Political guest column: Mueller: Not afraid to confront the issues
Published 6:30 am Wednesday, October 28, 2020
My name is Patricia Mueller. I grew up in Minnesota with my family in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. After graduating from Tartan High School in 1999, I went to Winona State University to become a teacher. It was in college that I met my husband, Dan. In 2003 I graduated with my degree in English Education and then married in March of 2004. For the past 16 years, my husband and I have been working in local communities. I have been in classrooms all around the world. My husband works with the local multicultural community and is now in the process of becoming an ordained pastor in the Free Methodist church.
In 2007, my husband and I felt a call to teach in China. We lived in rural China and saw great poverty. But we also experienced incredible resilience and determination in our students who believed that education was the key to a better life. When we moved back to America in 2010, it was difficult because so much had changed. After living in a communist country, we did not want our country to fall to the same fate. I started to listen to commentary and pay attention to how our United States was changing. In 2015, Dan and I moved back to MN where we became involved in local politics. It was through my involvement in the local party that I decided to run for office.
Because of my background as an educator, I believe that I am uniquely qualified. Not only am I self-disciplined and will work harder than anyone, but I am not afraid to talk to anyone about issues. Having taught debate, I am able to discuss ideas from many different angles. Also, I believe I am able to truly listen to others and empathize with what they are going through. As a teacher, I am a never-ending learner. So, I want to hear from people who understand the various issues and learn from them.
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I consider myself a constitutional conservative with some libertarian leanings. I believe in a small government that protects individual rights and only fulfills the essential functions of government. The government has an appropriate sphere. When the government oversteps that sphere, there are several detrimental effects on communities and families as the government becomes too big and too overbearing through excessive taxes and regulations. This limits your choices and freedoms. The government that understands the unique needs of the local community is your local government, which is why I oppose one-size-fits-all mandates.
The most important way I can represent 27B is to remember that it is NOT the metro. 27B is so unique because it has people from all over the world who want the American dream and it also is home to farmers and factory workers who are the backbone of our country. Our area values personal freedom and liberty and wants to conserve our unique way of life. I often tell people that the only thing I can promise you is that I will fight and vote for you to have an environment of freedom.
I want you to have the freedom to run your small business and farm the way you see fit. I want you to have the freedom to choose the health care or education or transportation that makes sense for your family. I want you to have the freedom to worship how you please. Most importantly, I want to be a servant leader who remembers that it is not my money but yours. This is why I want to stop corruption and fraud in the government and give local governments the authority to lead and govern in a way that fits each community.
When the local citizens elect you to represent them, you work for them. That representative should be incredibly transparent with and involved in the community and extremely accessible. This can be accomplished by being in the district as much as possible and make House votes or hearings public on social media. Constituents can e-mail and call me if I am elected to share their thoughts and concerns. As in my classroom, I learn from my students as much as my students learn from me. So, I would view this partnership similarly. I will not vote against my conservative core principals, but there is a lot of room to talk and listen to others. Ultimately, unless it goes against my conscience, I will do my best to vote in a way that will best serve my constituents. This is why I talk about representing you uniquely rather than voting for policies that would only benefit the metro area. I am proud of our local communities. The people of 27B are strong and I am excited to represent them in St. Paul.