February 26 Dinner: Suburban Affordable Housing
The push for affordable housing in the Twin Cities area and how Eden Prairie is dealing with that pressure is the focus of the SD49 Dinner Program on Tuesday evening, February 26.
Brad Aho will be our featured speaker. Brad has served on the Eden Prairie city council since 2005, and he ran for mayor of Eden Prairie in 2018. A conservative, he has a unique perspective on the pressures and opportunities facing metropolitan communities as they try to address the demand for affordable housing.
Eden Prairie is developing rapidly and is facing the challenge of managing that growth. Brad will explore how Eden Prairie government is dealing with the demands of the housing market. He will talk about targets set by the Metropolitan Council and development trends driven by the Southwest Light Rail. He will provide his views on the future of suburban communities like Eden Prairie as they respond to increasing populations and calls for higher density and more affordable housing.
Our program will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Calvary Lutheran Church, 6817 Antrim Rd, Edina, MN 55439. The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with an opportunity to welcome our presenter and greet one another. At 6:30 pm, we will make available a light meal of sandwiches, chips, dessert, and a beverage.
Please CLICK HERE to RSVP and let us know if you will join us for a light meal or if you will be coming just for the presentation. The presentation will start at 7:00 pm.
It's Not (Just) Our Message, More How We Deliver It
The January 22nd Dinner Meeting first started with a thank you from Edina’s own “native son” Keith Downey, pictured at right, who represented District 41A in the Minnesota House and who became the Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. Keith admitted that politics could be a “dirty, dusty, feisty business” but exhorted the audience to remember that we must “fight our (political) adversaries hard” according to our principles, but we must also always “leave the field as friends.” He said that one of the greatest privileges of his life was to represent the people of both his district and the State of Minnesota. It was an altogether heartfelt and inspirational talk as he exits politics to enter another phase of his life in the private sector.
The main speaker of the night was Max Rymer (photo at left) a fixture in local politics and self-admitted “passionate, political nerd.” As founder of his digital marketing firm “Nativ3” he was actively involved in several campaigns during the last election cycle. Max had some insightful opinions about taking a drastically modified approach to Republican politics going forward into 2020 and beyond. He believes there are inherent, solvable, structural problems for Republicans in MN.
First, he gave us a frank, and sometimes brutal, assessment of what is and isn’t working for the Republican Party, and for the DFL. He compared and contrasted several differences in how we get our message OUT (contacts – e.g., DFL had more than 17,000 trained, articulate volunteers door-knocking) and ACROSS (effectively persuading folks to vote for Republican candidates). Finances (DFL out-spent us 4:1) and fund-raising differences (DFL has a centralized, shared, list of small-dollar donors) were particularly interesting and played a big part in recent DFL success.
Please CLICK HERE to continue the article on our website.
Looking Back, Looking Forward: Reflections on 2018
By Randy Sutter, Co-Chair, Senate District 49 Republicans
Looking back over the last twelve months, we have had some disappointments. Yet it has also has been a time of growth, a lot of volunteer effort, and accomplishments.
The November election results were clearly a disappointment. DFL candidates won all of the MN House seats in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, and Minnetonka. In Congressional District 3 (CD 3), we had a high voter turnout for a non-presidential year. Unfortunately, we were not able to retain the Republican votes that we garnered in 2016.
Thanks to Jim Bowen and several dedicated volunteers, we were recognized for our Get-Out-The-Vote efforts in CD 3, and CD 3 had the strongest GOTV results in the state. We had volunteers who knocked on doors, made phone calls, and installed and removed lawn signs. Credit also goes to Trish Burnison, who took on the challenge of stuffing over 2,500 lit bags. Our volunteers made perhaps our strongest contribution ever to the campaign work of the local and statewide candidates. Yet the DFL effort was even stronger. The party that works hard at personal outreach clearly has the advantage. It is one of the areas of improvement ahead of us.
Our senate district put on a number of educational, social, and fundraising events this year.
CLICK HERE to continue reading about the number of activities, events, and contributions we made in 2018, and our plans for the future.
Fall Conversation: Views of the New Political Landscape
The “Fall Conversation” held on November 16 at the Edina Country Club proved to be a frank and insightful discussion of the recent election and where we, as Republicans, need to go from here. The panel came well-prepared and led off with a number of key observations.
• We lost some very good Republican legislators in the metropolitan area. Democrats and independents voted pretty much along DFL party lines. They did very little vote-splitting. Republicans were more apt to cross over to Amy Klobuchar. “When the tide swept through, a Republican candidate had to be on a tall tree to survive.”
