Sandra Masin: Representative Minnesota House 51A Representing parts of Burnsville and Eagan

About Sandra Masin

With more than twenty years of engagement in local politics and community events, Sandra is well known by many. If you haven't yet met Sandra, the information below will help you learn more about her.

Sandra's Background

30 years of history in District 51A (was 38A)
I am the mother of three grown children, who all attended public schools and graduated from Burnsville High School. In the last few years, my life has taken on another dimension with the addition of three marvelous grandchildren. They are a constant reminder of why I care about the legacy we leave and the opportunities that will be available to their new generation.

I received my Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Government and an Economics minor, from Valparaiso University in Indiana. Since the age of 16, I have worked in retail sales, office administration, real estate and, during the past 10 years, as an independent financial services representative.

A Commitment to Volunteerism

A strong sense of community, a passion for excellence
Throughout my life, I have also been an active volunteer. While I have always had a strong passion for history and government, my range of activity considerably expanded as my children were growing. I became very involved in church, school, athletic, and community organizations. I was one of the first soccer coaches in the Mend-Eagan Athletic Association (with the help of some soccer team members from Sibley High School!). Like so many other parents, I did what I thought would ensure that my children had the opportunities they needed and deserved. And I am so proud of who they have become.

A History of Public Service

Working to better others is the best way I can better myself
From 1988 to 1996, I was the moderator on Legislative Update, a program on Burnsville/Eagan Cable Access TV. In addition to regular discussions with our State Senate and House representatives, I enjoyed interviewing Senator Paul Wellstone and Congressman Bill Luther.

From 1991 to 1995, I was the Volunteer Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Corrections at the women's facility in Shakopee, when the focus was on reducing recidivism by preparing inmates for re-entry into society as productive citizens after their sentences were served.

I experienced the workings of the Minnesota House of Representatives close-up as a staff member during two sessions in 1990 and 1991.

A History of Public Service

During the mid-80s, while working for the Minnesota Historical Society, I particularly enjoyed acting as a tour guide of the Minnesota State Capitol – interpreting the art, architecture and history of the building, as well as Minnesota's governing process.

Between 1993 and 2000, I served two terms as a member of the Eagan City Council, where I built a reputation for honest decision-making based on facts, full disclosure, and open debate.

During my tenure as a city council member, I had the opportunity to serve as chair of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and to help organize (and chair) the Suburban Transit Association (a collaboration of several suburban transit systems) which worked to bring our collective transportation concerns to the Metropolitan Council and the State of Minnesota.

Effective Representation of the People

By the end of 2005, I became convinced that our District, 38A (now 51A), had been under-represented for far too long. Instead of promoting divisive, hot button political issues, I felt we needed to tackle the problems that people in our district face every day. I felt we needed a representative who actually wanted to help people, not just make silly points as if this were all some big game. People began encouraging me to run for office so that their concerns would be heard in the Minnesota House. Certainly the budget impasse in the Legislature and the resulting state government shutdown that summer illustrated the need for positive change. Well, I tossed my hat in the ring, and you know the rest. The voters of District 51A elected me their representative and each day since, I have done my best to honor the trust they and you have placed in me.

Let me take a minute to tell you how I have approached the job since my November 2006 election. First and foremost, I have done my best to show my respect for all the residents of 51A, whether new or old to life or to the neighborhood, whether or not they looked like me, and whether or not they may have voted for me. For some people, this is a hard thing to do. For me, it comes easy. It's a core value that takes care of itself. Second, I made the commitment to make myself accessible to anyone who wants to talk about a problem or a concern that I might help them solve. That's why I've always put my phone number on the website. Frankly, it's also a great way to learn what the district needs and what I can do to make a positive difference in people's lives. Finally, I have worked hard to deliver on my promises to you. As one legislator out of 201, this is almost never easy. But I've learned that when you do make a difference, it makes all those late night calls and never-ending Capitol debates worth every single minute.

Delivering on Promises

Two years ago, I said that finding solutions to our needs while demonstrating genuine fiscal responsibility might require a new kind of representation – or getting back to the kind of representation Minnesotans used to have. Today I think we've begun to show what this new approach can do. With decisions based on common sense and the common good, we've come together as a state and stood up for the values that made Minnesota a great place to live and work and grow. As I said in my opening note, the 2008 session is the "proof in the pudding." I promised you I would work for better transportation, better schools, more jobs and improved health care. While there is more to be done, by working together we were able to:

  • Adopt a transportation act to fund Minnesota's long-neglected system of roads, bridges and transit,
  • Create a fund for the victims of the 35W bridge collapse.
  • Make needed investments in Minnesota's schools,
  • Make changes to our health care system to stem rising costs and cover families in need,
  • Create thousands of good jobs with a comprehensive bonding bill,
  • Give voters a choice this November to set aside new money to protect our environment, enhance fish and wildlife, and support the arts.

I'm proud of these accomplishments and in the next two years hope to improve education, health care, jobs, transportation and the environment.


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Sandra Masin with her grandchildren Sandra Masin with her children and grandchildren
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