2018 CountyGovt qs_ Anoka_Broom.pdf

County Candidates 2018 AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO 300 Hardman Avenue S. South St Paul, MN 55075 (p) 651 450 4990 (f) 651 455 1311 name: Sean Broom address: 4117 5th St NE, Columbia Heights MN, 55421 day & evening phone: 612-819- 8186 office seeking: Anoka County Commissioner campaign committee: Friends 4 Broo
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  County Candidates 2018 AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO 300 Hardman Avenue S. South St Paul, MN 55075 (p) 651 450 4990 (f) 651 455 1311 name: Sean Broom   address: 4117 5 th  St NE, Columbia Heights MN, 55421   day & evening phone: 612-819-8186   office seeking:  Anoka County Commissioner campaign committee: Friends 4 Broom campaign contact: Mary Granlund, Background information…   Provide a brief biography and explain your qualifications for this office. My name is Sean Broom, and I’m running for County Commissioner because I intimately know the value of the services the county provides. When I was 15 I was homeless for about 7 months. My mom, little sister, myself and our three cats were sleeping in a van and couch hopping — we were in a rough spot. Because of assistance we got from the county (things such as housing, food, and health care), we were able to get back on our feet. These social service programs save lives. The role of County Commissioner has a unique and direct role in advocating for and delivering those services. Those services have made a huge difference in people’s lives, in cluding my own. In college, I studied geography and urban planning which led to interest in local government, public policy, and government finance. After college I had the opportunity to serve as a policy and outreach staffer for a member of Congress, after which I worked for a Minneapolis City Council member as their Senior Policy Aide/Chief of Staff. Currently, I am the Director of Public Policy at the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. My professional experience has exposed me to the role of government in the lives of individuals. County government plays a remarkably powerful role in those lives and in the success of our region. The County Commissioner seat provides an opportunity to advocate for the health and the wellbeing of my neighbors, support needed investment in critical infrastructure for Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop and Spring Lake Park, and make the Twin Cities region stronger. Why is AFSCME endorsement important to you? Have you received it in the past? While attending the University of Minnesota, I worked at Boynton Health Services. In that role, I was an  AFSCME member and was able to see first-hand the ways unions enrich lives. Previously, I received the  AFSCME endorsement when I was running for Columbia Heights City Council in 2016. What other endorsements do you have or are you seeking? I am seeking broad labor endorsements as well as support from the Sierra Club How will you win this election? This election is about the people of Southern Anoka County. I am out in my community, day after day, talking with the people whose lives are touched by county services. That means, I am talking to people riding the bus  County Candidates 2018 AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO 300 Hardman Avenue S. South St Paul, MN 55075 (p) 651 450 4990 (f) 651 455 1311 to downtown on county roads; I am talking to parents who are receiving food support and medical assistance benefits; I’m talking to neighbors about where their trash is hauled. I plan to win by meeting with the people of my community and listening to their concerns and their hopes for a stronger, more supportive Southern Anoka County.    AFSCME Questionnaire…   1. We believe outsourcing public services leads to a loss of accountability and increased costs for clients, residents, and taxpayers. Why is it important to you that the county continue to deliver these services? How will you work to stop the outsourcing of public services and bring work that has been contracted out back to the county? I am broadly opposed to the outsourcing or privatization of public work. I am morally opposed to the outsourcing of public safety and corrections matters by the county or any other level of government. Beyond public safety and corrections, which are fundamentally the responsibility of the state, it’s important to me that government services are delivered by the government. I believe that the employees of the county and the product of their work should be accountable to the taxpayers and residents of Anoka County. That accountability flows through elected officials and professional government.   In the short term I will oppose attempts to outsource and privatize public services by Anoka County. 2. Tight budgets have chall enged the county’s vital role in delivering services. Why is it important to you that we maintain stable funding, and what is your approach to accomplishing this? We need to start with advocating for necessary aid from the state. Unfunded and underfunded state mandates have wreaked havoc on the budgets of counties as more services are covered with limited dollars. Everything from overstretched licensure staff dealing with the implementation of MNLARS to diminishing investments in infrastructure has left counties scrambling for more resources. We’ve got to get investment from the federal and state levels that match their demands on the county.   The county must also ensure a stable property tax base to support the rest of the county functions. The county needs to work to restore its AAA credit rating and consistently exercise sound financial judgment.   