District 54B candidate viewpoint: Joanna BayersMinnesota needs someone who is willing to listen, stand up and break the barrier of partisan politics and that is why I want to be your next state representative for District 54B.
By: Joanna Bayers, South Washington County Bulletin
I live and own a home in Hastings where I serve as a commissioner on the Public Safety Advisory Commission and work for the state of Minnesota. I enjoy playing hockey for the Women’s Hockey Association of Minnesota, deer hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, coaching sports, spending time with my three nephews and walking my rat terrier, Millie. I recently completed a volunteer position in Koforidua, Ghana, Africa, where I started a volleyball program at a rural girl’s high school.
I received an associate of applied science as a network support specialist at Duluth Business University and received my bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in legal studies from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I completed an internship for then-Congressman Jim Oberstar in his Duluth and his Washington D.C. offices. I also traveled to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2004 to study the aftermath of war. In addition, during my undergraduate years, I participated in women’s college hockey and was a participant in the National Mock Trial Tournament.
After I received my undergraduate degree, I worked as a youth treatment specialist at Woodland Hills in Duluth.
In 2008, I graduated with a master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, co-managed Jeff Anderson’s campaign for the Duluth City Council-At Large and completed an internship for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) based in St. Paul. After completion of my education, I was hired by the MOFAS as a special projects coordinator, where I played a major role in successfully passing legislation related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
In the last 10 years, we have had two state shutdowns and the worst recession since the Great Depression. Our current Legislature’s partisan politics have taken over and they have stopped listening to the wants and needs of Minnesotans. We need to elect representatives who will stand up to their party and put Minnesota first. We need someone who will vote, first, for what is best for the district and second, what is best for Minnesota. We need someone who will stand up when no other members will stand up and do what is right. The state shutdown in 2011 is a prime example of how our current leadership displayed the worst case of party politics by allowing the longest state shutdown in recorded U.S. history.
When I am out talking to voters, I don’t ask if they are Democrat, Republican or any other party because that is not my priority. My priority is to listen, represent and stand up for everyone in this district and Minnesota.
When I was the first woman to play and letter on the boy’s high school varsity hockey team in Ely, I was able to break the barrier of the status quo and pave the way for other others to follow their dream.
Minnesota needs someone who is willing to listen, stand up and break the barrier of partisan politics and that is why I want to be your next state representative for District 54B and would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.