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Labor 2012

Retired Osseo teacher
Rick Theisen running for
Three Rivers Park Board
District 2 seat

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2012

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MAPLE GROVE — Retired Osseo teacher and union activist Rick Theisen is the AFL-CIO endorsed candidate for the District 2 seat on the Three Rivers Park District board. District 2 includes almost all of Brooklyn Park and all of Champlin, Dayton, Maple Grove and Osseo.

“I’m committed to maintaining and improving the parks and seeing that the amenities the parks offer are available to all people,” Theisen says. “I just think it’s a priority for our community to have a vibrant recreational option that is close by for a variety of opportunities” —for all ages, he adds.

Theisen sees tough challenges ahead for the 27,000 acre suburban park district, as it strives to maintain trails and facilities with less revenues. Those challenges require special leadership qualities, he believes.

“I understand how the political system works and how critical it is to work with people,” Theisen says.

“When you’re elected, you’re there to be a leader — and a servant. You may not always agree but you must listen and respond.”

Theisen is a 36-year resident of Maple Grove and worked 34 years as a social studies teacher at Osseo High School from 1966-2000. “I’ve had 12,000 students,” he calculates.

Theisen was a leader in his local teachers union, serving as president five years and chairing bargaining committees for several contracts.

“I’ve been a union member and a union leader in my own union all of my teaching career,” Theisen says. “I am proud of it. I’ve always been an advocate for unions and I will continue to be an advocate for unions.”

Theisen’s wife, Jeannie, worked as a nurse and was a 27-year member of the Minnesota Nurses Association. The couple have two adult children and five grandchildren and live nearby Elm Creek Park Reserve, which they visit regularly.

Theisen led the three-way primary and has been endorsed by former Three Rivers Park District chair Jim Deane.

Rick Theisen website:
ricktheisenforthreeriversparkboard.com

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