Sure, Governor Tim Walz is the guy whose portrait will one day hang in the Capitol, but there’s someone else in the administration whose hard work we can’t ignore: Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Amid the crises that continue to plague our state and country this year, she holds strong and dedicates herself to seeing Minnesotans through.
But Lt. Governor Flanagan built an impressive resume even before her election to executive office. Here are just a few things you might not know about her.
A citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe–and one of the first Native American women in the country to be elected to executive office–Peggy Flanagan is a longtime advocate for children, families, communities of color, and indigenous people. She got her start in politics in college, working on Paul Wellstone’s U.S. senate campaign. She has served Minnesota ever since.
Even before being elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2015, she fought to increase Minnesota’s minimum wage and worked to create a better Minnesota for the youngest Minnesotans as executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund.
She was the first Native American woman to address the Democratic National Convention as an official speaker in 2016, and was one of only two Native American state representatives in Minnesota at the time of her election to the Minnesota Legislature. In 2017, she formed the POCI (People of Color and Indigenous) caucus with other state legislators to reduce academic and economic disparities that affect communities of color.
Working together for Minnesota
At first glance, Lt. Governor Flanagan, an outspoken activist from the Twin Cities, might seem like an unlikely partner for Governor Walz, an Iraq veteran and football coach from Mankato. But their collaboration started almost fifteen years ago.
In 2006, 25-year-old Peggy Flanagan helped an unknown geography teacher named Tim Walz run for Congress. It was a longshot. In the end, they came out on top. Walz went on to serve Minnesota’s 1st district in the House of Representatives for 12 years.
Toward the future
Now, they continue to work together to fight COVID-19, demand racial justice, and build a better Minnesota. And through it all, Lt. Governor Flanagan has fought tirelessly for Minnesotans. Just like her former boss, Paul Wellstone, she’s standing up for progressive values and a better tomorrow.