Meet the candidates: Melanie McMahon

McMahonWe 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. We’ll start with Melanie McMahon.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you lived in District 64B?

My grandmother moved to Randolph Ave. more than seventy years ago and the first place my parents lived in after they were married was also on Randolph Ave. My husband Scott and I bought our house in District 64B just blocks from Randolph Ave. about nine years ago and prior to that we lived in Mac-Groveland. This community continues to offer the things that first attracted my grandmother to the neighborhood, such as high quality education, access to transportation, parks and open space. We love this community and have chosen to raise our family here.

What is your community involvement? What is your current job and other volunteer commitments?

I am an attorney, have worked in both the private and public sector, and also volunteer extensively in the community. Currently, I serve as the Vice-Chair of the Capital Investment Board (CIB) for St. Paul and have also been the SD64 Representative on the CIB. Additionally, I am the Grid #5 Representative on the Highland District Council. Within SD64 I have volunteered for DFL endorsed candidates and am Campaign Manager for Rep. Michael Paymar. Previously, I have served on the Randolph Heights ECFE Site Council and been a mentor in the University of St. Thomas School of Law Mentor Program.

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 State Representative to be a strong advocate for progressive values. The most pressing issue I would focus on is education, specifically early childhood education and vocational training. I believe that providing high quality education is crucial to solving so many other challenging issues, such as poverty. Only one of my grandparents had an opportunity to go to high school and both of my parents were the first in their families to go to college, so I have seen firsthand the opportunities available once people have access to high quality education. Education must extend beyond the traditional classroom. In addition to providing a living wage, individuals need to have access to vocational education and job training programs.

Would you be willing to abide by the endorsement of the DFL Senate District?

Yes, I am seeking and abiding by the DFL endorsement.

What is your favorite thing to during a weekend in St. Paul?

I love to start my weekends with a long run or a bike ride along the river and through the neighborhood. After time spent reading and relaxing with my family we usually go to a park, or if the weather isn’t cooperating we find something fun indoors like bowling at Ran-Ham. We love how many great local restaurants there are in the neighborhood and are continuously trying new ones.

Got your own questions for Melanie McMahon? Ask her at mcmahonsd64@gmail.com.

Help us Choose a New State Representative

You’ve probably heard by now that our beloved Rep. Michael Paymar has decided not to run for reelection. He’s been an important force at the capitol on a range of public safety and other issues. SD64 is lucky to have had his service all these years. With Michael stepping down that means we will have a contested endorsing convention for the 64B seat.

A couple of things for you to know and act on:

  • The 64 Convention will be in late March. We hope to have the date finalized by Monday.
  • Caucuses will be on Tuesday February 4. Caucus for 64 B will be at Highland Junior High. Mark your calendar!!
  • SD64 DFL is planning to make the caucus and convention process as transparent and fair to all comers as possible. We’ll be updating our website and facebook page with information on the caucuses, convention and the race as we move along.
  • As chair, Liz Wefel is remaining neutral in this race and is committed to a transparent operation for everyone. One aspect of that transparency is making sure that campaigns get equal info. Thus, if you or someone you know is planning to run please have them contact Liz at ewefel@gmail.com or at 651-492-3998. The Highland Villager has asked her for the names of those running, so she will be sharing that with them on Sunday. If you or someone you know is running, have them contact Liz by Sunday noon.

Financial Help For A Successful Caucus And Convention

For the caucuses and the convention to be a success we need your financial help!!! Seriously, these are expensive operations – especially with the turnout we expect The last time we had a contested endorsement contest in 64A, we had over 2,000 people at caucuses and close to 1,000 at the convention. There’s a lot that goes into these operations and as a completely volunteer driven organization we need your help!! You can donate $50 per person ($100 per couple) and get that money refunded back to you. Please do so before the end of the year! Please visit www.sd64dfl.org/donate for more info or to donate on line. We need your help to make sure it works well.

Please don’t forget – our next central committee meeting will be December 11, 2013 at 7pm Macalester College Olin Rice Hall 150. The agenda will be posted 24 hours in advance of meeting. Everyone (well all the democrats) in SD64 are welcome – but if someone wants to get on the agenda that person should contact me in advance. I’ve already had one 64B candidate request to speak.

Michael Paymar Not Running for 64B

By now you’ve heard by now that Rep. Paymar has decided not to run for reelection. He’s been an important force at the capitol on a range of public safety and other issues. SD64 is lucky to have had his service all this years. With Michael stepping down that means we will have a contested endorsing convention for the 64B seat. (If you want to be technical, we could also have one for 64A if someone challenged Erin Murphy but that does not seem likely). 
 
A couple of things for you to know and act on: 

  • The 64 Convention will be in March.  We hope to have the date finalized by Monday. 
  • Caucuses will be on Tuesday February 4. Caucus for 64A will be at Central High School (except 3-7 which will be at Macalester) and Caucus for 64B will be at Highland Junior High.
  • SD64 DFL is planning to make the caucus and convention process as transparent and fair to all comers as possible. We’ve been complimented for years on well-run conventions, but we’re not sitting on our laurels – we’re stepping up our game.
  • As SD64 DFL Chair, Liz Wefel is remaining neutral in this race and committed to a transparent operation for everyone. Thus, if you or someone you know is planning to run please have them contact Liz (651-492-3998). The Highland Villager has asked her for the names of those running, so she will be sharing that with them on Sunday.