Q&A: Ann Marie MetzgerAnn Marie Metzger's responses to a Q&A.
The Bulletin asked legislative candidates the following questions.
1. What role do you think government should play in people’s lives?
2. As you see it, what are the most pressing local issues to the residents in your district?
3. Do you believe the state’s public unions, like Education Minnesota, should retain collective bargaining power? Explain.
4. Would you support a tax increase to help balance the state’s budget? Explain.
5. Will you be voting for or against the marriage amendment at the polls? Explain your reasons.
Here are Ann Marie Metzger's responses:
1. From public safety to health care and education, our state and local governments provide the many services we rely on every day. As legislators, it is our task to make sure these services are provided in a fiscally responsible way without imposing drastic cuts to those programs that help Minnesotans in bad times. We have the resources to fund these services by recognizing that we are all in this together. And just as generations of Minnesotans have done, we can invest in our future and take on the challenges we are facing.
2. Every year our school districts are being asked to do more with less. If our school districts were Fortune 500 companies, they would be honored with numerous accolades for weathering these difficult economic times all the while striving to fulfill a crucial social compact: educating our children. My worry is that these austere measures become the norm. If they do, our children will not be prepared for 21st century opportunities. As legislators we need to make education a priority and fund it properly and predictably.
3. Yes. Collective bargaining is a human right. Teachers have a right to bargain collectively like anyone else. Our goal should be to prepare our children for the 21st century and provide our state with the educated workforce needed to grow our economy. We can’t do this by pitting one group against another, as my opponent attempts to do. When it comes to our schools, we are all in this together: Teachers, parents, students, administrators and legislators. Let’s think of our kids and stop the name calling.
4. Let’s be clear. My opponent and the GOP raised property taxes in lieu of asking everyone to pay their fair share. By neglecting their duty to deliver a fair and balanced budget, they kicked the can down the road and took $2.4 billion from schools. They do not have a plan to pay them back. I will bring my values to the job as your state representative. That means keeping education and health care a priority. Top quality education and access to portable, affordable and quality health-care is essential for middle class families and our economy to thrive.
5. I will vote against the marriage amendment. We have a state Constitution to protect our rights, not limit them. We all want a Minnesota where we value the inherent worth and dignity of every person and their ability to participate in every part of society like marrying the person they love. My opponent is flip-flopping on this issue; after voting to put this on the ballot, she refuses to take a public position. Is that leadership? Do you want a legislator who bows to pressure from her party and other extreme factions or worse, can’t make up her mind?