Jefferson Fietek, Anoka-Hennepin teacher and gay rights advocate, is running for state senate

Categories: GLBT, Politics
Jefferson Fietek.jpg
Jefferson Fietek is making the leap into politics.
Jefferson Fietek has made a name for himself as the most outspoken teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin school district's "neutrality policy" debate -- now he's parlaying that notoriety into a run for state senate.

"I definitely think this work that I've done locally -- and transitioned into nationally -- will hopefully be good training for me," says Fietek, who is a drama instructor and Gay Straight Alliance club leader in the now-infamous school district.

After Anoka-Hennepin was declared a "suicide contagion" zone following nine student suicides in the two years, Fietek became a vocal opponent of the district's "Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy" or "no homo promo." The policy states "Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation."

Fietek -- who was an adviser to one of the student who died, Samantha Johnson -- said he felt the school district created an unhealthy environment for kids like Samantha and that gay students were coming to him with suicidal thoughts everyday. He also works closely with Tammy Aaberg, the mother of Justin Aaberg, who committed suicide in 2010.

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District 49 Senator Michelle Benson (R)
His outspokenness got him quoted in articles on the policy (and the subsequent lawsuit against the district by the Southern Poverty Law Center) in Mother Jones and The New York Times.

The policy is currently on a rocky road to being phased out.

He'll be challenging incumbent Republican Michelle Benson for the District 49 seat, who is a supporter of the marriage amendment. Fietek says he'll emphasize local solutions to poverty in his district, and says that Benson was an absentee leader during the suicide contagion issue.

"I haven't really met people in the community other than in Ham Lake where she resides who know who she is," says Fietek. "I think that's concerning particularly, again, when we have such a magnifying glass on our community."

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17 comments
Johnnyrtsen
Johnnyrtsen

This guy has as much chance as JFK does of winning this race.

Becca
Becca

Jefferson was my teacher and did a tremendous job helping out the students! He will be perfect for this! He is one person that actually cares! Bring on the competition (:

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Michelle is my Senator.I also worked on Michelle Benson's campaign in 2010.  I knocked on a lot of doors and intend to do it again this time around.  Out of all the concerns I heard from constituents, this was not one of them.Sorry Jeffy, you WILL get crushed by Michelle just like Paul did.

Nathan Lawrence Johnson
Nathan Lawrence Johnson

I've had the pleasure of meeting Jefferson in recent months and I couldn't think of a more genuine, caring individual.  He knows about fairness, equality, standing up for what's right, making difficult decisions, etc.  He will make an awesome addition to the State legislature.

Congratulations on your decision, Jefferson; I wish you well!

Chris Sorensen
Chris Sorensen

Something about Michelle Benson in the photo above reminds me of Michelle Bachman... maybe it's the creepy soulless eyes? I think Fietek has a really good chance, because he's out there in the community actually making a difference. The only way to make our government more catered to the people is to have the people in office... someone that wasn't birthed into politics or running with a business agenda in mind. 

jww
jww

Oh....I get it.  Your comment was actually a quip.  JFK couldn't possibly win on account of him being dead.  Kudos.  This is gold!

Jefferson
Jefferson

Thanks Becca!  I wanted to also let you know, that when I am elected I still will be able to teach a good portion of the school year and promise that who ever steps into my shoes during those months I am gone will be a great teacher!  I will still be very active in youth and programs within our county while I am in office.  Thanks again.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"Jefferson was my teacher and did a tremendous job helping out the students!"

Yes Becca, and now he has decided to abandon them students...

Jefferson
Jefferson

Kirk, the reasons I am running is that our community members have expressed clearly to me that their true concerns are not being addressed by their elected officials.   I share many of the same concerns with my community.  One is the drastic increase, in the last couple years, of families in our county who have transitioned into poverty or become homeless.  We are also alarmed by our spike in taxes.  During the last legislative session, Senator Benson voted to eliminate your homestead property tax credit to reduce the state budget deficit. The end result was our property taxes skyrocketed -- while our home values went down. Policies Benson endorsed pushed the state’s budget problems on to the backs of local businesses, homeowners, renters and seniors through huge property tax increases.  Our county was declared a suicide contagion and we saw a spike in mental health crisis in the county and people looked to their leaders - they were no where to be seen. I can't say to know what you have heard from the people you connected with in our community, but can only share what I have seen and heard.  

