Press Release

Campaign manager Alex Falconer

Peter Wagenius Earns Key Endorsements

Sierra Club and School Board Member Hussein Samatar Give Their Support

November 23, 2011 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Statement from State Senate candidate Peter Wagenius:

I’m deeply honored that I have received two new endorsements for my campaign for State Senate, from an organization and an elected official both of whom I deeply respect: the Sierra Club and Minneapolis School Board Member Hussein Samatar.

I’m very gratified by the endorsement of the Sierra Club, which for decades has been one of the most important grassroots leaders in protecting our environment. I have worked hard to improve our environment and sustainability in our community: I was a leader in converting Xcel Energy’s Riverside plant from burning dirty coal to clean natural gas, and I have been a relentless fighter for the growth in transit and bicycling that has gotten cars off our roads and made our neighborhoods healthier.

About my campaign, Margaret Levin, state director of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter, said:

“We believe that Peter’s experience and dedicated advocacy on environmental issues make him uniquely qualified to handle the job of Minnesota State Senator. Peter Wagenius will be an outstanding representative for the people of Senate District 59, and we look forward to working with him as our newest State Senator.”

With your vote in the DFL primary on Tuesday, December 6, I will keep fighting in the State Senate to make transit, sustainability and public health in our neighborhoods even stronger.

Read Sierra Club press release.

The endorsement of Hussein Samatar is very meaningful to me because Hussein is an extraordinary and inspiring public servant. Less than 20 years ago, he arrived in Minneapolis from Somalia with an education in economics but no English. Today, he is the executive director of the African Development Center on Riverside Avenue, an invaluable organization that trains immigrants in financial success and entrepreneurship. (One look at thriving African-owned businesses around our city will show you how successful he has been.)

Just one year ago, voters in our district publicly recognized Hussein’s talent and commitment by making him the first Somali-American elected official in the history of the United States. He now serves us and our children on the Minneapolis School Board.

Hussein said:

“We need Peter Wagenius representing us in the State Senate. He will be very effective in advocating for our city – and for our schools. He will promote equity and inclusion of all in the political process and in the life of our community. The people of the West Bank, Cedar-Riverside and Seward will not be forgotten with Peter in office. Peter will be a State Senator for ALL of his constituents. I’m proud to support him.”

The very best public investments that we can make are not in stadiums for millionaires, as some believe, but in our children – particularly in our youngest children, and particularly in our children of color and children of immigrants, whose achievement gaps it is our moral imperative to eliminate. These are the investments that I will fight for in the State Senate, because these are the ones that will help restore equality to our economy and help the rest of us prosper – not just wealthy sports-team owners.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m thankful for my family and my community, and I’m thankful for all the support and thoughtful engagement that I have received from the people of the great neighborhoods of Senate District 59. With your support in the DFL primary on Tuesday, December 6, I will keep fighting in the State Senate for the progress and values that we believe in.