We here at the SD64 DFL thought that our dear readers (that’s you) might be interested in meeting some of the candidates for the 64B DFL endorsement. We’ve asked all the candidates to answer some questions, and we’ll be posting their answers here all week for your reading pleasure. Tonight we’ll meet Gloria Zaiger.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you lived in District 64B?
I grew up in White Bear Lake, MN, the youngest of 8 children. My father passed away when I was 5, leaving my Mom to raise us alone. We didn’t have a lot of money, and she worked very hard, and it gave me insight into the value of a dollar and the pressing need to raise the minimum wage.
I went to the U of M and got my BS in Wildlife Management in 1987. I have been with my partner Katie for 12 years, and we were thrilled to get married last month. Katie is a teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools. We have two dogs and two cats. I enjoy geocaching, biking, old black and white movies, the State Fair, and Sunday mornings with my newspaper and coffee.
I have lived in St Paul most of my adult life. We moved to District 64B since 2009.
What is your community involvement? What is your current job and other volunteer commitments?
I have served on the Highland District Council since 2011, and so have worked with businesses moving to Highland, worked with the neighbors impacted by new businesses or changes, worked at Highland Fest, neighborhood clean-ups and more.
In 2007– 08, I served on the Capital Improvement Budget committee, which provides citizen input on capital maintenance proposals, such as street improvements, sewers, libraries, rec centers and other infrastructure.
My partner and I do foster care for the Humane Society and other groups. Recently, we became involved in a program that cares for the pets of domestic violence victims while they find safe housing. I have also done the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk, joined Code Pink in protests against the war, done river clean ups and buckthorn busts, and fundraisers for various rescue groups.
I work for US Bank as an IT Specialist. I work with programmers and various online systems.
Why are you running for office? What is the most pressing issue that you would like to tackle in the 2015 Legislative Session?
I have long admired Rep. Paymar’s willingness to take on issues that others aren’t talking about, like domestic violence and animal cruelty. I believe that suffering in our community is unacceptable, whether it’s a person trapped in a violent home, or a dog starving in a puppy mill. I want to be a voice for the defense of our woods and water, especially as mining and population growth adds to the pressures on them. There are so many issues I care about, that I must make sure these things are championed in the legislature.
There are many pressing issues, from transportation to gun violence to implementing new health care rules, but if I had to pick one, that would be raising the minimum wage. This has such an impact on people’s lives, and there has already been much work done, so this is somewhere we could see actual results.
Would you be willing to abide by the endorsement of the DFL Senate District?
What is your favorite thing to during a weekend in St. Paul?
In summer I love hiking the trails at Hidden Falls and Crosby parks, and the trails along the river below Mississippi River Blvd. In the winter, the Winter Carnival is awesome, with the ice sculptures and fireworks. Fun fact – the first year they had the Winter Carnival geocaching contest, I won the prize! The prize was a behind the scenes tour of the polar bear exhibit at Como Zoo. I got to be within a few feet of those amazing animals. Also, many nights we walk to the Village for dinner and a movie. The Highland and Grandview Theaters are gems!
Got your own questions for Gloria Zaiger? Ask her at firstname.lastname@example.org.