Eileen
Eileen

"This?"  What exactly are you talking about?  And the statement "Sorry, Jeffy, you will get crushed..."  etc. shows how silly and immature you must be.  Kirk, you have an aptly rhymed alias.

Dakotahgeo
Dakotahgeo

Regarding your answer to me regaring the word, conservaturd... I was just being nice to you, but I should not have denigrated a turd with the likes of you.  My profound apologies to the turd! 

Dakotahgeo
Dakotahgeo

'THEM'  students????  Good God, another idiot, bigoted conservaturd!

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Here is some more fun facts for you Jefferson -Anoka County Commissioners Rhonda Sivarajah and Robyn West voted against the 3.5% increase to the county's certified levy.   The measure still passed, 5-2, putting the 2011 levy at $126.4 million.Jefferson, where was the Democrat Anoka County Commissioners in support of the taxpayer?  Oh ya, their support went towards bigger government.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Oh Jefferson, why must you mislead people?  The Homestead Property credit repeal was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton.  He signed the bill into law, even though he had vetoed an earlier version that ontained the same repeal.  Besides it isn’t the GOP legislators or Gov. Mark Dayton raising taxes, it’s the county commissioners that are raising taxes.  If they would cut services like they should then theoretically taxes would go down.  Unfortunately the commissioners progressive nature wont allow for cuts.  Jefferson, If you truly wanted to to help, go after "baseline budgeting" practices.  You know it well, it's widely practiced by the Teachers Unions.

I pulled my property tax records directly from Anoka County’s “Property Records & Taxation” website with numbers for all to see.My 2010 Coon Rapids/Anoka County property taxes were $2,130My 2011 Coon Rapids/Anoka County property taxes were $2,050My 2012 "estimated" Coon Rapids/Anoka County property taxes are to be $2,085(a good portion of the 2012 increase over 2011 can be attributed to the School District levy Anoka-Hennepin  passed (Levy Question 2 ))    Good thing you didn't get your way with levy question #3!   In addition, if continued school district greed (levy question #1) wasn't a factor in the special election of 2011, all of Anoka-Hennepin district residents would have all saw a vast decrease in property taxes.  I bet you personally were in support of that property tax increase I suffered.  Therefore, Jefferson, your statement of, “The end result was our property taxes skyrocketed -- while our home values went down,” is factually inaccurate.  Jefferson, no such skyrocketing happened as a result.  The proof is in the raw numbers.  Besides, the reason property taxes didn't fall at the same rate as my home value did, is because of government greed, progressivism, and baseline budgeting.  Once you allow a dollar for government, almost never will they take less.  They spend based on "projections," and they cant, or refuse to project declining home values or revenues.

Jefferson I bought my house in October of 2007, where at which time my Coon Rapids/Anoka County property taxes were $1,830.  In 2008, my property taxes spiked to $2,110.  Jefferson, who controlled the Minnesota House and Senate that year?  Which party controlled the Coon Rapids City Council?  The Coon Rapids Mayor aligns himself with which party? To which party affiliation did the Anoka County Commissioners lean?  Oh yeah, these governmental bodies were all controlled by Democrats.  So you making a claim that you will be able to do anything about taxes, well that is just laughable.  I know your party will look the other way as you attempt to lie your way into office, but you and I both know your party (democrat) LOVES taxes, and LOVES government spending and LOVES growing the government.   Ya sure, YOU will oppose YOUR party.   Thanks for the ammo Jefferson!Copy, paste, print, and now I go door to door with your falsehood, encouraging all residents to research your published falsehood on their own…

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Um, the headline dear -"gay rights advocate"I can say District 49 in general doesn't believe there is a infringement of anyone's rights within District 49.Oh Eileen, thanks for showing us how you also are immature with your attempt to put me down by calling me names.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

So you agree that he is abandoning all future students?I find it funny you would attack my grammatical error while using a word that doesn't exists.   "conservaturd"???Priceless!!!!

Darla
Darla

Kirk,How convenient that you failed to include the value of your property in, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Property values plummeted, yet tax amounts stayed pretty much the same.  That indicates a higher tax rate.  Math.  Try it.

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