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HomeCommunityBeers and Banter Event Brings Zeleznikar to Hugo’s Bar

Beers and Banter Event Brings Zeleznikar to Hugo’s Bar

On Thursday, Dec 21st at Hu­go’s Bar in Brimson, Natalie Zeleznikar, elected as the Min­nesota State Representative in 2022, shared a candid conversation with constituents during the recent “Beers & Banter” event. The promotion for the event read, “Because politics in today’s world requires a drink…” Many may not argue with that.

The Republican representative, hailing from the Fredenberg town­ship, shed light on her commit­ment to the 40,000 people in her district and the unique challenges they face.

“It’s amazing the calls I get,” Zeleznikar remarked, over the lively bar’s laughs and conver­sation. From concerns about sal­vaged vehicle tab issues to coor­dinating nursing license transfers, Zeleznikar’s dedication to ad­dressing the varied needs of her constituents was evident. “If they can’t get tabs, that’s my new issue for the day,” she stressed, showing a hands-on approach to problem-solving.

With a pulse on the community, Zeleznikar voiced the collective concerns of her constituents, many of whom face challenges related to trapping, hunting, healthcare, rising costs of energy, etc. She highlighted the struggles of work­ing-class individuals in her district, many of whom work a second job.

“There are common themes with people,” Zeleznikar said and provided examples such as concerns over transitions from fossil fuels and natural gas. They are concerned about the cost of electric vehicles (despite the tax credit) un­derstanding that people up North drive long distances over rural ar­eas.

Other citizens were upset and dis­appointed about the surplus. “Peo­ple expected a $2000 check and ended up with $260,” Zeleznikar stated and advised this was due to late submission to the government.

She expressed concerns with core services, emphasizing the importance of good roads, education, healthcare, and public safety. She spoke about the record level of recruitment problems for law en­forcement and mandates causing difficulty for teachers, healthcare providers, and childcare providers. People are choosing not to go into the field. In addition, Greater Min­nesota currently has a huge dis­parity for ambulance services and childcare.

Reflecting on her constituents, Zeleznikar stated, “80% of the peo­ple I talk to, whether they voted for me or not, are really moderate on a lot of issues.” She went on to say, “I spend time to figure out what we can do to compromise for the best interest of the North. That’s my top priority, to serve the North.”

Zeleznikar’s personal connection to the region, having worked, lived, and raised her kids there, adds depth to her advocacy. Drawing attention to the concerns of seniors worried about rising home valua­tions, fixed incomes, and the lack of social security tax elimination, she emphasized the importance of helping the older generations con­tinue to live in the region.

“I want to see these seniors stay in our state. Having a intergenera­tional community is really import­ant,” she said. “We need to have all ages in our community for a thriv­ing community.”

As Natalie Zeleznikar continues to reach out to those she serves, her dedication to serving the North re­mains unwavering. The “Beers & Banter” event provided a glimpse into the issues close to the hearts of Northern Minnesotans and the representative’s commitment to find­ing practical solutions for a better future. Cheers!

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