Dear Friends and Neighbors:
In December of 2013, I announced that I will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives. I will be completing my 9th term in the Legislature in 2014. I have some great opportunities professionally that make this the right time to turn to the next chapters in my life.
It has been an incredible honor to serve and represent the Highland Park and Macalester-Groveland neighborhoods of St. Paul in the Minnesota House.
As chair of the Public Safety Committee, I've always believed that we needed to be smart as well as tough on fighting crime, which is why I've been an ardent supporter of drug courts, re-entry programs for offenders leaving prison so they can successfully reintegrate into society, drug and sex-offender treatment and youth intervention programs.
I'm proud that I was one of the early critics of ethanol subsidies, one of only 19 members of the House to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1997, was active in getting the Freedom to Breathe Act passed, was the chief author of Governor Dayton's Omnibus Tax Bill in 2011, secured funding for the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, passed legislation reforming the multi-jurisdictional Gang and Drug Task Forces, and was the chief author of three omnibus public safety bills.
I was honored to have received accolades during my tenure for passing bills on preventing domestic and sexual assault and legislation confronting the sexual exploitation of children and sex-trafficking. As many people know, I was the chief author of the Gun Violence Prevention Act that would have expanded background checks to gun shows, the internet and private sales and given law enforcement more authority to deny a permit to purchase pistols and military assault style weapons. This bill stalled during the legislative session. While this was disappointing, I'm confident that sensible gun control measures will pass the Legislature.
A couple of years ago I started Education for Critical Thinking, a nonprofit organization seeking to reduce gender-based violence. We produced an award-winning and Emmy nominated documentary called With Impunity: Men and Gender Violence that aired on Twin Cities Public Television. I am hoping to grow our organization and expand my national and international human rights work in this area. I have a new book coming out in May and other opportunities that make balancing my time at the Legislature difficult.
I have one more year in the Legislature, so please don't hesitate to call me at 651-296-4199 with ideas and comments.