Senate DFLers elected a new Senate Minority Leader. Senator Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina) was elected to the leadership position after Senator Susan Kent announced she was stepping down earlier this month.
“It is truly an honor to be elected by my colleagues to serve as the next Senate DFL Caucus Leader. Our caucus represents the values that Minnesotans across the state share, and I am looking forward to continuing the important work we have yet to do on behalf of our state,” LópezFranzen said. “Senate DFLers will continue to work hard to support Minnesota’s working families and ensure that our students and schools have what they need, especially as they face the challenges this pandemic has created. We will fight for clean air and water, including addressing the urgency of climate change, and will continue to work to protect and advance our democracy, which includes supporting a fair and transparent redistricting process and expanding voter access. I am committed to working with my Republican colleagues and other state leaders to accomplish these priorities on behalf of Minnesota families.”
Senator López Franzen was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2012 and previously held the role as Assistant Minority Leader. She is the first Senator who is a member of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) caucus to serve in this role.
Additional background information:
Senator López Franzen lives in Edina with her husband, Nathan, and their two sons, Philip and Arthur. López Franzen, born and raised in Puerto Rico, attended the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She later attended the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2003 with a Master of Public Policy in economic development, and Hamline University School of Law, graduating in 2006 with a Juris Doctor.
López Franzen began her career as an attorney at Target Corporation for eight years where she held several roles, titles, and responsibilities in Government Affairs and Community Relations divisions.
López Franzen serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), a non-partisan leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,800 Latino elected and appointed officials. She is also a part of HOPE Binational Fellowship Program, an executive leadership program for outstanding Latina professionals, and was selected nationwide to join the Class of 2018 Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, selected for the Minnesota Young American Leaders Program, part of the Harvard Business School, former President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and Regional Vice President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and a 2020 HNBA Top Lawyer Under 40 Award recipient. López Franzen formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys as well as the Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES).