Matt Entenza (on right) with Mayor of Winona
Tonight I attended a Meet and Greet for Matt Entenza. It was at the library in Stillwater. If you have never been to the Stillwater library, be sure to check it out. It's wonderful. The view from the top floor deck is stupendous. You can see the St. Croix River Valley in all its splendor.
The Meet and Greet was very interesting and informative for me. I've read Matt's campaign literature and have been to a lot of events such as debates and forums where he was just one of many gubernatorial candidates speaking. It was nice to hear him talk in a smaller group setting. And it was good to see how he interacted with these voters from Stillwater, which is in CD6.
I was very impressed with Matt Entenza tonight. He came across as being reasonable, personable and caring. He listened carefully to the issues that the audience brought up. He never interrupted them to insert his own words. He waited until they were finished with what they had to say and then gave his response. There was a woman in the group who tried to monopolize the conversation. He took her in stride and remained polite. He listened to her concerns. I could tell he was emphathizing with her situation.
To begin the conversation, Matt told about his childhood growing up in Worthington, MN. He gave a personal background of a few of the things that affected his life. He kept it brief for the sake of time, as the Meet and Greet was only scheduled for an hour.
Matt talked of how Minnesota used to have such an excellent school system. I agreed with him on that. I attended the White Bear Lake schools from kindergarden through high school. My four kids were in the Mounds View school district. Between the time I was in school and the time my youngest two kids were, Minnesota's educational system took a nosedive. In the 1950's and 1960's, many languages were taught. When I was in high school there was a choice of French, German, Spanish, Greek, Latin and Russian. A foreign language was required to get into college. Extracurricular activities were either free or reasonably priced. I was in pep band, stage band, concert band and marching band. I never paid a cent for uniforms, instrument rental or lessons.
Let's elect a governor who will bring this standard back to Minnesota schools. Matt Entenza is one of the candidates who can and will accomplish this.
Matt's background is that of legislator, criminal prosecutor of white collar crime, telemarketing scams and other crimes committed in the business world. He became a legislator in 1995 and was the minority leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 - 2006. In 2005 Matt Entenza successfully stood up against Governor Tim Pawlenty in order to make sure that Minnesota kept its health care. He also, at this time, was instrumental in keeping public education from suffering further budget cuts.
Matt authored and passed the Do Not Call bill, which served to protect Minnesotans from harrassment by telemarketers. He also authored legislation to maintain funding for school breakfast programs and raise accountability standards for charter schools.
Matt Entenza was a major contributor to child support legislation in Minnesota. It was he who authored every major reform from 1995-2002 and increased collection by 25 percent.
As governor, Matt will focus on education, health care and green energy. He knows that no governor can focus on everything at once, so he has picked the issues that need the top priority.
Matt Entenza saved MNCare, which is the state funded health care program for low and moderate income people without any other health insurance. He fought for the rights of every Minnesotan to have heath care access. State government shut down for seven days during this time, but in the end Matt made Governor Pawlenty see the light in regard to the importance of health care. The deal was that if the legislators would agree to call the tobacco tax a fee instead of a tax, then Pawlenty would agree to save MNCare. Of course we all know that a tax by any other name is still a tax. Kudos to Entenza for this one.
Matt wants Minnesota to return to the things that made our state great. Currently, polarization is getting worse and worse. The Teabaggers are getting out of control. Minnesotans are seeking a balance. When things get out of balance in nature, something always happens to restore the balance. It's no different in politics. I sincerely believe that Matt Entenza can restore balance to Minnesota.
Economic growth in Minnesota was about average for the Midwest until education became a prime focus. Then our economic growth took off. We saw tremendous advances in our economy. Now our educational system is suffering because of Republican administration. Our economy is suffering as well. Let's get Minnesota back on track with a superb educational system and a fast-growing economy. One follows the other.
Matt is also concerned about our justice system. There are too many flaws in it. Justice takes too long to accomplish and there is far too much red tape. Tonight at the Meet and Greet, Matt quoted an old saying: "Justice delayed is justice denied." People wait so long for justice that they end up not getting it at all. As governor, Matt will work to improve Minnesota's justice system. He knows that we need a more speedy court system and that we need a fair justice for the poor. Discrepancies have no place in our justice system.
Matt also knows that the "No Child Left Behind" program doesn't work. We need to junk it and come up with something that actually works.
This candidate is good on child support, too. In 2001 he won a national award for best legislator in regard to to this issue.
Matt Entenza is pro light rail and pro heavy rail. This is excellent from my viewpoint. I grew up on trains and always feel a thrill when I ride them. My grandfather and uncle both worked for the Minnesota Transfer Railway. My cousins worked for the Burlington Northern. I myself did a stint with Canadian Pacific Railroad. When I was very small, my grandmother took me on the street cars. I vaguely remember. When I was about five, the streetcar lines began to disappear. Buses took their place. Yet now streetcars are making a comeback. We call it light rail now. Matt has a transportation plan that embraces the next twenty years. I briefly heard the plan tonight. It's excellent.
In conclusion, I have to say that I was very impressed with Matt Entenza tonight. He's very easy to get along with, he listens to people, he's got a pleasing personality, he's got a plan for Minnesota to return to its days of glory but with a futuristic goal, and he's got a plan to win the governorship so he can bring these plans to fruition for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
Here's some pictures of tonight's Meet and Greet.
People came early on their way home from work to wait
for Matt to arrive.
More people arrived, all eager to meet Matt Entenza
This was a beautiful room at the Stillwater library.
My New Friends
We had a great discussion with these two ladies.
Matt Entenza listens carefully to Minnesotans.