Tawnja's Take on Today's Political Issues

I look at it this way, if we don't have our health, we don't have anything.

The physical and financial health of the country, planet and individuals are intertwined and create the platform for all other issues to be resolved. Without a healthy population and planet, we are severely weakened and without financial stability, we have few tools to deal with these or any other problems which beset us. My top priority would therefore be the stabilization of this country through efficient management of our resources, both physical and financial, which cannot be accomplished without a comprehensive plan to harness and rein in this Pandemic. We need a cohesive, "one for all, all for one" approach which unites rather than divides, facilitates the return to caring for rather than attacking one another. We further need to streamline our approach and seal up loopholes which allow billionaires to apply for programs meant to help small business and individuals in need, absconding with our tax dollars for their own greed. They should also be made to return any money they inappropriately procured in this manner.

I am running for Congress because I am sick and tired of the imbalance and inequality in all facets of today’s society. Women should not continue to make .21 cents less on the dollar, the blue-collar worker who puts in a full day of work should be able to enjoy the basics of life, healthcare, food security, and an affordable, safe place to live. People of all races, creeds and religions should enjoy the same freedoms and protections that our Constitution mandates.

I truly believe it is time we value the everyday working man and woman as much as we value our billionaires. They are the backbone of America and no company can survive without them. Our small towns should be treasured, our veterans and elderly awarded dignity, and our children should be seen as the precious resources they are. No working person should be robbed of the dignity of being able to provide the basics for his or her family, things like food, housing, transportation and daycare. We need to acknowledge the contributions of every single person as valuable. As Americans we all should have an avenue, with hard work, to thrive.

I feel that we were on the right track in reducing carbon emissions but have taken a giant step backward during this administration. We have critical work to do and no time to waste. We are in trouble whether we recognize it or not and the failure to acknowledge the state of this planet is at our peril. I think we need to quit giving huge subsidies to oil companies and other fossil fuel industries. Providing actual corporate welfare for those who make more money than any other industry in the history of the world makes no sense. Instead, we need to reward innovation and give farmers and laborers the tools and financial backing to expand into the clean energies of the future, giving them a base of income that would sustain them through leaner market years. Further, we need to ensure a smooth transition for workers who may lose their jobs because of the changing demand in the energy sector. Minnesota miners should not lose one day of income while their job transitions. They should be paid while in training for a new job which expands their skill set, increases their income, and improves their own outlook for good health and the health of our planet.

Living on Forest Lake, one of Minnesota's most beautiful lakes for the past eight years, I wake everyday in awe of mother nature. 

The endangered creatures that call our planet their home take my breath away. I believe our environment should be protected with all of our might. I believe the boundary waters should be left in it's pristine condition to be enjoyed for generations to follow. 

I believe spraying our food supply with known carcinogens and lifting safe water regulations is unforgivable. The choice is simple, take care of our precious planet, protect its natural beauty and animals, or continue facing mother nature's wrath. 

I choose, and I am betting you do as well, to protect and stop disrespecting mother nature.

"We Do Not Inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, We Borrow it from Our Children"
Native American Proverb


“America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
Walter Cronkite

Our federal government needs to build upon the Affordable Care Act until a public option is available, and stop trying to decimate pre-existing conditions coverage currently protected by the ACA.

Being the owner of one of Minnesota's longest existing female owned production companies, I have been a lifelong entrepreneur. I have had to sing for my supper for over two decades, 

I believe in fiscal conservatism. I believe in less government in our daily lives.

What I don't believe in is a healthcare system designed to make billions of dollars in profits for health insurance companies who benefit by saying "no" to our well being. It is inconceivable that for a family of four their healthcare premiums total $20,000 annually.

I believe that Medicare for all would positively change the world. I also believe, if someone wants to pay insurance companies to decide if they get care or not, they should be able to make that choice for themselves. Choices are good.

Our federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
 is the epitome of failure.

