First meeting of Purple Caucus a success
ST. PAUL, MN – As the morning light peaked over the Capitol dome, five Democrats and five Republicans joined together for the first official meeting of the new Purple Caucus. These ten senators made it a priority to attend this early morning breakfast and talk about how they can change the conversation as Minnesotans first, other labels second.
Senators Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) and Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) announced the Purple Caucus earlier this month and serve as the group’s first co-chairs. Through this Caucus, they hope to end what the public has come to view as an unproductive style of discourse at the Capitol.
“I am pleased with how this first meeting turned out. It was a success and I am confident that the group’s energy will continue growing,” said Sen. Reinert. “Neither Jeremy nor I did any sort of recruitment for the caucus. We sent a general invite to Senators – what in the Navy we would refer to as an “all call.” Folks came on their own, and that’s a good sign that the Purple Caucus has legs and isn’t just talk.”
Senators in attendance came from all over the state. Tying them together was concerns they heard from constituents during last fall’s campaigns wondering why lawmakers cannot work together. “We want to be a role model for Minnesota,” continued Sen. Reinert. “We’re going to lead from the front and show that Democrats and Republicans can work together. And that work starts by having regular conversations and building relationships.”
Despite criticism about the Caucus, Sen. Reinert and others reflected positively on the morning’s discussion. The next meeting of the Purple Caucus has already been scheduled, and will take place shortly after the Easter/Passover break.