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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

February 15, 2005
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations (218) 726-8830,
Wy Spano, Director, UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership (218) 726-6658 or (651) 470-4488 ,
Julie Smith, Administrative Coordinator, UMD Center for Advocacy & Political Leadership (218)-726-6711,


The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership introduces its first Spring Public Policy Lecture Series on February 19, 12:15 p.m. at the UMD Kirby Plaza Center Court Grill. The president of Minnesota's Citizens League, two prominent Minnesota State Senators, and a national expert in health care policy will be the featured speakers at this event.

"We're attempting," said Wy Spano, Director of the Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership, "to bring in speakers who'll be interesting to our masters degree classes here at the Center but also of interest to those in the Twin Ports interested in public policy."

All of the lectures will begin 12:15pm Saturdays and will be offered in the Kirby Student complex at UMD, 1208 Kirby Drive. Those attending may procure lunch in the Kirby Plaza Food Court and eat during the presentation. Each lecture will be about 40 minutes with a half hour available for questions.

Sean Kershaw.

First Lecture Saturday, February 19.
Lecture is in the Kirby Plaza Center Court Grill

Sean Kershaw, the President of the Citizens League, a Minnesota public affairs organization that has been at the forefront of developing the state's public policy since the organization was founded 50 years ago, will deliver the first of the lectures on Saturday, February 19. Kershaw's topic: "True or False: the Best Way to Involve Citizens in Making Policy Is to Establish Initiative and Referendum in Minnesota." Initiative and referendum is the system used in a number of other states, including Colorado and California, which permits citizens to vote on some new laws. Minnesota's Governor and a number of legislators have expressed support for this idea.

Kershaw was also a founding member and current board member of Civics Incorporated, a young-adult civic leadership program that is affiliated with the Statewide Active Citizenship Institute. He will be participating in discussions with students in the MAPL program about the state's changing political, especially how Minnesota residents view the responsibilities and rights of citizenship.

Second Lecture Saturday, March 5.
Lecture is in the Kirby Plaza Rafters

Sen. Mee Moua (pronounced Mwaa), a Democrat from St. Paul, is the first Hmong state senator in the U.S. She was born in Laos, lived in a refugee camp in Cambodia until she was nine and her family immigrated to the United States where they eventually settled in Appleton, WI. She has a bachelor's degree from Brown University, a Masters from the Lyndon Johnson School at the University of Texas, and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Sen. Moua is seen as a potential statewide candidate for the Democratic party and her forceful speaking style has caused many to compare her to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. She is vice-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and of the Transportation Budget Division. Sen. Moua's topic: "Hey America, Immigration Is Your Future."

Sen. Geoff Michel.

Third Lecture Saturday, April 2
Lecture is in the Kirby Plaza Rafters

Sen. Geoff Michel (pronounced Jeff Mi-shell), a Republican from Edina and an Assistant Minority Leader in the Minnesota Senate, will be delivering his lecture on Saturday, April 2. Sen. Michel has been involved in Minnesota's public affairs life for nearly 20 years. He was a legislative assistant to Minnesota's Republican Congressman Bill Frenzel in the 1980's; legal counsel to Governor Arne Carlson from 1990-1994; a lawyer and lobbyist for Minnesota Life Insurance Company; and a state senator since 2002. He is considered a rising star in the Republican firmament. The title of Michel's talk: "Can Democrats and Republicans Get Anything Done During the 2005 Legislative Session?"

Fourth Lecture Saturday, April 16
Lecture is in the Kirby Plaza Center Court Grill

Richard Teske, a UMD graduate, has, for three decades, been at the center of the health care policy debate in Washington. He served for almost eight years in the Reagan administration, then was a Corporate Officer and Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy for the international pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome. He began his career at the state level as Policy and Field Operations Director for the Minnesota Republican Party (where he directed over 150 state and federal campaigns), Director of Legislative Research for the Minnesota State Senate, and as Legislative Director for both the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He served as Special Assistant to U.S. Senator David Durenberger (R-MN). He also ran unsuccessfully as the youngest Republican endorsed candidate for Minnesota State Treasurer in 1978.

Currently, Mr. Teske is a nationally known researcher and writer on health care policy. He is a Visiting Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis and a regular contributor to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heritage Foundation. His topic "Can We Afford the Health Care of the Future, Let Alone the Present?"

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