DELLWOOD — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar recently appeared at a White Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce meeting. The meeting took place at Dellwood Country Club on Tuesday, March 29. Students from Mahtomedi and White Bear Lake High Schools were present along with their teachers. Local figures such as Ramsey County Commissioners Victoria Reinhardt and Blake Huffman and White Bear Lake Mayor Jo Emerson were also in attendance to hear the senator speak.
Klobuchar spoke about the successes in Congress in the past year, including improvements in employment rates, the passage of a sex-trafficking bill and the passage of a five-year transportation bill, which Klobuchar called one of her personal high points. The bill, called the FAST Act, will secure $305 billion in federal funding for transportation projects across the nation. Klobuchar also addressed growing concerns in the state, such as the need for broadband Internet in rural communities.
“There are parts of the state where farmers go to McDonald's, not just to eat breakfast but to get broadband service,” she said.
She has already begun legislation in partnership with the FCC Universal Service Fund to provide that resource to more rural communities. She also discussed a recent trip to Cuba with President Barack Obama and Rep. Tom Emmer, and took questions from audience members about topics including the Fab Lab at Century College and the Supreme Court vacancy. She praised the audience for not asking any questions about the 2016 presidential race.
“Good behavior!” she laughed. She did mention the attitudes of political division that have been opened as a result of the election, and suggested that an attitude of openness is required to enhance public discourse in the coming months.
“People try to look for divides rather than common ground,” she said. “You can stand your ground and look for common ground at the same time.”
Klobuchar has spoken at the White Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce events twice in the past. She thanked the chamber for a third invitation.
“Not every chamber invites me several times,” she said.