Rep. Yvonne Selcer no stranger to capitol
First-term state representative and Minnetonka resident has enjoyed first weeks on the job
Though Yvonne Selcer is serving her first term as District 48A state representative, she is no stranger to the state capitol.
She spent years in St. Paul lobbying for education reform and was the Hopkins School Board Chair until her retirement in December 2011.
Selcer (DFL – Minnetonka) said her lobbying career allowed her to see first-hand what the job of a state legislator is like. But, her first two weeks on the job have not been without surprises.
“The volume of email and the people that want to see me is surprising. I am grateful that I have a legislative assistant,” she quipped.
Selcer said it’s too early for her to say what her typical week will look like, but so far, she has worked both days and evenings.
“It’s a pretty full schedule, but I am really enjoying it,” she said.
Working with her Republican colleagues across the aisle is one of Selcer’s goals, but also a message that her constituents passed along on the campaign trail last fall.
“I heard loud and clear that people want their legislators to work together and they want a government that works, and I will focus my efforts to the that end,” Selcer said. “I am going to do my best to reach across the aisle … for our community members and for our state.”
Thus far, Selcer has enjoyed the contact with her constituents, and said it will likely be the easiest part of her job.
“I love meeting my community members,” she said. “This is an area that I have a great deal of experience in.”
Given her experience working at the capitol, Selcer said she has expected her time to be at a premium and that long hours come with the position of state representative.
“But, I have grown to respect the dedication and number of hours it takes to do this job well,” she said.
At the time of this interview, Selcer had only attended four committee hearings.
“But, I already know that delving deeply into the issues that affect our communities and states will be one of my favorite things,” she said.
She is serving on the K-12 Education Finance Committee, Transportation Policy Committee and Energy Policy Committee.
“Of course all three areas are vital to our district,” she said.
She said she will enjoy listening to policy experts, asking questions and the back and forth comments and questions of her fellow committee members.
“I’m used to doing that – studying and coming to good conclusions … and this something I know I will enjoy with the committee meetings,” she said.
And, it doesn’t hurt that her office is in one of the most recognized buildings in the state.
“It is one of the most beautiful capitols in the country, and that is not just my opinion,” said Selcer. “It is very easy for me to come to work and do what I love.”
Selcer said she had a great deal of contact with her constituents as soon as she won the election in November 2012 and is excited for further conversations with administrators, local leaders from the business and school communities, as well as from other groups.
“I look forward to holding town meetings, and look forward to coming to have coffee at homes,” she said.
But, aside from organized meetings, Selcer hopes people will approach her when they see her out in the district.
“I really enjoy that, and welcome that, and need that so I know how best to represent people in our district,” she said.
And just two weeks as a state representative, Selcer is still soaking it all in.
“I’m just really humbled and honored to have been represented to serve our wonderful district.”
District 48A covers southern Minnetonka and northern Eden Prairie. Rep. Selcer can be reached at 651-297-9001 or email@example.com.
Contact Matthew Hankey at firstname.lastname@example.org