 Americans comprise 4% of the global population yet have 25% of the Covid-19 cases. America needs a coherent, cohesive united approach to expediate the control of this virus and put it behind us, not political disinformation, confusing rhetoric, and divisive language. We need to follow science-based facts to attain a solution to end the pandemic. Adequate, timely rebuilding of our economy requires efficient spending, managing our assistance programs with targeted recipients in mind. We need to make sure those who would fall through the cracks are taken care of and nobody is left behind as well as abolition and steep penalties for wealthy opportunistic corporations and individuals who raid and abuse assistance programs. I believe there is enough money to carry people through this health crisis, stimulate the economy and come out the other side in good shape. We need to monitor our dollars closely and not allow a single taxpayer dollar to be unaccounted for by our Congress. No president should have unfettered power to funnel Federal funds to himself and his cronies.

Police reform has become center stage since George Floyd's death and has prompted calls for legislative action at all levels of government.

George Floyd’s death is an unthinkable tragedy and the collective heart of Minnesota aches for this man and his family. Sadly, this is not the first black eye Minnesota has endured in the National spotlight, but it must be the last. Unfortunately, terminology in the police reform effort has been greatly misunderstood. Language about police de-funding has been widely disseminated as an end to policing. No reasonable person, including myself, would ever lobby for abolishing the police department or abdicating the responsibility of government to protect their citizenry from harm or provide crisis assistance and intervention. This assistance costs money, of course, and that money should be provided. Once again, we must ensure that these funds are used prudently, that the human beings in that department fully understand the purpose of their jobs and have a disposition and mindset to honor their commitment to that aim. There must be a ready remedy for corruption within police departments, no matter the seniority, and a mindset within the culture that encourages mass disapproval of bullying and abuse of power. Incentives should be based on the ability to work with the community, de-escalate situations peacefully, and treat all people humanely to gain respect from those they serve rather than awarding raises based on arrest numbers. The goal should be common respect and courtesy for and by the police. I believe we can all agree on that.

 First and foremost, every decision needs to be put to this one litmus test: Is it humane? As a country of immigrants, it would be hypocritical to approach it any other way. I have some innovative ideas in this arena. I think applicants should be paired with the needs of the farms who rely on their labor, up front, not under the table. I believe that farmers should register with the border processors, letting them know their needs and capacity to care for and provide housing for workers. We could quickly streamline the immigration process in this manner while meeting the needs of our food suppliers. It would be a win/win for all of us and people would not have to live in the shadows.

This is only one scenario. Of course, there are other industries who rely on this labor, jobs Americans don't generally want to do. Even our president hires approximately 75 undocumented workers every year for seasonal work. Let's stop pretending we don't need them and give them dignity while they do necessary work. Further, with proof of productivity and a history of being good stewards of our country and our principles, there should be a path to citizenship for those who make our country better.

Our decisions should be based on capacity and need rather than demonization. I have a lot more great ideas for how immigrants could revive our abandoned factories and ghost towns, taking the decaying remains of these communities and making them beautiful again, restoring purpose to these towns while bringing back manufacturing to our own country.

Legal immigration is a question that should be answered with our heart every bit as much as our mind.


"Education is the Most Powerful Weapon
we can use to Change Our World"
Nelson Mandela

I think the greatest challenge is equity in education for a staggering number of diverse scenarios. How do we ensure that all receive a quality education? How do we guarantee that online education is sustainable for younger children with lower attention spans? What would be the best approach at the end of this crisis to equalize levels of education among a group of children who have received such widely varying versions of learning?

I think we will need to give some sort of standards tests at the end of this crisis, not to judge and not to be held against children, but to analyze where they need help. We will likely need some funding for in-class aides who can create breakout groups which can focus on specific areas where the deficiencies lie. We will figure this out together, that is what Americans do.

Growing up as an Air Force kid, I attended schools in North Dakota, Oklahoma, California, Washington and Utah. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of North Dakota.
Go Fighting Hawks!

Being the daughter of a lifelong public school teacher with a master's degree in art, I witnessed first hand the creativity it takes for our teachers to make do with limited supplies and lackluster support by our leaders in charge of the allocation of funding for education.

