The Senate DFL is excited to announce the launch of a new podcast, “Call of the Senate.”
We’ve all heard the talking points, now you can go behind the scenes and listen to what makes our Senators tick. We want to engage you, inform you, and entertain you with personal stories from our Senators – they all have fascinating backstories.
You will be entertained with their stories about growing up, their “aha” moments that defined and shaped their perspective on issues and drove them to become public servants. You’ll learn more about what our senators care most about and what they hope to accomplish while serving the people of our great state.
Currently serving her 9th term, Senator Sandy Pappas has almost seen it all here in St Paul. Over the course of her 30+ years in the capitol, Senator Pappas has been a fierce advocate for gender equality, the working class, and Minnesota’s immigrant communities. She was the second female President in the history of the Senate, and she continues to fight for fairness and civility in Minnesota. Hear about her diverse experiences serving as a state legislator, as well as her personal background.
In his 31 years as an American Government teacher in Eden Prairie, Senator Steve Cwodzinski never once regretted a Monday or looked forward to a Friday. He brings the same joy and passion he had as a teacher in serving as a State Senator and continues the fight for students in working to close the achievement gap. Hear more about his passion for service in this episode of Mr. Cwodzinski goes to St. Paul, wait, we mean, Call of the Senate.
Senate DFL Leader Tom Bakk has been negotiating deals since 1978 when as a 24-year-old he joined the statewide negotiating committee for his carpentry union. Though much has changed 41 years later, his goal remains the same: to improve people’s lives and raise their standard of living. Hear straight from this Iron Ranger about the legacy he hopes to leave and what the biggest roadblock is to his first tweet.
Politics run in the family for Senator Nick Frentz, whose mom worked in the California State Senate for 13 years. Though born on an Army base in Japan, Frentz and his family has roots dating back 150 years to the Mankato area. His commitment to community-building shows through h his years of coaching youth sports, but also through his legislative priorities of addressing Minnesota’s affordable housing crisis and advocacy for Highway 14.
Born in Laos during the Vietnam War, Senator Foung Hawj’s journey included time in a refugee camp, and stops in South Dakota, Kansas, and Texas before settling in Minnesota. These experiences have instilled a lifelong passion for equity, a legislative career focused on helping the working poor and marginalized communities, and a commitment to inclusivity. Hear how the American dream played out for Senator Hawj including appearances by TPT’s Almanac, the Boundary Waters, and Kansas City BBQ.
Since winning his first election as a 21-year-old college student, Senator Chuck Wiger has dedicated his life to public service. Wiger is the Senate’s “Evangelist of Education” making Minnesota’s students and their education his biggest priority. Now in his 23rd year as a Senator, this episode reveals how a phone call to Harmon Killebrew brought this one time high school dropout from picking oranges in Florida to being chair of the Senate E-12 Committee.
In the inaugural episode of Call of the Senate we are joined by Assistant Minority Leader Senator Susan Kent! Though she was born in New Orleans and went to college as a Longhorn, Minnesota’s schools are what brought her to Woodbury and to the Senate. With a long line of educators in her family, Kent ran for office to make sure Minnesota’s schools stay world class. Hear about how she and her colleagues are working to keep this promise for our kids.