Al Franken's Blog

July 10, 2014

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., on Wednesday showcased a bill intended to help narrow the job skills gap in Minnesota and nationwide that passed with bipartisan support the same day.


In a phone interview, Franken noted the root law that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reforms has not been reauthorized by Congress since 1998.


“It took the Great Recession to wake everyone up,” he said. “We saw a lot of people graduating with a four-year degree having nowhere to go, having no job.”


The bill cuts 15 existing federal workforce programs viewed as superfluous, and sets aside 15 percent of funding at the state level rather than going directly to local programs in order to give states more control over how money is allocated. It also unites all workforce development programs under one success-measurement system.


Read the full article >>


 


The post Bemidji Pioneer: Franken touts federal workforce bill appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 10, 2014 08:20

July 9, 2014

Making sure all surfers on the Web enjoy the same speed no matter which website they visit is a fundamental free speech issue, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said on Tuesday.


“It is absolutely the First Amendment issue of our time,” Franken said at a Capitol Hill forum sponsored by the advocacy group Free Press.


“Do we want deep-pocketed corporations controlling what information you get at what speed?” he added.


Franken, who has been a critical supporter of the concept of net neutrality, said that other members of Congress simply don’t understand the way the Internet works.


Read the full article >>


The post The Hill – Franken: Net neutrality is ‘First Amendment issue of our time’ appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 09, 2014 12:20

July 7, 2014

Sophie Stillman, Digital Intern


jamaica-gayleJamaica Gayle is an organizing fellow working in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.


SS: Is this your first time volunteering for a campaign?


Yes! I plan on majoring in political science, and hope to work in politics — so I wanted a hands-on head start. So far, this has been an amazing learning experience.


SS: What is your role, and what does your day-to-day look like?


At first, I thought that I was going to be a volunteer making phone calls to supporters a couple hours a week. By the end of my first week, I was a fellow spending every free moment of my time in the office or on the doors.


No one day is like another on this campaign: I’ve marched in parades, trained volunteers and organized house parties—but my first goal is to help build a campaign team in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.


SS: What drew you to volunteering with Team Franken?


I love Minnesota: the culture, the parks, and most of all, the people. Al has worked hard to protect the rights of all Minnesotans and make our state stronger — that’s why I joined!


SS: What excites you most about Al? Why is it important to re-elect him?


Al is a fighter for everyone. He doesn’t put Minnesota into any one category — he sees that all of our diverse communities and traditions make up the identity of this state.


I grew up with one parent working on minimum wage, and although my parents tried to hide how much they struggled, it was hard. Al understands the importance of raising the minimum wage. While we raised it to $9.50 (indexed) in Minnesota, there’s still work to be done on the federal level — and I know Al will be fighting for families like ours every step of the way.


Join Jamaica on the campaign trail in Brooklyn Center or your own community — get involved with Team Franken now.


The post Meet Team Franken: Jamaica appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 07, 2014 16:15

July 6, 2014

Joe Ellickson, Political Director


#TeamFranken headed up to Minnesota’s mighty Iron Range with Al, Franni, Thomasin, Brody and Baby Joe this weekend to march in parades in Aurora, Gilbert, Eveleth, Nashwauk, Keewatin, Tower, Ely and Biwabik.


Check out the photos below.



Don’t miss out on the fun — join Team Franken at an event near you.


The post Fourth of July on the Iron Range appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 06, 2014 10:15

July 3, 2014

The Duluth mail processing center is scheduled to close in 2015 as part of a nationwide consolidation effort to help the United States Postal Service’s continuing financial issue.



After facing closure in past years, Duluth’s processing center was spared when 141 other centers closed around the country in 2012 and 2013. Now, in another effort to come back from $26 billion in financial losses over the past three years, the Postal Service is consolidating 82 more processing centers across the country- four of those in Minnesota.


U.S. Sen. Al Franken asked the Postal service Wednesday to reconsider, saying they’ll harm the four Minnesota communities in Duluth, Bemidji, St. Cloud and Mankato. The Rochester processing center closed earlier in the consolidation process.


Read the full article >>


 


The post WDIO: Duluth Postal Center Closure Will Affect Jobs and Mailing appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 03, 2014 08:16

July 1, 2014

Sara Cederberg, Digital Director


Team Franken had a blast at Twin Cities Pride — and the photos say it all.



Keep the momentum going — be a part of LGBT and Allies for Al.


The post PHOTOS: Team Franken at Twin Cities Pride appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on July 01, 2014 15:26

June 29, 2014

Campaign launches “LGBT & Allies for Al”; Over 1,000 Minnesotans join group in 24 hours


ST. PAUL [06/29/14]— Today, in honor of Twin Cities Pride, Sen. Al Franken’s re-election campaign announced the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, for the Senator’s hard work and long-time support for equality and expanded rights for LGBT Minnesotans and their families.


“Senator Franken is a longstanding champion for the rights of Minnesota’s LGBT community and has worked hard in the Senate to fight discrimination against LGBT Americans and their families,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “HRC is proud to stand with Senator Franken as he continues to be a powerful and effective voice for families in Minnesota and around the country.”


Franken’s campaign also announced the launch of “LGBT & Allies for Al,” a group joined by more than one thousand Minnesotans who attended Twin Cities Pride yesterday. Tom Knabel, MD, a leader in Minnesota’s LGBT community; Monica Meyer, OutFront Minnesota’s Executive Director; and Richard Carlbom, Campaign Manager, Minnesotans United for All Families, will serve as co-chairs.