3. How will you work collaboratively with the legislature to strengthen programs like County Program Aid to ensure stable funding and predictable revenue sharing for the county? I have experience working with legislators throughout my career. I know how to get them to the table, discuss the issues that are important, and to come to an agreement that benefits our communities. CPA has fluctuated with the economy, but hasn’t grown in any real terms in over 20 years— and is reduced in real dollars. Because of that revenue shortfall, Anoka County and other counties around the state are being shortchanged. I will work with legislators of every stripe to show the value of CPA to the residents of southern Anoka County and the services it provides. By funding the CPA fully the state is helping counties keep our property taxes down and maintain affordable property taxes for seniors, residents on fixed incomes, and families. 4. How will you stand up to anti-worker, forces that want to take away control from local governments? I generally do not support attempts to pre-empt local governments. Local governments are an excellent place to seek innovation and are the closest level to the needs and voices of residents. That being said, I am concerned about a patchwork of local regulations — it does make it harder for businesses to operate. We are a region, our businesses operate across the region and the state should look to solve for many of the things local communities across the Twin Cities are attempting to do through local ordinance — regionally, to benefit more workers and for clarity for businesses.  County Candidates 2018 AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO 300 Hardman Avenue S. South St Paul, MN 55075 (p) 651 450 4990 (f) 651 455 1311 5. The reduction of the county’s workforce and additional job responsibilities for current employees has led to a stressful environment for county employees, managers, elected officials and the public. Describe how you would work collaboratively with AFSCME workers to set priorities for employees and the public to alleviate some of the additional stress? Why is it important to create a work environment that is healthy and respectful? What role do department directors and supervisors play? Probation officers face incredible pressures from their responsibility to track and clear caseloads. Anoka County needs to make sure we hire enough staff to deal with the important public safety function they serve in facilitating a transition to post incarceration life. We are failing to adequately fund mental health services through the corrections system and which includes probation. Working with the state to expand and support mental health programs in the public safety and corrections realm will lower recidivism and is an important aspect of criminal justice reform. I hope it will also make the work of probation officers easier. I have heard that much of the stress in the staff at the county is driven by increased workloads due to a reduced workforce. That is important to address for the long-term success of the county in delivering quality service. Supervisors and administration must help set both the appropriate culture and tone for the offices they serve. They must be fair, responsive, and clear as leaders and supervisors. As an elected official, it would be my role to make sure that the county is adequately funded so we can support the workers. 6. We believe all workers who want to form a union should have one without employer interference. Do you support card-check and employer neutrality in union organizing, living wage jobs, prevailing wages in construction, and project labor agreements? How will you publicly support workers in organizing campaigns? I unequivocally support the right of workers to unionize including through the ease of a card check process. I do support living wage jobs and Anoka County’s repeal of prevailing wage is an affront to the working people of  Anoka County. I support PLAs in all projects that have public dollars associated with them — it is imperative that the government supports living wages, good work conditions, and responsible partners on all projects that benefit from the public dollar.    As an Anoka County Commissioner I’ll be happy to support organizing workers .   7. Some public officials build political capital by attacking public employees and public services. If elected, how will you use your capital to promote public services and the employees who provide them? We need to build up and empower the wonderful public servants who are doing the work of the people of  Anoka County. Public employees are often underpaid and underappreciated, precisely because of those attacks. Public employees ensure that our parks and libraries are open and clean, that our restaurants are safe, our schools educate our next generations, and that our towns and communities have clean roads and solid infrastructure. I will be happy to acknowledge and amplify the great work of public employees as County Commissioner, and will work to make sure that our employees are recognized for their expertise and that they are paid appropriately for their commitment to our community.  County Candidates 2018 AFSCME Council 5, AFL-CIO 300 Hardman Avenue S. South St Paul, MN 55075 (p) 651 450 4990 (f) 651 455 1311 8. What process would you use to encourage and facilitate communication between yourself and  AFSCME? How will you include and incorporate budgetary suggestions from AFSCME? I’m happy to meet any day with AFSCME members from the district I represent and the AFSCME represented employees of Anoka County. Like any interested group, I will be willing to consider any budgetary suggestions from AFSCME — I expect that AFSCME should be a key partner in ensuring that high quality, efficient government services are delivered and that our county workforce can be innovative. Ultimately I am a guardian of the taxpayers dollars and I will always have to consider the impact on the affordability and quality of life of the people I will represent. 9. Would you accept a campaign contribution from AFSCME political committees? Yes.
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