School funding, state spending, job creation. Those are just a few of the issues that will drive voters to the polls on Nov. 6 to vote for their preferred candidate in local and state races.
To help voters learn more about Eagan City Council, House District 51A, House District 51B and Senate District 51 candidates, Eagan Patch asked all candidates to submit their responses to a set of questions regarding their views and accomplishments. Each candidate was limited to a 200-word response per question. We will publish their responses in installments leading up to Election Day. For ongoing political coverage, check out our 2012 Election Guide.
Without further ado, here are House District 51A candidate Sandra Masin's (DFL) responses.
Eagan Patch: What inspired you to run for election in Minnesota House District 51A?
House District 51A Candidate Sandra Masin: As a small business owner, mother of three Burnsville High School graduates and a grandmother to two elementary school students, I understand the struggles middle class families are facing. I have a history of fighting for the middle class and will continue that fight in the Legislature. I have created jobs and will help small businesses create new jobs. I fought to invest in education to better prepare students for high-tech, high-wage jobs. I lowered taxes and will continue working to keep taxes low for the middle class. I know how important it is to work together to get things done. I worked together with Governor Pawlenty to pass a balanced budget on time. It is time to put an end to partisan bickering and gridlock which is why I am running for the Minnesota Legislature.
Patch: Tell me about your previous accomplishments as an elected official representing Eagan. What other relevant background experience do you think you could bring to the position if re-elected?
Masin: I served two terms on the Eagan City Council. During my tenure as a city council member, I served as chair of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and as chair to the Suburban Transit Association which worked to bring our collective transportation concerns to the Metropolitan Council and the State of Minnesota. I continued this work in the Minnesota House of Representatives where I worked to enact a transportation act to fund Minnesota's long-neglected system of roads, bridges and transit including much-needed investments on I-35W and Cedar Avenue. I also supported increased investments in Minnesota's schools and created thousands of good jobs with a comprehensive bonding bill. Most importantly I got my job done well and on time. In my four years in office, I worked together with Governor Pawlenty to pass a balanced budget on time.
Patch: What is something you think the current legislature has done well?
I appreciate the fact that they were able to meet to address the problems created by the huge flooding issues in the northern part of our state.
Masin: What is something you think the current legislature has done poorly?
The current legislature’s unwillingness and inability to work together to address the important issues facing Minnesota—like growing jobs and educating a 21st Century workforce—is a limiting our state’s ability for future economic growth. Rep. Diane Anderson’s unwillingness to work with Governor Dayton led to the longest government shutdown in America’s history. With middle class families struggling to get by, Rep. Diane Anderson and the legislature should not have borrowed $2.4 billion from our students (more than $3,000 per pupil) or voted to increase property taxes by $1.3 billion and to eliminate the Market Value Homestead Credit which will increase the average homeowner’s property taxes by $202.
Patch: What are some of the most pressing, long-term issues facing House District 51A? The state?
Masin: The most important issues facing our community are growing our state’s economy and investing in a quality education. As a former small business owner I know firsthand what small businesses need from our state to grow and thrive which is why I support tax incentives for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and succeed.
In order to grow the economy we need to put more money in the pockets of middle-class Minnesotans which is why I will continue to champion policies that will lead to job growth, increasing salaries and wages, and lower property taxes.
I will create jobs through wise investments in the critical public infrastructure that businesses need to compete in the global economy. That is why I have been a long-time advocate for investing in roads and bridges.
Education is also a critical issue for our community and state’s future. I know that in order for our students to be competitive in the global economy they must be well-prepared. That is why I stood up against Republican plans to cut money from our public schools, colleges and universities. I support Governor Dayton’s plan to increase funding for our schools every year.
Patch: Why should constituents vote for you in November? What distinguishes you from your opposition?
Masin: I know how important it is to work together to get things done. I worked together with Governor Pawlenty to pass a balanced budget on time. I will work with my colleagues to invest in education, support small businesses and lower property taxes.
As a parent of three Burnsville High School graduates, I know that in order for our students to be competitive in the global economy they must be well-prepared. That is why I stood up against Republican plans to cut money from our public schools, colleges and universities. I support Governor Dayton’s plan to increase funding for our schools every year.
In addition, I was a small business owner so I know what small businesses need from their state to grow and thrive. That is why I support tax incentives for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and succeed.
I worked to lower taxes on middle class families—especially property taxes for homeowners, seniors and people with disabilities. I will fight to restore the Market Value Homestead Credit and bring property tax relief to Eagan and Burnsville homeowners.
I will work hard for all of you—Democrats, Independents and Republicans—to get things done for our community and state.
Stay on top of the 2012 election cycle. Check out these other Q&As with our local Eagan legislative candidates: