...because dialogue matters
...civil discourse matters
...it's time to start the conversation
starting the conversation
Hi - I'm Sean. And I'm running for Minnesota State Senate in District 39.
I am a father of 2, a former journalist, a coach and a kidney transplant recipient. My life has taken some remarkable twists and turns - from my medical condition to financial ups and downs.
I believe the ability to empathize with voters through our own experience is critical, as we aim to put authentic voices in office - and I hope you'll give me the opportunity to represent you as your state senator.
In 1998, I represented the state of Minnesota as Boy's State Governor - and was honored by Bill Clinton at Boy's Nation
(Fun fact: it's the same program where Clinton met Kennedy)
This was a great experience for me - in part because it exposed me to a wide range of political opinion. I was raised in a relatively conservative home, so this taught me the value of appreciating a diversity of thought.
But perhaps the most poignant experiences were in the hospital. Born with a condition that would require a kidney transplant, I was one of the lucky ones, who had access to quality health care, and a living donor - my father - in 1996.
But when that kidney failed in 2010, I was out of work and unsure of where I would find the funds to pay for lifesaving dialysis treatment. Medicare (and my brother, who stepped up to donate his kidney) - saved my life.
While I may not be able to find everyone a living organ donor, I'm committed to ensuring everyone has the access they need to affordable healthcare.
This is a campaign about accessibility and civility - driven by critical thinking and an openness to new solutions to these core issues:
Health care: providing an affordable public option
Education: investing in teachers and supporting our students in the way they learn best
Environment: making smart, renewable choices in infrastructure and energy sustainability
Jobs: Addressing the growth of automation in our retail and manufacturing businesses by investing in training and providing incentives for more labor intensive industries.
Accessibility in Government: The more information available about what's going on in our capital, the better our government will work for all of us.
If we can't take an open approach to conversations with those we might disagree with, how will we heal the divide?
If we start the conversation from a place of "us vs. them", we'll never make progress. It's why 2020 is such a critical year - it's more important than ever to take a civil tone.
That doesn't mean we should back down from our core values; but it does mean we need to start from a place of assuming positive intent - something I vow to do as your candidate.
And in that spirit I ask you to join this campaign - a campaign rooted in civility - to bring authentic discourse and progressive values to the state capital.