On the latest episode of “Liz Collin Reports,” Liz sat down with incoming Minnesota state representative Dawn Gillman to discuss Republican priorities for the new legislative session, advice for Minnesota parents trying to navigate left-wing ideology in their children’s schools, and more.
Gillman was the founder of Let Them Play Minnesota, a grassroots movement that successfully pressured Gov. Tim Walz into reopening schools and their athletic programs in the fall of 2020. She said the movement grew to a whopping 25,000 members and raised over $500,000 in under a year.
“It was quite the experience. It was incredible to keep it very bipartisan and grassroots, so we kept the politics out of it, even though the governor was playing politics with our kids,” Gillman said. “We figured out ways that we could work together, and kept the kids as the common goal, and that’s what I’m choosing to do too when I go down to work at the Capitol.”
The mother of five won her seat to represent District 17A in the Minnesota House of Representatives by a wide margin, though Republicans are now the minority party in both the state House and Senate.
Gillman wants to prioritize investing in public safety, supporting Minnesota police officers, increasing voter turnout for Republicans, and putting a stop to runaway government spending.
“I feel like [the police] have one arm tied behind their back right now on how they can protect and serve,” she said.
Also top of mind for Gillman is working with her fellow lawmakers to stem the tide of Minnesotans leaving the state. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that 19,400 residents left Minnesota to live in other states from July 2021 to July 2022 — the state’s largest domestic exodus in at least 30 years.
Gillman attributes the issue to high taxes and the decline in quality education.
“People that want to leave to warmer weather have done that for years. But it’s not just that,” she said. “We’re at the top [of highly-taxed residents] … More and more youth are dying by suicide and … mental health issues. The education piece is a big deal for our family, and I would be very concerned if my kids were in certain school districts right now, not only for safety but just for their education.”