• The DFL message was more inclusive. It was effective in targeting suburban women. It didn’t focus on the economy – the economy has been so good, it became a non-issue.
• The Democrats' 50-state, focused, coordinated, and repeated lie about Republicans removing healthcare coverage for pre-existing conditions stuck. It was not effectively countered by our State Party or candidate messaging. While repeated positive messages of how Republicans help people meet basic needs may be a buffer, we also need to have plans and funds in place to counter whichever emotional scare-messaging the Democrats choose next time.
• Where was the communications for the Republican Party? We didn’t have a message. The DFL painted the Republican brand as negative. We didn’t explain who we are and what we are for. Consequently, we were identified as racist and anti-immigrant, and it stuck.
To read further about the points brought out during the Fall Conversation, CLICK HERE
Oct. Dinner Spotlights Political Correctness on Campus
The October 23rd Dinner Meeting first included short presentations by several current candidates, all of whom summarized their political philosophies and initiatives, and asked for the votes of those present. The speakers included: Jeff Johnson, Minnesota gubernatorial candidate; Dario Anselmo, current incumbent running for reelection to the Minnesota House (District 49A); and six candidates running for the Edina City Council: Ron Anderson, Stan Davis, Janet Kitui, Ray Meifert, and incumbents Kevin Staunton and Bob Stewart.
The main presentation featured Laura Anderson (on the right in photo) and Hannah Keil (left)- “The Elephants in the Room” -, two young professional women who recently graduated (Minnesota State University – Mankato and University of Minnesota, Duluth respectively) and joined the workforce here in the Twin Cities. The two gave “up close and personal” accounts of their experiences as conservatives surviving in a vast ocean of “liberals and leftists” inhabiting their academic worlds, including professors, fellow students, and the bureaucracy. The audience learned real examples of bias against conservative thought that ranged from censorship to latent hostility to downright silliness, such as the “pronoun police.” Laura and Hannah left the audience with a list of resources for further study of these subjects, along with a call to support truly open and free thought and civil discussion in institutions of higher learning, at every possible opportunity.
CLICK HERE to see the resource list from "The Elephants in the Room".
September Dinner - Identity Politics in US Education
Minnesota collects data on K-12 student performance, often by broad ethnic or racial origins in compliance with Federal guidelines. In the last decade, a study funded by the federal government concluded that the data should be “disaggregated”, broken into sub-populations on the assumption that resources should be focused on students of ethnic or racial groups that were under-performing.
On September 25, Chuck Li, President of the Chinese-American Alliance, (at left in photo) spoke at our dinner program. He told us why he and many other Chinese-Americans in Minnesota do not believe that ethnic identity should be the basis for setting school policies, assigning education resources, or defining student quotas.
He was joined by (L-R) Jun Yang, Sifang Wu, Sheng Zhong and Dongfeng Qi from Education Policy Observers. They described why they've transformed into activists since last year when the MN Legislature passed a bill for disaggregated reporting at a more detailed level and the Dept. of Education announced plans for pilot-implementations. They highlighted the evidence that focusing on ethnic identity avoids the real causes of poor educational performance. They also noted the expected costs to MN Taxpayers and the lack of data-security / data-privacy tools and standards for school computer systems. These leave both parents and students at high potential risk for exposure of sensitive information. These MN parents strongly believe the planned information collection risks dividing us along ethnic and racial lines and does not promote the common good.
Leitner Makes Compelling Case for “Going 4 the Heart”
Lonny Leitner spoke to a large contingent of local Republicans as the featured speaker at the SD49 program on May 22. He pointed out that Republicans too frequently think that our positions are intuitively obvious. Unfortunately, our intellectual analysis fails to work against the arguments of the Left. We need to start defending our positions from a moral and emotion-filled standpoint.
When it comes to mobilizing emotions, Democrats beat Republicans hands down. Year after year, Democrats accuse Republicans of
• Waging a war on women
• Not caring about minorities
• Inflicting pain on working Americans to benefit the wealthy
We know this is not true, yet we have not been effective in countering these attacks. We know that women today are more empowered, that the minority unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years, and that working Americans are more optimistic about their futures. Yet these are impersonal and unpersuasive abstractions. We need to put a “human face” on our arguments. As David Horowitz said, “[We] need to stop talking like accountants and administrators and start speaking to the voters’ hearts.”
CLICK HERE to continue reading about how we have failed to convince and what we need to do better.