‘The status quo isn’t enough’
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 16, 2020
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
WHITE BEAR TOWNSHIP — “I think we can do more to create opportunities for working families,” says Justin Stofferahn. “Some of the other challenges we face, we can only tackle if we make sure working families have economic opportunities.”
Stofferahn is running for Senate District 38, which includes eastern Anoka County as well as part of Ramsey County and Washington County.
In addition to the endorsement of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, Stofferahn is running with the endorsement of AFSCME Council 5, Education Minnesota, the Laborers, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, Minnesota Nurses Association, SEIU Minnesota State Council, Teamsters Joint Council 32, United Steelworkers District 11, and other unions. He also is DFL-endorsed.
The 10-year Republican incumbent, Roger Chamberlain, is seeking re-election. On working family issues tracked by the Minnesota AFL-CIO, Chamberlain has earned a lifetime voting score of only 12 percent.*
Stofferahn, by contrast, would be a strong advocate for working families and their unions in the Minnesota Senate.
Stofferahn currently works as a research analyst for the Blue Green Alliance and is a member of the United Steelworkers union. “We can have these win-win solutions that are good for the environment and also can create good stable jobs for folks,” he says.
Stofferahn previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, where he was a MAPE member. His wife works for the Minnesota Department of Human Services and is currently a MAPE member. As union members, he notes, both he and his wife have had “a lot of rights in the midst of the pandemic.”
Stofferahn has seen the struggles of non-union workers through the experience of his own family: his mom working at a call center while living paycheck to paycheck, a brother working at a warehouse with few protections during the pandemic.
“If we think boldly and creatively, we can do a lot more to enhance worker power and union power,” Stofferahn says. “The status quo clearly isn’t enough.”
*This story from the October 16, 2020 issue of the Minneapolis Labor Review has been updated to reflect the new Minnesota AFL-CIO legislative scorecard, which was released October 16, 2020 to include the 2020 legislative session.