After watching the two debates between the Senate District 8 candidates Michele Anderson and Bill Ingebrigtsen, it is clear how much we need Anderson to represent us. During the debates, Anderson demonstrated her understanding of a wide range of topics from Minnesota’s rural economy, to COVID-19, to Minnesota’s racial disparities. She centers on each issue instead of deviating into partisan talking points. Anderson understands the issues that myself and my community face here in Otter Tail County- COVID-response, the relationship between child care and jobs, and racial and gender inequalities.
Our incumbent Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, seems very far away from the reality I live in, where climate change and racial disparities are real existential threats, where the state’s COVID pandemic response is much more than just “doom and gloom and scare tactics,” and where mass protest against police violence demands that we reconsider the way law enforcement treats civilians.
Anderson has said multiple times that she does not support defunding the police, that she cares about public safety and wants to address the root cause of crime by funding mental health support and education.
During the first debate, Ingebrigtsen falsely claimed that the DFL party wants to defund the police. Being the incumbent, he should know that there is no proposed state legislation to defund the police. Fortunately, Anderson corrected him in her rebuttal. As Ingebrigtsen has done with racial inequalities, Ingebrigtsen ignores the issue of police violence.
Anderson demonstrates her scientific literacy when she spoke of the leadership from Gov. Tim Walz. She noted that Walz is making decisions about COVID guided by science. Ingebrigtsen acknowledged that we should listen to science but reduced it to individual scientists having “opinions” about COVID. Science informs us not with opinions, but by the scientific community producing peer-reviewed data.
During the second debate, Anderson said of COVID-19 and the mask mandate being wrongly politicized, “It is really unfortunate to see political games being played with our health.” I couldn’t agree more. We are in a public health crisis that demands unity in our communities to protect everyone by following simple public health guidelines.
Anderson is a proven leader who is committed to equity and justice for all. This November, I am voting for Michele Anderson for Senate District 8 and I hope you do too.