Katie SiebenHere is a profile on Katie Sieben, who is running as the incumbent in Senate District 54.
Q: Please share with us your background information, including information about your family, your education, your career and community and government involvement.
A: My husband and I live in Cottage Grove with our two sons, ages four and one. I grew up in Newport and attended South Washington County public schools. Both of my parents are from Hastings, so I feel a strong connection to the city because of my family roots in the area and the time I spent in Hastings as a child.
I was re-elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010 after serving two terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I serve on the Education, Local Government and Elections Committee and Transportation committees. I’m active in many community organizations; for instance I just finished a term on the Friends in Need food shelf.
Q: Why are you running for this position?
A: I am committed to making Minnesota an even better place to live, work and raise a family. I feel I can contribute to this goal.
Q: The state’s financial and budget issues appear to be ongoing. How can this be resolved?
A: The budget should be balanced with a combination of spending cuts and increased revenue. The sale of tobacco bonds and the school shift, which took $2.1 billion from Minnesota students, were irresponsible. The legislature must pass a budget that truly balances and stop relying on cuts that simply shift burdens onto our property taxes and higher fees. The middle-class is getting hurt by the so-called “no new tax pledges;” it’s time to pass a budget that is fiscally responsible and honest.
Q: Many in this state believe that legislators are not working together, or with the governor to address the major issues. How can this be changed for the good of all Minnesotans?
A: The only way to change this is to elect people who are willing to put the good of Minnesotans ahead of their own political calculations or party. I have a strong record of working across the aisle on many initiatives including election reform, creating a teacher evaluation system and banning the use of synthetic marijuana.
Q: While the state’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, there are still thousands seeking jobs. What can be done to improve the state’s unemployment issues?
A: While the latest national jobs numbers are encouraging, job creation remains a top priority. I am proud of my work to provide additional funding to the Minnesota Investment Fund, a bi-partisan tool to create incentives for existing businesses to create jobs in the state. I will continue to consider all opportunities for job growth, including infrastructure projects like the Hastings bridge project that has created hundreds of jobs in our community.
Q: Minnesota is voting on two proposed amendments to the state constitution – the marriage, and the photo identification for voting. What is your position on both?
A: I voted against both in the Senate and will vote no on both amendments on Nov. 6. These divisive amendments do not belong in our state’s constitution. The marriage amendment seeks to prevent committed couples from sharing the same rights my husband and I enjoy. The photo ID amendment will make it harder, or impossible, for thousands of eligible citizens to vote. That is wrong.
Q: Why should voters mark their ballots for you?
A: I have a proven track record of working with my colleagues to get things done. The Hastings bridge is under construction now, instead of what had been scheduled for replacement in 15 years because of my work. I have been successful at passing common-sense reforms as a member of the minority and the majority parties. I pride myself on being responsive to individual constituent concerns. My core set of values, of caring for others and trying to make the community and state better, are what I learned growing up in this area. It would be an honor to represent the people of Hastings in the State Senate for another term.