Senator D. Scott Dibble first became involved in politics in the mid-1980s working on issues concerning the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities including policies affecting those with HIV and AIDS. His involvement led to organizing on issues of social and economic justice—especially in the areas of neighborhood livability, transportation, housing, energy, and the environment. He later worked as aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Doré Mead for six years. Dibble ran for, and won, a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2000, becoming the third openly gay legislator to serve in the Minnesota Legislature. After serving one term in the House, Dibble ran for State Senate in 2002 where he is now serving in his fifth term.
Sen. Dibble has played a key role in a number of legislative successes, including:
- The passage of an historic transportation funding measure
- Enactment of the Freedom to Breath Act, ensuring clean indoor air for all workers
- Approval of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act
- Serving as chief author of legislation to merge the closed police and fire pension funds with the state system, saving Minneapolis property tax payers $26 million in 2012
- Providing leadership to prevent neighborhood programs from total elimination
- Serving as legislative leader on bullying prevention and issues relating to HIV and AIDS
As the chair of the Senate’s Transit Subdivision, Sen. Dibble played a pivotal role in the override of Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of a vital transportation improvement bill that will allow the Twin Cities to build a transit system for the 21st century. He was also asked to serve on a special investigative committee that looked into the tragic collapse of the I-35W Bridge. Sen. Dibble continues to be a leader in the Minnesota Senate on legislation relating to transportation and transit, energy efficiency, the environment, housing, and economic development. Sen. Dibble has helped position Minnesota as a leader among the states that are working to solve critical clean air, global warming, and economic challenges. Dibble has served as chief author or as a lead negotiator on groundbreaking energy efficiency standards, implementation of a nation-leading renewable energy standard, establishment of a carbon dioxide reduction mandate, instituting the nation’s most stringent mercury emission reduction requirements for coal-fired energy, the first legislation in the country on hybrid plug in electric cars, programs to aid the construction of green buildings and to assist local governments in building more energy efficient facilities. Sen. Dibble helped author and served on the state’s Green Jobs Task Force charged with developing a comprehensive economic development policy charged with shaping Minnesota’s participation in the Green Economy for generations to come. Sen. Dibble has helped lead the charge defending against numerous attacks on human rights over the past 12 years, especially directed against the GLBT community. He helped defeat a proposed anti-marriage constitutional amendment successfully for a number of years, and helped to defeat the amendment when it was on the ballot in 2012. He successfully worked for the passage of the Freedom to Marry Act in 2013, allowing same-sex couples to be married in Minnesota. He worked to successfully pass the Safe and Supportive Schools Act in 2014, which creates an approach needed to stop bullying of students in Minnesota’s schools.
Additional Legislative accomplishments include:
- The tenant bill of rights
- Leadership on key capital bonding projects such as light rail transit, high-speed rail, and the Minnesota Orchestra
- Improvements for Minneapolis Community and Technical College
- Establishing more solar energy production
- A response to the foreclosure crisis
- Fighting on behalf of tipped employees
- Protecting the Minnesota renter’s tax credit
- Championing housing and job supports for those with disabilities and mental illness
Sen. Dibble lives in Uptown, in the East Isles neighborhood. He is married to Richard Leyva and in his spare time, Sen. Dibble is an avid runner, swimmer, weight lifter, and triathlete, and has run in several marathons across the United States. He enjoys theater, film, reading, cooking, and travel.