House District 44B Q&A: Patty Acomb
October 25, 2018 Link to story
There is no incumbent candidate in House District 44B. Acomb is the DFL candidate and faces Republican Gary Porter in the Nov. 6 election.
3125 Frear Drive, Minnetonka
husband, Craig (together 21 years); two sons
Minnetonka at-large City Council member
Hopkins High School; BS degree in natural resource management, the University of Minnesota
Minnetonka City Council, at-large member since 2012; Minnetonka Park Board, former board vice-chair; Minnetonka Family Collaborative, executive committee member; Tonka Cares, sustainability committee member; SCIP (School & Community in Partnership), collaborative member; Hopkins One Voice, coalition member; Empty Bowls, challenge leader; ResourceWest, former Board of Directors vice-chair; Minnetonka Rotary, member and former foundation treasurer; League of Women Voters (Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Hopkins), member; Minnetonka Wetland Health Evaluation Program, former volunteer leader; Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, policy advisory committee member; Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, former commissioner; Metro Cities Housing and Economic Development, policy committee member; Minnesota Mayoral Active Transportation Caucus, member; Metropolitan Area Water Supply Advisory Committee, governor appointee; Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), Governor appointee; National League of Cities, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources committee member; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Government Advisory Committee appointee
1. Why do you want to serve in the Legislature?
A 40-year resident of this district, I have deep roots in our community. I am committed to improving the lives of our citizens, serving on the Minnetonka City Council for nearly seven years and as vice-chair of the Minnetonka Park Board for three years before that. I have also taken on active leadership roles in local organizations such as ResourceWest, Rotary, Hopkins One Voice and the Minnetonka Family Collaborative, helping me better understand the challenges many of our neighbors and families face.
As an experienced local elected official, I have worked to give our citizens a voice in their government, ensure good value for our tax dollars and maintain excellent public services. I have also championed issues affecting children, families, and seniors. My hard work has earned me the endorsements of many local leaders and residents, and I would be honored to represent our community at the Minnesota State Legislature.
2. What are the top three items in your platform and how would you address them?
Health care: A cancer survivor myself, I believe everyone has a right to accessible, high-quality healthcare that they can afford regardless of pre-existing conditions. We need affordable options that provide comprehensive care, lower drug prices and safeguard our seniors.
Education: As a parent of one son at Hopkins High School and another just starting Macalester College, I believe every child deserves an excellent K-12 education and affordable post-secondary education options. We need initiatives addressing equitable funding, the achievement gap, special education needs, school safety, making pre-K more available and college/vocational school more affordable.
Environment: My education and career has been focused on the environment, and I will work to protect our natural resources, make the outdoors more accessible, and expand renewable energy. As a city council member I championed the effort to bring solar energy to Minnetonka, benefitting the environment while saving taxpayers $21 million over the next 25 years.
3. What issues would you promote regarding transportation?
We currently face a $6 billion funding shortfall over the next 10 years, just to maintain the roads and bridges that we already have in Minnesota. We are also projecting over 800,000 new residents living in the metro area by 2040, meaning we will need an even more robust transportation system. The gasoline tax that we have traditionally relied upon for transportation funding will not be sufficient for our future needs, as we continue to move toward more fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles.
I believe it is time for new and innovative funding solutions for our changing transportation needs. I also support investing in multimodal transit options like the Southwest Light Rail and expanding Bus Rapid Transit options, because we won’t be able to build enough roads to fix this problem. And as a Minnetonka City Council member, I have championed increasing safe walking and biking options across our communities.
4. Describe your leadership style?
As a current municipal elected official, I believe in the importance of being accessible and responsive. I always prioritize listening to the concerns of our residents, engaging them in the work of government and making sure our public services address the current needs of our community. I also actively volunteer locally, serving on numerous boards and committees connected to our schools, local nonprofits and environmental organizations. I continually seek partnerships to leverage our finite resources and represent our community’s interests at the regional, state and national levels.
I believe that citizens expect their government to get things done, and serving as a nonpartisan city council member has taught me how to work across political persuasions to bring people together for the common good. I am an experienced coalition builder and believe that I can bring that same cooperative approach to the Minnesota State Legislature and help cut through partisan gridlock.
5. Why should residents vote for you?
I grew up here with strong connections to the area and have spent years serving our community as both an active volunteer and an experienced local leader. I am currently in my third-term as an at-large Minnetonka City Council member, and also bring the important perspectives of a natural resource professional, a cancer survivor and a mother of school-aged children. My mother also lived with our family for 13 years before her passing, giving me an intimate understanding of the needs of seniors.
I have continued to demonstrate my engagement on key issues, always making myself available for input and feedback from our neighbors. And I have also been a strong advocate for our district, connecting our community with other organizations and efforts at the local, county, state and national levels. I’ll be able to effectively represent our values in St. Paul and ask for your vote on Nov. 6.
6. Have you ever been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?