Kirsten Kennedy is a Democratic hopeful for the open seat in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. The primary will be held on August 14th.
Hi… my name is Kirsten Kennedy and I am running to be the first Congresswoman from Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.
Minnesota’s 8th is a beautiful part of our great state – it encompasses an 18-county region that is larger than West Virginia. We have urban areas and rural areas; agriculture, technology, and industry. We have a thriving tourism industry and a growing artisan economy.
My story is pretty similar to the stories of many people around the nation. I am a single mother of five children. After my divorce, I went back to school, got a BA in psychology and then my master’s in political advocacy and leadership. Living in my community, I realized I was tired of complaining about the problems and decided to help fix them. I organized. And then I made the jump to run for mayor as a progressive in a conservative hotbed. I won. Twice.
I was able to win by building coalitions of groups with opposing viewpoints, and finding common ground to build trust between them. That is what I intend to do when I get to Congress.
I work two jobs, I raise my kids, and I’m running for Congress. Who better to represent our district than someone who is fighting in the trenches beside you?
My campaign manager jokes about us bringing the Minnesota potluck to a national scale – I’m bringing the lime jello with carrots and celery, which you don’t like, and you brought the lutefisk casserole, which I don’t like, but we both discover a mutual love of glorified rice and a relationship begins.
I look at us as being a big table – when we all have a seat at the table and listen to each other. Those of us with privilege must use our voices to amplify and represent those who don’t.
There is so much we need as a nation, as well as here in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. We must demand technology and science-based solutions to put people to work for the environment and address climate change. We need to protect our existing workforce and work to develop jobs, especially green jobs, in our most economically fragile areas. We need to fix our crumbling national infrastructure. We need to implement common-sense gun reform; protect our DREAMers; champion workers’ rights to unionize by opposing Right to Work legislation at all levels of government; insist on increased funding to our public education system; fully fund our Veterans’ Administration, care, and support services; end Citizens United; and create a single-payer healthcare system for all Americans. We need to develop shared governance with the Native American tribes within our borders to strengthen and assist each other with the struggles we face together.
I look forward to blogging some of my experiences on the campaign trail and musings about life for you all to read.
In the meantime, remember, together, we can get it right!