Mr. Dahle Goes to St. Paul


Archive for June, 2008

Sauerkraut Days (Henderson) Celebration and Parade

June 29, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

Sauerkraut Days (Henderson) Celebration and Parade! 

Registration is at 11 am and will be at the Henderson Fire Hall, Corner of Market and North 5th St., 1 block North of Main St

Our Special Needs Children

June 27, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Education, Health Care No Comments →

Over my 24 years in the classroom, I have had numerous students in my Civics class, and many of those students were children with special needs. I have had children with autism, Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome, Asperger syndrome, attention deficit disorders, mental illness, and many more with a myriad of learning disabilities. My brother was born with Down Syndrome… and as a classroom teacher or a family member we sometime struggle to find the best path to meet the needs of our children.

Last week about 30 parents of children with special needs met at the Northfield Public Library for a town hall meeting with myself, Representative David Bly, and Representative Shelley Madore from Apple Valley. It was an important and worthwhile discussion about what we can do to meet the needs of both family members and students and how best to help them find success in and out of school.

Specific concerns focused on the lack of resources for children with mental health needs, funding cuts that are affecting educational and county services, lack of communication between programs and service agencies, limited choices for children with high needs, reimbursement rates, and accountability of service providers and county administration.

Legislative efforts are underway to dramatically reform the state’s school funding formula in the 2009 legislative session . A major funding reform bill (HF 4178) was offered this session, and will hopefully serve as the driving force for the significant state education reform we need, including fully funding state special education mandates.

But the legislature can’t do it alone. The stories shared at the town meeting reminded all of us of the importance of community to help our families and children with special needs. Schools, medical facilities, county services, support services, employers and others must work together to facilitate productive outcomes for the children and young adults who desperately want a chance. A chance at success.

Kolacky Days, Montgomery

June 27, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

Kolacky Days, Montgomery

Country Living Center, Meet our Legislators, Le Center

June 26, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

Country Neighbors is small assisted living community (capacity of 22 private suites) located on Hwy 99 on the east side of LeCenter and is hosting a Meet our Legislators day.

Sibley County Ride-along

June 22, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Economy, Sibley County No Comments →

Today’s article in the StarTribune regarding the Minnesota courts prompted me to write about my experience as an observer (ride-along) last month in the courtroom of the Sibley County Courthouse. At the invite of court adminstrator Karen Messner and Judge Thomas McCarthy, I was able to see firsthand how the court works and more importantly, get a sense of the workload of our public defenders and the effects of budget cuts over the past several years.

Today’s Strib article described how overworked public defenders face the daunting task of trying to provide quality legal advice to the accused who work with these defenders. The Judiciary took cuts of $26.5 million in FY 04-05, which required our courts to implement several changes, including scaling back the number of public defenders. The Judiciary faces a current shortfall of $13 million for FY 08-09 forcing leaves without pay, closing public counters, closing satellite courts, delaying conciliation court calendars, and terminating arbitration services in some districts.

This year the legislature made cuts to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, Civil Legal Services, and the Board of Public Defense totaling $5.5 million. A recent Legislative Auditor’s report stated the judiciary in Minnesota runs “a tight ship” and is extremely efficient. Can we afford to make more cuts when crime, foreclosures, sexual offenses, civil disputes, and drug use are as prevalent as ever? How long should we wait to resolve traffic and parking citations, process arrest warrants, enforce money judgments, or process adoption and child custody cases?

The Minnesota Court system is a core function of government provided for in the Constitution. The Judiciary is necessary to guarantee public safety and rule of law to the citizens of Minnesota. The 2009 Legislature will need to take a good look at what is happening to, one could argue, the most important of our three branches of government.

Ribbon Cutting, King’s Highway Retirement Home

June 21, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

Ribbon Cutting at the Kingsway Retirement Living Center, Belle Plaine

Networking for Bev Topp

June 20, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

DFL Fundraiser and Meet the People (Bill McGrath’s house) Bill’s house 420 W. 8th St. Northfield (507) 645-7660.  Fundraiser event is for Bev Topp

Special Needs Forum

June 19, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Event No Comments →

Forum for parents of students with special needs (Northfield Library).

Boys State Celebrates 60

June 15, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Kevin Dahle MN Senate District 25 No Comments →

Last night I traveled to Marshall, Minnesota to participate in the 60th anniversary celebration of Minnesota American Legion Boys State. What a great milestone for such a great program. I was a Boys State Counselor for 10 years while Boys State was held on the St. Olaf campus in Northfield from 1992-2001. Not surprisingly, many of the same counselors I worked with then are still with the program. Many of the speakers last night talked of common themes such as the importance of developing tomorrow’s leaders: instilling a sense of citizenship, responsibility, participation, and civic pride. Boys State is one of the best experiences a young man can ever have.

Boys State is a week-long experience learning about Minnesota government at the local, county and state levels by “actively doing.” It is a week of intensive study and involvement where participants actually organize and participate in the various levels and branches of government and political parties.

Highlights of the week include town meetings, political speakers, mock trials, campaigning, and voting culminating in the election of the State Constitutional Officers and the Boys State Governor. There is also time for newspaper, band, choir, and athletic activities.

These young citizens enjoy both an opportunity and a responsibility. The opportunity is participating in a program of government with some 450 other young leaders from throughout Minnesota. The responsibility is not only spending the week learning as much as he can, but taking this knowledge and experience back to school and community and sharing it with others.

Renowned federal court Judge, Learned Hand, once said, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men. When it dies there, no laws, no courts, no constitution can save it.” We need more programs that promote the virtues of this great country. Congratulations, Minnesota Boys State, on 60 years of bringing out the best in our young people.

DFL Convention

June 08, 2008 By: Kevin Dahle Category: Kevin Dahle MN Senate District 25 No Comments →

Yesterday, I experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity. Al Franken asked me to introduce him to the nearly 1400 delegates at the State DFL Convention in Rochester. Franni, his wife, introduced me and I gave a short speech doing my best to fire up the delegates prior to Al’s address to the delegates, visitors, and the press. It was a real thrill, believe me. The text of my speech:

Last December I was teaching Civics in a High School in Northfield. On January 3, we gave the Republicans a civics lesson on how to win an election. Tim Pawlenty doesn’t get his way in the Minnesota Senate anymore!

With the help of Al Franken and Democrats across this state, we were able to win a special election in a district that had been held by a Republican for the last 17 years.

I first met Al at a coffee shop in Faribault in December. Al invited me to say a few words on his stage that day. We talked about honest, common-sense government and seeing this party and its values spread to every corner of Minnesota.

I appreciated that opportunity and I consider it a key moment in jump starting my run for office.

Al Franken worked my campaign. He made phone calls for me and on a night hovering around zero degrees we door knocked together. If you ever get a chance to door knock with Al Franken, I highly recommend it.

On the eve of the election, he stumped for me at student rallies on the campuses of St. Olaf and Carleton College. Al Franken helped energize my campaign and the very supporters who endorse him now.

But Al will be the first to tell you this election is not about him. It’s about us.

It’s about those who work for a living and it’s about those who can’t.

It’s about fighting for what’s right and correcting what’s wrong.

It’s about paving the way to dream and never giving up

And now more than ever, it’s about time! It’s about time we take back a certain seat in the United States Senate.

I’m ready to stand up and help Al Franken fight for this Senate seat the way Al Franken helped me fight for mine!

My fellow DFLers, as a freshman Senator, I am proud to introduce the next freshman Senator from the great state of Minnesota, AL FRANKEN!!!!!

Al was endorsed by acclamation after the first ballot.