‘This is the time to invest’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, August 21, 2020
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
EDEN PRAIRIE — “I don’t know how both sides of the aisle can’t get together around light rail,” says Steve Cwodzinski. He points to all the development taking place around the existing light rail lines and the new stations for the Southwest Light Rail Line from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. In addition to the jobs building the actual rail lines, that’s a lot of construction jobs. He asks, “how can someone be opposed to that kind of magic?”
First elected four years ago, Steve Cwodzinski is running for re-election to the State Senate District 48 seat representing Eden Prairie and southern Minnetonka. He is running again with endorsements by the Minnesota AFL-CIO and DFL Party.
A retired Eden Prairie High School teacher, Cwodzinski earned a 100 percent voting record from the Minnesota AFL-CIO for his votes in favor of working families issues in the 2019 legislature. His lifetime AFL-CIO voting record is 98 percent.
Running four years ago, Cwodzinski assured the Labor Review: I’m with you… I bleed union blood.”
In his four years in the Senate, “one of the places I made a big impact was Southwest Light Rail,” Cwodzinski says. “I’m proud of that.”
“My opponent four years ago was against it,” Cwodzinski notes. And, as a caucus leader who might have become Senate Majority Leader, “he was in a position to make it not go forward.”
In the Senate, Cwodzinski also has been an advocate for education issues and for veterans’ issues.
Although he taught government for 33 years, Cwodzinski says he’s learned some lessons serving in the state Senate. “I didn’t realize the power of the party caucus,” he says. “That’s been a real eye-opener.”
That partisan dynamic has played out with the Republican House blocking a bonding bill in a feud with the Governor over his emergency powers to combat the pandemic. “The process is horrible,” Cwodzinski says. With low interest rates, “this is the time to invest, putting people to work.”