US House District 7
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Collin C. Peterson
Jobs: What action, if any, will you take to help your Minnesotans get steady work and living wages?
Trust: What action, if any, will you take to ensure Minnesotans trust you as an elected official and have confidence in you?
Civility: What is the responsibility of our elected officials, if any, to encourage Minnesotans to engage in respectful, constructive, civil discussions?
Unity: What concrete steps, if any, will you take to build cooperation between parties and unify the country?
Here in Minnesota's Seventh District, we're really fortunate to have an economy, a job market, and a business community that makes this area such a great place to live. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the economy works for everyone. Even at 3.9% unemployment, we've still got to go after those folks that fall through the cracks. It's my job as your congressman to make sure that I keep working to improve the economy and business climate for everybody. For small businesses and manufacturers, that means better access to capital and more streamlined regulation, and for workers, that means investment in skills training and defending the ability to negotiate for better compensation and benefits.
I spent my career as an accountant in Detroit Lakes, and I never saw a family or business whose finances were made stronger by a lot of promises and flowery language. My job is to listen to my constituents, help them navigate issues with the federal government, and deliver for the people who live here. I've been doing that my whole career.
Minnesotans certainly have a responsibility to one another to handle our disagreements on issues in a civil and respectful way, but we as elected officials should do better to live up to that responsibility in Washington too. Throughout my career, I've worked to create relationships with colleagues all across the political spectrum--especially those across the aisle, and I've learned that civility doesn't mean setting aside your values and your beliefs. No party gets to have its way all the time, so understanding the viewpoints of my colleagues has helped me to be more effective in my job, and more understanding of the various issues that I get to work on.
Bipartisanship and the effort to find consensus has always been at the center of my work for the district, and I'm honored to have been named as the most bipartisan member of Congress this past year. It's one thing to talk about working together and another thing to actually take the steps to do it. It means setting aside ideology and looking for those areas we can agree on regardless of party. I've sponsored more than 230 bills with countless Republicans that have been signed into law by four presidents--two Republicans and two Democrats. I haven't agreed with them on every issue, but we've found those places we could work together for the benefit of everybody.
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