‘Valuing workers and business’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, September 28, 2018
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
EDINA — “Valuing workers and valuing business — those two can go hand in hand,” says Heather Edelson. “That’s the voice I plan to bring to St. Paul. One can’t survive without the other.”
Edelson is running for Minnesota House District 49A in Edina with the endorsement of the Minnesota AFL-CIO and DFL Party.
The one-term incumbent, Dario Anselmo, has earned a 28 percent voting record from the Minnesota AFL-CIO.
In a recent debate hosted by the League of Women Voters, Anselmo attacked Edelson for taking union donations for her campaign. She fired right back. “Those are teachers unions. Those are carpenters. They’re just working people.”
“Valuing working people is something Edina cares about,” Edelson tells the Labor Review. “There’s a misconception about that.”
Edelson notes that her district voted two-to-one for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“Right now in St. Paul, I don’t think the current majority represents Edina values,” she says.
Two years ago, Edelson says, Anselmo won because of last-minute attack ads against incumbent Ron Erhardt, who was endorsed by the AFL-CIO and DFL Party. She expects more last-minute attack ads this year. “The only way we can combat that is with doorknocking — talking to voters.”
Edelson is a mental health therapist and social worker by profession. For many years, she served as a Guardian ad Litem for child protection cases in Hennepin County.
“I come from a long line of union members,” she notes. A great grandfather worked for the railroad and was a union member. A grandfather worked at Creamette and was in the flour-milling union. Her mother worked at Honeywell and was a Teamster.
“I absolutely value the importance of what unions have done,” Edelson says. “I grew up very poor with a single mom.”
Edelson worked full-time to pay her way through college at Hamline University and to earn a master’s degree in social work at the University of Minnesota.
Edelson’s husband, Brett Edelson, grew up in Edina. The couple have three sons who attend Edina Public Schools.