MINNETONKA, MN – Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) today announced that his office has completed introductory visits to all 36 cities and towns in Minnesota’s Third District. Phillips and senior staff met with mayors, city administrators, and local leaders in every corner of the district, which spans 583 square miles west and north of the Twin Cities and is home to more than 700,000 constituents.
“Representation begins with listening, and we’re converting that guiding principle into action,” said Phillips. “We set an ambitious goal to convene meetings with all 36 cities and towns in the 3rd District in my first six months of service, and I’m proud that we did so ahead of schedule. Local leaders know the issues facing their communities best, and it was an honor to both learn from them and invite their participation in identifying opportunities to work together to generate results for the Minnesotans we serve.”
“It was so refreshing to be able to meet with a member of Congress who reaches out to local officials as partners who serve the same constituents,” said Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case. “Congressman Dean Phillips is authentic, committed to finding solutions, and willing to work with anyone to get something accomplished for the good of his District and the American people. He’s living out his ‘Everyone is welcome’ mantra.”
“I truly appreciate the time that Representative Phillips and his staff have already invested into building relationships in the Third District, particularly in Maple Plain,” said Maple Plain Mayor Julie Maas-Kusske. “It is important for us as local leaders to have open lines of communication with our elected officials and the federal level, and for them to understand what is important to our communities. That happens through conversations like these, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”
Chanhassen Mayor Elise Ryan and Plymouth Mayor Jeffry Wosje also extended gratitude on Twitter.
Phillips and staff learned about community priorities ranging from veterans’ services to road improvements, invasive species to mental health, and tax reform to broadband access.
In cities with populations from 371 to 84,000, infrastructure was a top concern. Of the 36 cities in Minnesota’s Third District, only eight receive Local Government Aid from the state, which leaves communities short of the funding they need for urgent infrastructure improvements.
Those conversations have already translated to action in Washington. This week, Phillips announced he is co-sponsoring H.R. 1497, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, after hearing from local leaders about wastewater treatment funding gaps in places like Dayton, Minnetonka Beach, Loretto, Greenfield, Long Lake and Corcoran. The bipartisan bill provides federal funding for the construction, repair and replacement of wastewater and stormwater treatment facilities.
“We know that investing in 21st century infrastructure creates jobs and builds sustainable, resilient communities,” said Phillips. “So when we heard from local leaders that their wastewater needs were not being met, it was a perfect opportunity to collaborate. Smaller towns in our community would be unable to make the improvements on their own, but together, we can achieve meaningful progress.”
Phillips has also convened meetings with Third District public school superintendents, Carver and Hennepin county commissioners, mayors and police chiefs, with more on the way.