Hi, I'm Melissa.
Politics has not been a big part of my life before this race, but this community has.
I care deeply about our district. This community is not only where I live, it's a big part of who I am.
I live on my family's farm in Butternut Valley Township. It's one of Blue Earth County's few Sesquicentennial Farms, kept agriculturally active and in the same family more than 150 years. Joe and I have raised three amazing kids here.
I've been a school Social Worker and Special Education Coordinator with the Minnesota Valley Education District (MVED) for more than 20 years. It's given me the opportunity to work with kids, families and schools throughout the area and help make sure every kid has a fair shot at success.
“I'm not a politician or party insider. I'm just a person who cares a lot about this community and knew it was time to step up and try to make things happen for rural Minnesota. I think it's time for us to get focused on what what will actually make our rural community strong.”
I was raised on rural values. To me, our kind, common-sense values are what define us as a community, and they're bigger than party politics or policy debates. The rural values I learned growing up here have taught me:
- We should always help out our neighbors
- Our kids deserve schools that we can take pride in
- Agriculture is our lifeblood and our prosperity depends on strong family farms
- Honor our veterans and make sure we meet their needs when they return home
- Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and have a fair shot at success
- Give back to the community whenever we can
Why I'm Running
In short: It's time. It's time for leadership that will work to represent all of us well and move us forward, together. It's time that we put divisiveness and unproductive partisanship aside and get to the real work that can only be reached beyond them. And it's time to re-focus on what will actually make our communities and families stronger.
I want to go to St. Paul to represent everyone in our community and approach our challenges and opportunities with the common values we share.
As your representative, I will work hard and focus on getting results and doing the work that needs to be done. We don't have any more time to waste on partisan gridlock, personal power-grabbing or political gamesmanship. There's just too much at stake and too much work that needs to happen so that we can make our rural communities vital, keep our families healthy, strengthen our workforce and economy, and make sure our kids have every opportunity to thrive.