Here are Joe’s answers. You can view the entire article here: https://sites.google.com/view/kymn2020/state-elections/representative-20b
Please list any present political offices you hold.
Please list any past political offices you’ve held.
Please list any civic, community, or professional organizations/clubs your a part of. (if none leave blank)
I am currently on the New Prague High School Girl’s Hockey Booster Club Board. Previously I was on the New Prague Area Youth Hockey Association Board which included being the Director of Girl’s Hockey Development. I have been a part of the Booster Club for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Men’s Basketball program. And I have been on Advisory Board’s for At-Risk High School students.
What inspired you to run for office? If you running for reelection why do you want to stay in office?
I decided to run for the MN House 20B seat to continue my contribution to society in public service. I have successful broad based work experiences that would translate well to leading in the legislature.
For example, I went into high school teaching to lead and be a role model and it was this great collaborative experience with students that was about teaching, shared learning, problem solving and creating solutions to improve outcomes.
When I transitioned into police work, I wanted to protect people that have a hard time protecting themselves, and bring justice and closure to crime victims. A big part of being effective as a police officer in a large city is problem solving.
As a coach I ran all aspects of athletic programs, taught team concepts, skill development, and game planned. And I tried to inspire athletes to achieve more than they thought they were capable of.
In studying law, it was about committing to making a difference for people that need a legal voice to guide and protect them, such as victims of crime or accidents, and those that have been unfairly taken advantage of.
And as a long time volunteer I have wanted to serve for the betterment of our community. And the best way for me to serve in volunteer roles has been to apply my knowledge and experiences in high school and college athletics to local youth athletic programs.
The goal in all of this is always to make people better and try to put people in the best positions to succeed.
I think that lots of people everywhere are looking for positive leadership and a voice of reason in politics. They are tired of bitter partisanship and the inability of the parties to work together even on things that serve all of our interests. Further, I think people are tired of self-serving politicians. I am an alternative to that. I will be a good listener, thoroughly prepared, trustworthy, a problem solver, and an independent voice of reason that will always put Minnesotans in the best position to succeed.
What is something that you would like to accomplish while in office?
There is a lot to consider. I can think of ten things off the top of my head including economic recovery during this time of the pandemic. But if I had to name one, I would like to lead the repair of police-community trust and I have the experience and desire to do it. A police-community partnership in the Twin Cities is vital to public safety and commerce. And not just for the people that live in the Cities but for us too here in Rice and Le Sueur Counties.
For example, if you commute to Minneapolis for work, ride a train into the City, like to catch a football, baseball or basketball game, or a play or concert, dine at a favorite restaurant, send a daughter or son to one of the fine colleges there, you want a police presence so you feel secure. Without a police-community partnership, Minneapolis is no longer a destination for any of what I just mentioned.
As a second example, if you truly care about our fellow citizens that live in Minneapolis, especially in the neighborhoods that have high violent crime rates, then you want a police presence there. Without a police-community partnership in Minneapolis neighborhoods, there is no security for the people that live there. We all want to feel secure in our homes.
When I was a police officer for Wisconsin’s 3rd largest jurisdiction, which had high violent crime rates, I believed that the badge I wore was an important symbol of public faith and trust. And when I was promoted to command level, I often told our officers that they are the most visible representatives of our city and they needed to represent themselves and our department every day with integrity.
I know that there is a lot of work to be done to repair police-community relations in Minneapolis but it is imperative to our society to do so. The foundational objective would be to have highly trained police officers all of which have knowledge and appreciation of the law, integrity, courage, and a strong work ethic. Additionally, and more importantly, an interest in serving, listening, treating everyone with dignity and respect, ethical decision making, and restraint, all under the guiding principle of compassion.
State and Local government often go unnoticed how would help keep the public informed?
I think local radio and newspapers keep the public informed about local politics. Our website can be another source for information.
What does being a leader mean to you?
There are many traits of good leadership that I have learned in teaching, coaching, police work, volunteering, and from my law education. Pertinent to the legislature would be honesty, a strong work ethic, integrity, empathy, respect for other view points, accountability, an open mind, the confidence to stand for what you believe in, and vision – for what is in the state’s immediate best interest but also with an eye on the state’s long term best interest.
Learning how to lead has been a journey. For example, as an athlete and coach I learned about teamwork, discipline, dedication to getting better and how to inspire athletes to want to get better. As a teacher I learned about collaboration and shared learning and how to get the most out of students that have different learning styles, challenges, and gifts. Police work takes a lot of physical and mental strength and the great police officers are thorough about their training, and follow through with investigations, so as to bring justice or peace of mind. What I probably learned the most though from my time with the police was compassion. As a law student I learned about thorough research of both sides of an issue and negotiation. From a serious spine injury, I learned about perseverance and humility. As a volunteer I have learned that there are many ways to contribute to the needs of society and the best way I have been able to serve is with my knowledge and interest in making athletes better players and citizens. From all of my experiences I have learned to always try to put the people that you serve in the best position to succeed.