Bonnie Westlin is running to flip Minnesota Senate District 34. She is a small business owner, with her own law practice where she focuses on family law and mediation. She is eager to bring her much-needed skill as a negotiator to the Minnesota Senate. Bonnie knows that the state needs leaders who will focus on inspiring cooperation rather than fueling divisive and corrosive politics. As a single mom and grandmother, Bonnie understands the struggle of providing not only for her own education and career, but for her son’s education and her family’s well-being.
Bonnie is running on a strong platform to expand access to high quality, affordable healthcare and public education in Minnesota. She knows that access to affordable, high-quality healthcare has always been a significant challenge. With the current COVID-19 crisis, healthcare continues to be the top concern on everyone’s mind. Minnesota has a remarkable legacy of healthcare innovation, fostered by the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. But as this crisis has shown us, quality care is not uniformly accessible in the state. As someone who purchases individual health coverage for herself and her son, she knows firsthand how difficult it is to pay high premiums, deductibles, and high prescription drug costs.
She also believes that public education must be fully funded from early childhood through high school, including special education services. Strong public schools empower every student to be well prepared for success at work, at home, and in community life. COVID-19 has exposed the inequities in Minnesota’s public education system, including food security and access to technology and broadband internet. Having lived the struggles of many Minnesotans, Bonnie has what it takes to address these issues at home and around the state. She is energized to get to work on these and so many other vital issues that are priorities for citizens across Minnesota.
Read more on Bonnie's website.
Bonnie will work to eliminate the achievement/opportunity gap, expand learning opportunities, and ensure that Minnesota continues to have one of the most highly educated workforces in the nation. She will fight to increase education funding, expand early childhood education, and to make higher education more affordable by holding down tuition costs and implementing loan forgiveness programs.
Bonnie wants to uphold “the Minnesota Model” of healthcare delivery as a way to make our healthcare systems more cost-effective by rewarding health care providers for outcomes rather than paying them for the number of services they provide. As State Senator, she will also fight to hold insurance companies accountable to patients, provide adequate support for the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), and to better develop the state’s mental health system to support Minnesotans with mental illnesses and chemically dependency issues.
Gun Violence Prevention
Gun injuries and deaths are a public health crisis. Yet we have not been able to pass effective gun violence prevention measures in Minnesota – even ones that have broad public support and that have been shown to reduce gun deaths. Bonnie strongly supports passage of expanded background checks on gun sales in Minnesota and Red Flag legislation.
Bonnie will work to fund a comprehensive transportation package, including a long-term plan for repairing and maintaining our transportation infrastructure, which will lift more Minnesotans out of poverty, expand transit service in rural communities, and help narrow racial disparities. She will fight for a modernized gas tax to support infrastructure projects and the creation of rapid transit lines across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
Job Creation and the Economy
Bonnie will help develop an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%. As State Senator, she will fight to ensure comprehensive paid sick leave and paid time off, create more opportunities for low-income Minnesotans, and keep Minnesota a competitive place for small-business and large companies alike.
The Minnesota Senate is our pick for the best Democratic chamber-flip opportunity of 2020. Democrats are down just 2 seats in this chamber, which has not been up since 2016. This means there are great districts that have trended towards Democrats since their last election, which are ripe for flipping this year.
Flipping this chamber would deliver a Democratic trifecta to the state of Minnesota, since Governor Tim Walz is a Democrat who is not up in 2020, and Democrats flipped the state house blue in 2018.
These are ‘last chance’ races: whoever is elected in 2020 will draw the next round of district lines.