I believe that our students are our future.

I choose funding our teachers fully and completely. I choose funding our schools to the same levels we fund our endless wars. Together, let's choose to lift up our accomplished students and educators.

Because we all do better, when we all do better.    Paul Wellstone

 Think, for instance, of the frustration level people feel as they sit in traffic for hours each day. What could people do with another hour for their family, business or leisure? What effects might that have on their well-being, overall health and productivity? The government benefits in so many positive ways from every dollar spent on infrastructure. From the railroads to the Interstate Highway System, infrastructure is a success story every time. It costs far more to clean up a crisis such as the infamous Minneapolis bridge collapse than it does to implement prevention. Keeping this country running smoothly creates jobs, facilitates commerce, gives people peace of mind, contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gasses and instills civic pride. I believe that all forward-thinking projects should be considered strongly for federal support, that all projects should be open to the bidding process and that companies should be rewarded not only because they bid the lowest, but for innovative approaches as well.

Streamlining our transportation into a smoother operating system has further reaching implications and effects than most people realize.



"It is One of the Characteristics of a Free and Democratic Nation that it have Free and Independent Labor Unions"
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I believe in the rights of working men and woman and I will be proud to stand up for labor when elected to Congress. Organized labor has made working conditions better for all. A forty hour work week, workman's compensation, overtime pay, safer job conditions, pensions, affordable health insurance, paid vacations, family leaves and higher livable wages.

Things that we all have benefited from started with labor. Can we do more? I believe so.

I believe "right-to-work" is morally wrong. It takes away rights to organize and promotes lower wages at the expense of working people's families. Union rights need to be strengthened, not weakened by Washington and the courts. I have studied the issue of "prevailing wage" and believe that it should be a national standard not dictated by low local standards, especially in "right to work" states where experience and expertise are not always respected.

Nowhere is the embodiment of America and all we stand for more embedded than in the United States Postal SERVICE. SERVICE, this word is so important because somebody in Washington got the idea that OUR Post Offices' are THEIR post offices' to do with as they please, that perhaps there was money to be made or votes to be rigged by the hostile takeover of our beloved, cherished postal service

The word SERVICE means doing something noble for the good of others, selflessly, with dignity, fortitude, dedication, commitment. SERVICE is not a selfish endeavor. And who better exemplifies all the power of that word more consistently than the amazing men and women of the United States Postal Service? 

Have you ever made your way to the mailbox in snow so deep and wind howling so hard that you thought you might tip over only to see your mail there, just as you knew it would be? Have you ever heard your Postal Worker complain?

Postal workers have seen us through countless wars and conflicts for hundreds of years, have braved tornadoes, hurricanes, blinding snow storms. The mail never wavered through the Great Depression, the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hurricane Katrina, 9-11. Now they support us through a Pandemic. The everyday feats of our Postal Workers are nothing short of heroic.

Postal workers keep people alive delivering millions of medications to those in need as well as other necessary medical supplies. People from all walks of life rely on checks that come through the mail, faithfully showing up when we need them.

In addition, the United States Postal SERVICE lives in our hearts as we recount Love Letters, communications from our soldiers, our parents, our children. While the role of the Postal Service continues to evolve in changing times, there is still no more efficient or valuable service anywhere.

The Postal SERVICE is enshrined in our Constitution. Our forefathers knew how important it was and would be to all generations.

The Postal SERVICE has kept their rates low so that EVERY American can benefit from the SERVICE they provide, regardless of stature or income. 

So here we are. Someone in Washington has decided they can make money on the Post Office if they privatize it and disenfranchise voters if they slow the mail. To achieve these ends, they are literally demolishing our great institution, destroying it within so they can take over for their own purposes. 

Boy have they ever gotten it wrong. The recent incidents of vote meddling via the Post Office show us beyond a shadow of a doubt why the United States Postal SERVICE should never be privatized, should never be for sale, should always belong to us all. 