“Senator Franken works hard on behalf of all Minnesotans and has been an effective voice in the Senate promoting equality and justice. The number of Minnesotans who have joined ‘LGBT & Allies for Al’ in the last 24 hours alone is a testament to the strong grassroots campaign he’s built and the momentum behind him heading into November,” said Knabel.


“When we needed Senator Franken’s help in defeating the proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage — he was there for the LGBT community. Now it’s our turn to be there for him so he can keep working hard and getting things done for Minnesota,” said Carlbom.


“Senator Franken is working hard in the Senate to help prevent bullying of LGBT kids. Every child should feel safe at school, and I’m proud that we have Senator Franken advocating on their behalf,” said Meyer.


Sen. Franken has long been a champion for the LGBT community. He was the first major statewide candidate in Minnesota to support marriage equality. In the Senate, he has been fighting to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and successfully called on the Obama Administration to lead by example and enact workplace protections for federal contractors until ENDA is signed into law.


Sen. Franken strongly supported legislation that overturned the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. He introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would help prevent bullying of LGBT kids, and joined the “It Gets Better Project” to help kids who experience bullying as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity.


Join LGBT and Allies for Al today.


 


The post Senator Franken Endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on June 29, 2014 07:52 • 1 view

June 28, 2014

Jack Blodgett, Digital Intern


Al-and-GaleGale Julius is a field organizer in our Rochester office.  


JB: Is this your first organizing experience?


 GJ: Before I joined Team Franken, I was an organizer on the Vote No campaign. We successfully defeated the constitutional amendment that would ban marriage for same-sex couples in Minnesota!


JB: What are your day-to-day responsibilities?


GJ: It really varies, but it’s all about building a grassroots network of supporters in Rochester and Winona that will persuade and turn out voters in November.


JB: What drew you to working with Team Franken?


Al has always been at the front of advocating for marriage equality. He took a position on it before many others did — which for an LGBT person like me, meant the world.


I remember how much it hurt, hearing people in opposition to marriage equality saying that my family was not really a family because our daughter had two mothers. The message that she would be better of with just one parent or that she would not be safe in our care was heartbreaking.


On top of all of this, my daughter was battling leukemia in 2012. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, she was able to receive the care she needed without us worrying about caps or limits on her coverage.


In case you’re wondering, my daughter is in remission and I am engaged to marry the woman of my dreams. The hard work of Senator Franken and other DFLers is the reason why I committed to this campaign. We’ve come too far to go back now.


Join Gale in the fight to make sure we don’t lose the progress we’ve made — join LGBT and Allies for Al today.


The post Meet #TeamFranken: Gale appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on June 28, 2014 04:59

June 27, 2014

Richard Dean Anderson


Photo of Richard Dean AndersonIt used to be the only things you needed to fight back against the bad guys were some string, a shoehorn, an empty soda bottle, 4 oranges, a match head, a mirror, highly compressed gas, and a can opener.


But everything’s changed since the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and McCutcheon, which have allowed special interests to flood our elections with money and plaster our televisions with attack ads.


Now, only strong grassroots support from people like you can make the difference.


That’s why I’m asking you to contribute $5, $10, or whatever you can right now to my friend Al Franken’s campaign before his June 30th deadline.



If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:


Express Donate: $15


Express Donate: $35


Express Donate: $50


Or donate another amount.



The special interests are targeting Al because he doesn’t follow their agenda — he puts hard-working families first.


I’m a Roseville, MN native, but you don’t have to be a Minnesotan to be proud of the work Al is doing in the Senate. He’s fighting for good jobs, to preserve net neutrality, and to protect Social Security and Medicare.


But the only way he’s going to be able to continue that work and fight back against these false attacks from the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers is if he has you standing with him.


So please chip in $5 or $10 towards his $250,000 goal right now — time is running out.


Thanks for your help,


Richard Dean Anderson


P.S. If we had enough time I could probably do something to help — with a broken ceiling fan, a pair of chopsticks, an egg white, a gum wrapper, a cassette player, a length of pipe, and some more highly compressed gas — but we don’t, our deadline is coming up too fast. So, please contribute $5 or $10 right now!


The post Urgent: We’re running out of time appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on June 27, 2014 07:54

June 26, 2014

Sara Cederberg, Digital Director


It’s that time of year again: the reveal of new treats at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” otherwise known as the Minnesota State Fair! Last year, supporters dared Al to eat a fried pickle dipped in chocolate sauce. What State Fair food fate could await him this year? Check out some of the new features:




Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Leg: A roasted turkey leg wrapped in a layer of bacon (Texas Steak Out)


Deep-Fried Breakfast On-a-Stick: American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, an egg and Canadian bacon all sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in batter and deep-fried (The Sandwich Stop)


Jell-O Salad Ice Cream: Inspired by the classic Minnesota potluck dessert (and served in church dining halls everywhere), this Jell-O salad features a sweet cream base flavored with fresh lime juice, swirled with cranberry sauce and blended with marshmallows dipped in marshmallow crème. Made by Izzy’s Ice Cream, this flavor is only available at the Hamline Church Dining Hall during the 2014 Minnesota State Fair (Hamline Church Dining Hall)


PB&J French Toast: The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is fused with French toast, then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a choice of ham, bacon or sausage (Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall)



Get the full rundown of new State Fair Foods here >>


The post Star Tribune: State Fair announces new 2014 foods appeared first on U.S. Senator Al Franken, Minnesota -- Official Campaign Website.

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Published on June 26, 2014 13:33

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