‘Politics are about people’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 26, 2018
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
EDEN PRAIRIE — “Ultimately, I believe politics are and should be — at the heart — about people, says Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn.
Kotyza-Witthuhn is running with AFL-CIO and DFL Party endorsement for election to the House District 48B seat, which is primarily in Eden Prairie.
The five-term Republican incumbent, Jennifer Loon, has earned a lifetime AFL-CIO voting record of only 10 percent on votes tracking working family issues.
“People are ready for a fresh perspective; they are ready for a new generation of leadership,” says Kotyza-Witthuhn (pronounced “ko-teeza wi-toon”).
In 2016, labor-endorsed DFLer Steve Cwodzinski won the Senate District 48 seat and Hillary Clinton won District 48B by 13 percent. “We have a good shot,” says Kotyza-Witthuhn, who is campaigning on living wage jobs, education, affordable housing, and access to affordable and quality health care.
“I never planned to run for office,” she adds. “It had a lot to do with the outcome of the 2016 election and seeing where our country seemed to be headed. It’s concerning to me.”
“I grew up in a union household in Sheboygan, Wisconsin,” Kotyza-Witthuhn proudly declares on her website. Both of her parents were educators and her father was active in his teachers union. He retired early, however, she notes, due to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s assault on public employee unions.
“The threat of removing collective bargaining rights in Minnesota is very personal to me because it affected my family and it affects my friends who are still teaching in Wisconsin today,” she says.
Kotyza-Witthuhn moved to Minnesota to attend the University of St. Thomas. She has worked in management in both the public and private sectors. When she and her husband settled in Eden Prairie seven years ago, she says, “the fantastic school district in Eden Prairie was a big consideration.” The couple recently adopted three siblings from the Minnesota foster care system, ages 2, 3 and 4.