Post Offices' are paid for by us and all the generations who came before. Destroying Federal Property is a felony and those who have given the command to destroy sorting machines and strip our mailboxes from prime locations should be held accountable legally, made to pay back the American people out of their own pockets. We need those machines re-installed now! We need workers to be allowed to deliver all the mail, not told to leave it on the floor the second the clock ticks a contrived deadline. We need workers to be allowed to do their jobs without interference or recrimination, be allowed to complain and shed light on abuses without reprisal. 

If immoral people in Washington think they can go up against the American People for their own sinister agenda, 

"Agriculture is the Most Noble Employment of Mankind" 
George Washington

We definitely needed an overhaul in our International Trade practices, but our president has done more damage than good. The theft of our intellectual property by China and others is inexcusable and should be stopped as a precedent to further trade relations. However, we do no good by insulting and demonizing those we wish to trade with. We need to come to the trade table with good will. We need to stop thinking in absolutes as the world is no longer a place where we can live in isolation. We need each other and like all relationships, we can work out better solutions when we approach our partners with warm and welcoming attitudes, even as we let them know we are savvy and no fools.

I believe our farmers are in a great position to reduce greenhouse gasses-through soil and biomass sequestration. Farmers can also contribute to a clean energy future by using solar and wind energy and provide the source materials for biofuels. As CD6's new congresswoman I would work to increase funding for the USDA's voluntary incentive-based conservation practices. Farmers love their land-and protecting it for future generations should be the ultimate goal for all of us Minnesotans.

I am all for expanding our use of renewable ethanol and limiting our dependence on petroleum, as should every human being who cares about the sustainability of our planet.

The Zahradka family have been farmers for over 100 years. 

I spent many summers on the Zahradka family farm, picking vegetables, watching the breathtaking wheat crops grow, feeding the livestock and even picking rock. 

Choosing to be a farmer is the most noble of professions and being blessed to be a part of a farming family that has survived and thrived for generations is truly my honor. I choose to proudly represent my heritage as one of America's loud and proud farmer's daughters.


Together We Will End Gun Violence

"What we must do now is enact change because that is what we do to things that fail: We change them."

Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. They pass stronger gun laws and work to close the loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. They also work in our own communities and with business leaders to encourage a culture of responsible gun ownership. We know that gun violence is preventable, and we need to be committed to doing what it takes to keep families safe.

I am honored to be recognized by Mom's Demand Action as a Gun Sense Candidate.

I have been a gun owner for twenty years. I believe the second amendment is crucial for our citizens to protect themselves and enjoy recreational sporting. What I don't believe in, is people with questionable backgrounds being able to purchase weapons unchecked by law enforcement. I don't believe weapons of war have any business in our society. I support a voluntary buy back of the weapons of war that are used to terrify our children and murder innocent people.

Having been an entrepreneur and business owner my entire adult life, I was naive about the conditions men and women face in the workplace. It never occurred to me that if someone was being abused at work they would take it. Just quit, right?

My first corporate dream job turned into my first corporate nightmare over a three year period. The harder and more successful I was in my position, the worse I was abused. I told myself just work even harder and eventually my harassers would have to concede, I was great at my job. Watching the male employees being given raises and me being denied was debilitating. I took the insult because no one was going to get me to quit an organization to which I was so dedicated.

The final straw came when my harassers demanded I cover up a felony embezzlement. That was the day I turned them all into the authorities. That decision to not lie for, cover up for, or be paid off to keep my mouth shut, cost me everything I had spent decades building... My 23 year television career.

I believe, when people in charge abuse their power and discriminate against those who share their work space, they should be held accountable. In my case they were not. In my case justice was denied because our system of laws are designed to protect the abusers.

I am running for Congress to end this practice, because I believe that a leader tells the truth, can't be bought and most of all is willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear, because it's the right thing to do.  I had a choice, be corrupted or tell the truth.  I am proud to say, I remain UNCORRUPTED and UNDEFEATED.

"Harassment is about Power, the Undue Exercise of Power by a Superior over a Subordinate"
Michael Crichton


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