As my final semester at the University of Minnesota wraps up, I have begun to take on a new challenge: running for public office in my beloved hometown. During my last two and a half years in college I have learned valuable knowledge and gained first hand experience about the political world we live in and the most effective way to enter that world and spark change.
We are faced with a unique and serious challenge in our political climate today, especially as it relates to the newest generation to become politically active. On the left, we have college students who sincerely believe in the advancement of socialism and wholeheartedly support Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders for his redistributive wealth and healthcare for all policy initiatives. On the right, we have students who harbor a genuine fear of expressing their political views for concern of social retaliation and public harassment. This clear imbalance needs to change if we want to protect our rights and liberties. We need to empower young conservatives to utilize their first amendment right to free speech and move from being the silent majority, to the vocal majority. We need to beat the far left at their own game and vocally compete in the marketplace of ideas. Taking a backseat approach and staying silent will only let the left win. Now is not the time to sit back and watch the foundation of our democracy be eroded by government intrusion. Now is the time to step and that is exactly why I am running for Minnesota House in District 57A.
Being born, raised, and educated in Minnesota House District 57A, with parents who have lived in the community for almost 30 years, I am deeply connected to this place I call home. This intimate connection has fostered many strong relationships with teachers, students, parents, businesspeople, and many more. The individuals in my community are hardworking, passionate, and kind. Apple Valley and Lakeville are known for having impeccable schools and supportive neighborhood communities. It is time to give these individuals the control they deserve by limiting the hand of government in their lives. Individuals and their families know how to make the best decisions for themselves, not the government. These are the principles I profoundly believe in and seek to represent this community with.
As a young conservative student, I consistently advocate for local politics. Often overlooked, local politics create lasting change, delivering tangible results to even our smallest communities. That is exactly why I have been earnest in my efforts to gain experience in every facet of politics here at home in Minnesota. I’ve written for numerous publications about my campus’ political climate and Minnesota politics alike. I’ve worked in grassroots efforts on countless campaigns, gaining knowledge of the issues Minnesotans have with the government. I have experience in political technology helping campaigns to strategize and in public affairs, aiding in the creation of press releases and media lists across the state. I was appointed to the Regent Candidate Advisory Council where I helped interview the Board of Regent candidates for the University of Minnesota and currently serve as a board member on the Eastview Community Foundation. Each of these experiences has diversified the way I approach political issues and prepared me for this endeavor. I am exceptionally passionate about local politics and my campaign for Minnesota House in District 57A encompasses the entirety of this passion and experience.
It is going to take more than conservative principles and a passion for local politics to win this November. To flip not only my seat of 57A, but the entire state of Minnesota, red, we need to engage in diverse campaign strategies and encompass every avenue of public outreach. The right combination of social media/technology and the traditional door knocking method will help conservative candidates win. I have worked tirelessly to bring attention to District 57A by appearing on Fox & Friends to announce my campaign, being featured in local and statewide publications, and spreading my name and message on EVERY social media platform. Getting the word out about my campaign and the issues facing District 57A will be paramount to winning this November.
It’s now time for young conservatives to step up and speak out. We will no longer be the silent majority, but the vocal one. The future of our local communities, our state, and our country depend on our young conservatives stepping up to combat the narrative from the left that stereotypes who conservatives are. We are diverse, and we will NOT be silent.
Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.