color, American Indians, and low-income and working people. Taking the oath of office, I am mindful of the important role that community members and representatives play in our democracy, and I’m excited to get to work. The residents of 46A have put their faith in me to be a strong advocate for them at the State Capitol in St. Paul.”
Rep. Flanagan, 36, is a longtime advocate for Minnesota’s children and families, a progressive activist, enrolled member of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, and a near-lifelong resident of St. Louis Park. She was joined by her mother, husband and daughter for the swearing-in ceremony that took place at the Veteran’s Service Building in St. Paul while the House Chamber is closed for renovations. She took the opportunity to thank her predecessor and discuss her priorities.
“I’m so thankful for the work of Rep. Winkler, especially his work to raise the minimum wage, provide access to paid family leave and secure more resources for our youngest learners,” said Rep. Flanagan on her first official day as an elected representative. “Considerable work remains in our effort to reduce the education gap and income inequality in our state. I want every child growing up in our district to have the same chance at a bright and thriving future that I did. For too many kids, that is in jeopardy.”
Rep. Flanagan is still waiting for her committee assignments from Speaker Kurt Daudt, but she is looking forward to focusing special attention on issues related to economic opportunity and education. Flanagan currently serves as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, a nonprofit child-advocacy organization working to level the playing field for all children in Minnesota. While at CDF-MN, she co-chaired the Raise The Wage campaign, the successful fight to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.
“I will continue to listen to people in the neighborhoods I grew up in and know well,” explained Flanagan. “They’ve been speaking clearly, and they want our state to work for working families. I keep those concerns at the top of my mind as I move forward in this new role.”
Rep. Flanagan encourages community members to contact her on any legislative issue. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: House DFL Leader Paul Thissen swears in Peggy Flanagan as the newest member of the Minnesota House of Representatives