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GoGuide goes one-on-one Senator Amy Klobuchar

Guide to the 2020

Iowa Caucuses

 

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Shared Midwestern Values

 

By Tim Nedoba, political editor, September 2019

 

A true Midwesterner and a neighbor to our North Amy Klobuchar is running for President of United States of America and is our featured candidate in our ongoing Guide to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses series.

 

Amy Klobuchar is the senior Senator from Minnesota. She was born in Minnesota on May 25, 1960. She’s a graduate of Yale University and University of Chicago Law School. She returned to Minnesota to practice law before being elected county attorney for Hennepin County in 1998.

 

Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, becoming Minnesota’s first elected female United States Senator, and re-elected in 2012 and 2018. In 2009 and 2010 Senator Klobuchar was described as a “rising star” in the Democratic Party by the Huffington Post and others.

 

On February 10, 2019, The Amy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaign began.

 

“On a cold February day in Minneapolis on the mighty Mississippi River, with thousands of friends and supporters at my side, I announced that I’m running for President of the United States. As I said that day in our nation’s heartland, we must heal the heart of our democracy and renew our commitment to the common good.” AmyKobuchar.com

 

GoGuide Magazine goes one-on-one with Senator Amy Klobuchar

 

Can you win the Iowa Caucuses?

Well, I’m your Senator next door, and as I like to say, I can see Iowa from my porch! I understand the Midwest, and I’ve been down to Iowa early and often. My plan is to go everywhere because I believe we need to talk to people all over the state. In Minnesota, I’ve won blue, purple, and the reddest of the red counties and I’ve been successful because I listen, I meet people where they are, I hear about the things they

need, and I get things done. We’re going to do the same thing in Iowa and across the country.

 

Are you actively seeking the LGBTQ vote in Iowa and and nationally?

 Yes. The LGBTQ community is going to be critical if Democrats are going to win in 2020 and that’s because the LGBTQ community knows how to win. In 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court made Iowa one of the first states in the nation to recognize same-sex marriage. And today there are also more LGBTQ elected officials than ever before. Look at 2018, when we elected my friend Angie Craig, who was running to be the first openly gay member of Congress from Minnesota. We re-elected my next-door neighbor Tammy Baldwin. And we also elected over 150 LGBTQ candidates across the country, more than any previous election!

 

Why should someone who is gay, lesbian, transgender, or questioning vote for you for President?

I believe that we need a President who has the backs of the LGBTQ community, and not a President who wakes up every morning trying to divide our country. We must cross the river of our divides, walk across the sturdy bridge of our democracy to a higher plane in the politics. And that includes fighting for the transgender person who wants to serve, or go to school, or just go out in their neighborhood, without fear. It includes fighting for the young gay man looking for his first apartment or his first job and fighting for the two moms who want to protect their family.

 

And As your President, I will focus on getting things done. I have released a plan of more than 100 actions I will take during my first 100 days as President, and it includes priorities like combating hate crimes, lifting the ban preventing transgender people from serving in the military, and addressing homelessness, suicide and access to life-saving drugs in the LGBTQ community. I will also reverse the harmful anti-LGBTQ administrative actions taken by the Trump Administration when it comes to education, health care, and civil rights, and work to pass the Equality Act in year one of my presidency.

 

The LGBTQ community remembers the Orlando shooting at The Pulse night club. What is your plan to combat gun violence?

Gun violence in America has cut short, far too many lives, torn families apart, and plagued communities across the country. From the shooting in Orlando to the recent tragedies in El Paso and Dayton to the everyday gun violence that takes the lives of the equivalent of a classroom of school children every week, it’s clear that gun safety policies are long overdue.

 

I support a package of proposals including putting universal background checks in place by closing the gun show loophole, banning bump stocks, high capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons, [continued on next page]

closing the “Charleston loophole,” and passing my bill to close the “boyfriend loophole.” Right now federal law says if you’re convicted of abusing your wife, you can’t get a gun; if it’s your girlfriend, you can. My bill to close the boyfriend loophole has passed the House of Representatives and has been blocked by Republicans in the Senate -- it’s time to get it done.

 

For too long, those who side with the NRA have blocked necessary reforms that save lives. I went to the White House and sat across the table from him to make a case for gun safety laws after Parkland. I kept track. Nine times he said he wanted universal background checks. Then the next day, he met with the NRA and folded. As your President, I won’t fold.

 

The recent mass shootings were also disturbing reminders of the rise in hate in this country. I have been taking on hate crimes and combating hate since I was the Hennepin County Attorney. Because of my work on this issue as County Attorney, I was invited to the White House when President Bill Clinton proposed the Matthew Shepard federal hate crimes bill. In the Senate, I have continued to be a leader when it comes to taking on hate. And as President, I will end the hateful rhetoric that has become all too routine during the Trump Administration, and I will prioritize combating hate-motivated violence and domestic terrorism, including against the LGBTQ community.

 

Healthcare is another critical issue. Please tell us about your plan to improve and make our healthcare system better for all?

 Too many Americans struggle to pay for health care and their prescription drugs. I believe the Affordable Care Act is a beginning, not an end, and we need to make changes on both the state and federal level to bring down health care costs. That includes bringing down the cost of health care for everyone by putting a non-profit public option in place that allows people to buy into affordable health insurance coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.

 

I have fought the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Before the Affordable Care Act was passed, LGBTQ people who were denied coverage had nowhere to turn, people living with HIV/AIDS couldn’t afford the prescription drugs they needed, and transgender people were flat-out denied care. We can’t let the Trump Administration take us backwards.

 

When people are sick, their focus should be on getting better, rather than on how they can afford their prescriptions, yet drug prices are an increasing burden across our country. I have been a strong advocate for tackling the high costs of prescription drugs, leading proposals to lift the ban on Medicare negotiations for prescription drugs, allow personal importation of safe drugs from countries like Canada, and stop pharmaceutical companies from blocking less-expensive generics. And as President, I’ll get this done.

 

Is there anything more you would like to share with the GoGuide readers about your platform for President?

One issue that we’re not talking about enough as a country is how we can support our rural areas. And this directly impacts the LBGTQ community -- between 3 million and 4 million LGBTQ people live in rural America. I firmly believe that kids who grow up in rural America and rural Iowa should be able to live there. That’s why I released a plan to help close the rural-urban divide and address some of the unique challenges facing rural areas. My plan is about expanding rural health care — including mental health and addiction treatment — saving rural hospitals, supporting critical access hospital and community health centers, and dramatically expanding telehealth services. It’s about making it easier for workers to housing and education and investing in our rural infrastructure, expanding rural broadband, and ending the digital divide.

 

Follow Senator Klobuchar at  AmyKlobuchar.com.