Aric Putnam is a Professor of Communications at Saint John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, where he’s taught for the past 17 years. A strong believer in service, he serves on the board of four nonprofit organizations focused on mental health and education. Putnam also leads community workshops on critical thinking, citizenship, and community service for teachers in public schools and in the criminal justice system.
Addressing economic inequality in his district is a core issue for Putnam. He will prioritize policies that ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare, fully fund Minnesota’s schools, end gerrymandering, and support more options for affordable housing. He understands the need for leaders to be effective communicators to advocate in their communities on climate issues: “We need leadership to help everyone realize that the environment is not an issue for those other people, whomever the other is. This is an issue for policy, but also important for how we talk about it.”
Aric Putnam on transportation:
“I grew up in East San Jose, a relatively impoverished neighborhood of color in Santa Clara Valley that got to enjoy the pollution created by San Francisco and those who commuted to it. When I was a kid there was no east/west transit across the valley because people from my side of the valley weren’t welcome on the other. I know this issue. In Minnesota today, and in my community, I know of students of color whom I teach who can’t get to St. Cloud because transit doesn’t get to St. Joe. That’s not OK. Access is the issue. And sustainable investment in transit is the answer.”