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Senatorial staff without an office

During open forum of Sen. Al Franen's constituents on July 22, many concerns were discussed including health care. - Staff photo by Amber Kispert

After months of waiting and wondering, Minnesota finally has its second senator, Sen. Al Franken. But what Franken's staff doesn't have, is an office.

Since the Franken staff is currently working out of each other's kitchens, cars and file boxes, the decision was made to take the office on the road for 66 stops, in 3 weeks, open forum tour.

"Rather than just sitting around waiting, Franken though we should take the office out on the road," said Greg Buhr, constituent service director for Fraken, said. "Just to have an informal discussion and find out what's on people's minds."

Buhr, and his fellow Franken staff member Nicole Ly, made a stop at Woodbury City Hall on July 21.

During the open-forum, Franken supporters and constituents, including Washington County Board chairwoman Myra Peterson, spoke in an informal setting over their concerns, their hopes and generally anything that was on their minds.

"It's just the beginning of a conversation," Buhr said. "And Minnesotans appreciate the opportunity to express their views."

Buhr said they will be wrapping up the tour in about a week and a half, and by that time they will hopefully have an office.

"It will certainly be a welcome change," he said.

Currently, Buhr said they are looking at getting a temporary office in the St. Paul federal building in the coming weeks. However, Buhr said they are hoping to locate a permanent residence despite getting a late start.

Typically staff has 60 days after the November elections to located office space, but since the decision was postponed for nearly 8 months, office space is a little bit more difficult to come by.

"This election has been everything but typical," Buhr said.

To contact Sen. Al Franken and his senatorial staff call (651) 788-5505 or e-mail

Kispert can be reached at

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976