A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota Senate District 33 seat.
The City of Wayzata falls in Senate District 33.
Osmek was first elected to the legislature in 2012.
His opponent, Democrat Gretchen Piper, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:
The health of our democracy depends on our involvement. I’m running to put our shared values into action, not the values of a political party. I’m committed to listening to you and being part of constructive, common sense solutions that benefit our communities - all of us.
How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?
My life has been about taking action for what I believe in, for what makes our communities stronger and healthier. Through college, business school and in my professional career and leadership actions, I have always worked with companies that align with my personal mission to improve our communities every day - representation and transparency in government, healthcare access for everyone, high quality public education, environmental conservation, clean water, human rights, caring for our elders and providing opportunities for all.
Tell me about your family.
I come from a family that places a high value, and an expectation, on service. I’ve spent most of my life in the district, growing up in Hamel and now living in Wayzata with my husband and our two teenagers. My parents and two of my brothers and their families live in the district, and my grandparents also lived in the district. I am so grateful for our community, our public schools and how we come together to support one another.
What do you see as the priorities in the 33rd District?
Right now, our top priority must be the health and safety of our neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we return to work and school while protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and getting our businesses back on track. For example, investment in technology and internet access for everyone is critical, and an important step toward ensuring our recovery. Now is the time we must come together and work together, putting our shared values into action, not letting partisanship get in the way of good policy. We are smart, hard working and innovative neighbors and I trust that together we will find new ways to work, go to school and have a thriving business community.
What differentiates yourself from your opponent?
I believe in progress above politics. I believe that when we take time to listen to our neighbors, we find the common goals and common ground we need for a vibrant economy, good schools, safe communities and a healthy environment. Regardless of party affiliation, we must work together to get our businesses and economy moving forward again. Partisan politics is hurting our communities. If there were ever a time for us and our creative neighbors to come together, this is it. I know we can do better. We can’t change where we have been, but we can start now, where we are, and create a better path forward. Join me in moving forward.
How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored vulnerabilities in our communities, and in our infrastructure. Now is the time to work together, to pass critical legislation that ensures the safety of our community, investments in infrastructure projects like water and sewer treatment, best in class internet access, shovel-ready construction projects, and aid that is desperately needed to keep our communities safe and our economy thriving.
How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?
Our legislators must be proactive, not reactive. For too long, many have let partisan politics get in the way and failed to address issues of race and policing, delaying difficult conversations and actions. The legislature created a task force of strong, informed community voices who proposed specific changes. Now, we must listen to those recommendations and prioritize action over political grandstanding.
Anything else you would like to add?
Your voice matters. Each of us has a role to play in our democracy and in making our community better for everyone. I believe our representatives are elected to listen to us and to represent us, not special interests, not a political party. I am not taking any PAC, lobbyist or special interest money and I’m running to represent us, the people of senate district 33. I invite you to visit gretchenpiper.comand join me for a listening session or personal conversation about how we can work together for a better future.