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. Let’s get to know Beth Fraser.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you lived in District 64B?
I moved to Minnesota nearly 20 years ago through Lutheran Volunteer Corps to work as a community organizer in the Jordan neighborhood in north Minneapolis.
I decided to stay and adopted Saint Paul as my home city because I like living in a vibrant city with local culture, independent restaurants and coffee shops to explore, friendly neighborhoods, progressive politics, and a welcoming LGBT community. I have worked in Saint Paul for 18 years, lived here for over 11 and purchased my townhouse in Mac-Groveland neighborhood a year and a half ago.
What is your community involvement? What is your current job and other volunteer commitments?
For the past 19 years I have worked on issues of social and economic justice. I spent 8 years leading policy work for the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action (now TakeAction MN) and the last 7 years serving with Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, where I am currently the Deputy Secretary of State. In that office I am the point person in fighting against voter suppression efforts, expanding voting rights, and overseeing Safe at Home, a program for survivors of domestic violence.
I have earned the reputation of building strong coalitions and being a champion for progressive legislation. My hard work and determination has paid off in tangible ways through getting legislation passed to make it easier for eligible voters to cast ballots, building the strongest address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence of its kind in the country, and passing the strongest corporate subsidy accountability laws in the nation.
Why are you running for office? What is the most pressing issue that you would like to tackle in the 2015 Legislative Session?
I am running for the State House in order to continue the work I’ve done on issues of social and economic justice for the past 17 years.
Having been an advocate at the Capitol from the non-profit and government sectors, I bring the experience to do the job from day one. I’ve learned how to build coalitions and push hard for progressive legislation. I know how to strenuously advocate for our long-term goals without alienating the other side. I have experience working with those who approach issues from different perspectives and finding common ground.
The most important issue facing the 2015 legislature is the passage of a state budget, based upon fair taxation, which reflects our progressive values and invests in our children, seniors and infrastructure.
Would you be willing to abide by the endorsement of the DFL Senate District?
What is your favorite thing to do during a weekend in St. Paul?
I love picking up groceries and having friends over for dinner and games. I enjoy exploring neighborhoods on my bike and sampling the fare at small restaurants and coffee shops. It’s fun to catch a Saints game at least once each summer and go to community festivals, whether it’s the Winter Carnival or a summer jazz festival or art show. I have season tickets to the Minnesota RollerGirls at Roy Wilkins Auditorium and I coach a women’s softball team that plays on Sunday afternoons at Dunning Field.
Got your own questions for Beth Fraser? Ask her at email@example.com.