Alice Johnson: Legislative veteran wants to restore ‘a Minnesota that works’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2012
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
SPRING LAKE PARK — “After watching what I saw at the capitol last session, I’m very concerned about the lack of willingness to compromise,” says Alice Johnson, running for the Senate District 37 seat representing Blaine, Coon Rapids, and Spring Lake Park.
Johnson is endorsed by the Minnesota AFL-CIO and the DFL Party.
Johnson previously served seven terms in the Minnesota House (1986-2000). Twelve years later, she is so concerned about the gridlock at the legislature that she decided to come out of retirement when no other candidates stepped forward to challenge the Republican incumbent.
“I’m afraid if we don’t stop this trend to rigidness and unwillingness to compromise, it will lead us to a place where it will be difficult to govern,” she says.
“I’ve served under Governor Rudy Perpich, Governor Arne Carlson, Governor Jesse Ventura,” Johnson says. “We had our disagreements. We never walked away and didn’t come back.”
During her years in the House, Johnson served on the Transportation, Education and Tax committees and chaired the K-12 Education Finance Division.
She has a simple answer to respond to Republican mail pieces attacking her voting record: “You borrowed from the schools and you took away the Homestead Credit and took away from the reserve fund.” The Republican approach, she says, is “like someone with a credit card saying ‘all I need to pay is $10 per month on my $1,000 bill.’”
Johnson believes investing in education is vital: “If we have a well-prepared workforce, we will have employers who will want to build their businesses in our state.”
Johnson is a 45-year resident of Spring Lake Park. She has four children and 10 grandchildren and is married to former State Representative Richard Jefferson.
Part of Johnson’s old House District lies within the new Senate District 37. “There are a lot of union people in this district,” she notes.
“Unions have made it possible for us to have a strong middle class in our state,” she maintains.
Johnson defeated a Republican incumbent in her first race years ago and is challenging one-term Republican incumbent Pam Wolf. Wolf’s brief voting record shows she is no friend of working families. In the 2012 legislature, Wolf supported the AFL-CIO position only once out of 17 tracked votes.
Alice Johnson website: