Barnum, MN Saturday, January 19, 2019
My name is Michelle Lee. I’m an award-winning journalist, a mother and lifelong advocate. I’m running to be your next State Senator.
I’ve dedicated my life to listening to... and sharing your stories. Now, I’m ready to work with you... to fight for our shared values... in St.Paul.
As I look out on your faces...I see so many new and old friends... who I’ve come to know over the years.
We’re here to talk about our shared vision….and shared values. Both of which, we’ve come to understand and accept-- because of our life experiences together-- as we listen and share stories about our families and neighbors.
Last year, I fought hard to bring our vision and values to Washington – and I can’t thank you, and the thousands of people who voted for me...nearly enough.
Our people’s campaign proved many things. Primarily, we matter.
We, the people; those of us who... through hard work, education and, yes, sometimes by the skin-of-our-teeth….broke down barriers to survive and thrive.
I’m a product of that way of life. Born poor. A trade school graduate. On-the-job training.
But, through the grit and determination of everything within me…. I rose through the ranks of what “was” an almost all-male profession... becoming the face of the evening news for three decades.
I know how to break down walls.
So, here I am again.
Ready to get to work for the people of Senate District 11.
Our communities are more than a pit-stop, along a super highway, to something better. We matter.
I’ve traveled across this district in the past year….listening to people as they shared their stories and their desires …. just as I did for over 30 years as a journalist.
Yes – some believe the decks are stacked against them…....That politicians are too busy attending to the needs of big money interests... at their expense.
People wonder, why the richest country on the face of the Earth... has families going bankrupt, because they can’t afford a medical emergency.
--We have families and young people plunging into debt... simply because they want an education.
--They see their life savings threatened.
--They also wonder whether threats to gut Social Security and pension programs--- will someday be realized.
--They see themselves staring in the bathroom mirror... as they cut another pill in half... because no one will do anything ...about the cost of prescription drugs.
-- others now lock their doors, for the first time in their lives…. because someone’s likely to break in to steal something... to pay for their opioid addiction.
Sometimes... this doesn’t sound like the land of the free and the home of the brave...does it?
And, yet, we’re here today... to carry on our bold American experiment in Democracy…. proving that we haven’t yet given up…. on the promise of a “better tomorrow” ….for our children and grandchildren.
My husband Gary and I, are about to become grandparents…. for the first time.
Those of you who have been there, know that’s life-changing. You also know it is an opportunity for new beginnings.
We must seize this opportunity today... to build a world where our children and grandchildren will have access to quality education, affordable healthcare ….. and the opportunity to create the economy of the 21th century... with an eye to protecting our environment for seven generations to come.
Hubert Humphrey may have said it best:
--The moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life; the young….
--Those who are in the twilight of life; the elderly….
--And those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, The unemployed.
Ladies & Gentlemen – this is our time. Together we will work to make the promise of “One Minnesota,” a reality. A reality where--- regardless of our zip code or connections----the young and the old and everyone in between…. will all have a place at the table.
I know I cannot do it alone.
Which is why ….I’m here today. It is why you are here today.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and start building.
My name is Michelle Lee. I’m not asking you to send me to St. Paul for a career. I’ve had a successful career already.
This is my time to pay it forward.
As a journalist I spent years telling your stories on the nightly news. Now I am ready to l take your stories to the halls of our capitol in St. Paul. I will give them voice... as we work to create legislation that improve the lives of families here in our district... and across the great state of Minnesota.
Today I humble ask that you endorse me…. as your candidate for Senate District 11. Thank you.