Protecting Our Communities, Securing Our Future:
A Truly Progressive Vision for Minnesota’s 8th District
There are many values that progressive candidates share, such as a demand for single-payer healthcare, debt-free college tuition and removing the corrosive influence of money in politics. However, there are marked differences between the candidates in our district. Leah appreciates the opportunity to share her approach to several key issues that set her apart from our current representation.
On National Security:
In 2015, Congressman Nolan voted to support the American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act, mandating an additional background investigation for refugees from Syria and Iraq. Having worked closely with the refugee screening process throughout her career, Leah knows this is an unjust and unnecessary measure. She concurs strongly with former FBI Director Comey who said the SAFE Act “seeks to micromanage the process in a way that is counter-productive to national security, to our humanitarian obligation, and the overall ability to focus on Homeland Security". Democrats need to strongly oppose such measures that undercut our humanitarian obligations and national security.
While national security threats continue to evolve with modern technology, the gulf between the lawmakers and those carrying out the laws grows. As a former cyber-terrorism analyst for the FBI, Leah has direct experience with the modern threats facing our democracy and will fight to ensure we have the right tools to combat them.
On Environmental Regulations:
In the last six months, Rep. Nolan has introduced and supported legislation that undermines environmental protections, particularly those the Obama administration worked hard to pass. We already have a President rolling back these environmental protections; we cannot afford to have Congressional Democrats helping him achieve his goal.
In November 2017, Rep. Nolan’s Polymet Land Swap bill passed the U.S. House. If passed in the Senate, it will force through the land swap needed to build the Polymet copper-nickel mine by eliminating four pending lawsuits filed by Minnesotans challenging the legality of the swap.
The MINER Act also passed the House in November with Rep. Nolan’s support. It renders Minnesota the only state in the nation unworthy of public lands protection by requiring Congressional approval of any future land withdrawals. It also provided direct support for the Trump administration’s decision to retroactively renew the Twin Metals land leases at the end of December.
The Resilient Federal Forests Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Nolan, allows corporations to now clear cut up to 10,000 acres of timber (increased from 2,500 acres) without completing an Environmental Impact Study. Congressional Republicans are pushing this extreme logging approach to wildfire management, which purports to alleviate emergency situations by incurring lasting damage to our landscape and our climate. Leah supports a more common sense Wildlife Disaster Funding Act. This bill allows the U.S. Forest Service more options for funding sources for combating wild fires, rather than requiring them to pull funding from programs and practices that prevent wildfires, as occurred this past fiscal year.
In addition to fighting back against the dangerous legislation outlined above, Leah is pushing forward a truly progressive economic development plan for the District. With a progressive vision and the proper resources, we don’t need to choose between strong environmental protections and a robust economy.
Leah is a values-driven, inclusive DFL candidate.
2018 is a banner year for Democrats – we have the opportunity to restore the faith of discouraged DFL’ers across the district, and to reach out to newly-activated young people, as well as frustrated Republicans. To do so, we need an endorsed candidate who resonates with both long-time activists and newcomers by building an inclusive, future-first plan with innovative, fresh ideas for everything from national security to economic development.
"I will work tirelessly for you by doubling-down on our values, not compromising them. Every decision I make is founded on what’s best for the next generation, not just the next election. I look forward to meeting you and earning your support as I continue to travel the District leading up to the April 14th Congressional District convention." - Leah Phifer