My Story

Because everyone's story means something, I have put together my background so you can learn a little about who I am, the issues I fight for, and the reasons I am running for Congress. I look forward to traveling around the district, meeting with you, hearing your story and discussing the changes you want to see. 

Growing Up   

My Minnesota story began when I was three years old when my parents moved to Minnesota looking for a better life after a fire destroyed our home in South Dakota. My dad worked for a farm family and my mom stayed at home raising myself and my three siblings. The lessons I learned is there is nothing more important than each other and the decisions we make at our kitchen table. Family doesn’t always mean safe and that the choices we make are not permanent if we believe in each other, take action and work hard enough, we can make it through anything.

I fought for hard working families because I understand they are doing the best they can in the situation they are in and they need someone to work hard for them.

Common Sense Family Legislation 

  • Legislative task force on Access to Affordable Child Care
  • Savings promotion raffles by financial institutions
  • Low income home energy heating assistance program appropriation
  • MN family investment program payment amounts
  • Women’s economic gender segregation in the workforce and gender pay gap reduction provisions
  • Women and non traditional jobs grant program
  • Working family tax credit modifications

 

In School

After graduating from Appleton High School, I attended Moorhead State University until I could no longer afford to continue. Looking for alternatives to obtain higher education, I went to work at Citibank in Sioux Falls SD, where I qualified for their tuition reimbursement program and began taking classes at Augustana College.   

Promotions led to a position as an efficiency analyst within the Operational Control department. Our task was to evaluate each department within Citibank, make efficiency recommendations, ensure security and safety protocols were in place, and verify costs were correctly reflected on the balance sheet.

Our family, my husband and our two children, Miranda and Ryan, had access to several benefits offered by Citibank, including affordable health care and an onsite daycare center. All that changed when my marriage ended after twelve years and the kids and I moved back to Minnesota to be close to family. 

As a single parent, I needed to earn enough to live but prioritized spending time with the kids. With that in mind, I went to work in a manufacturing plant working three twelve-hour overnight shifts on the weekends. It provided for our needs until the plant closed and I was offered training through the dislocated worker program and attended South Central College.   

I fought for public education because I know first hand how education and job training is the key to opening doors and providing opportunities for all of us.

Common Sense Education Legislation

  • Student loan payment income tax credit
  • Individualized education programs for students with disabilities
  • STEM educator loan forgiveness program
  • Agricultural education loan forgiveness
  • Teacher shortage Loan Forgiveness
  • Teacher Shortage Act
  • School Linked Mental Health Service Appropriation
  • Community Education Youth After School Programs
  • Career and technical education equipment grants
  • IT certification programs through public private partnerships
  • Rural Career Counseling Coordinators Establishment
  • Innovative Adult Basic Education program grants and ABE navigating support
  • Minnesota Youth Program Appropriation

On the Farm

I met my husband, Trevor, and we lived in Windom, MN where we were active on his family's farm. Without enough land for three families, Trevor started an insurance agency and I worked for an online training and development company as a technical writer. As the agency grew and the ability to purchase land continued to decline, we made the painful decision to leave the farm. An insurance agency was offered to us and we moved our family to Owatonna, where we own and operate an independent insurance agency.

I fought for farm families for over 15 years because they should be able to pass their legacy onto their children and families are the very best way for us to produce our food and take care of the land. 

Common Sense Farm Family Legislation

  • Farm Safety Program Establishment
  • Avian Flu Emergency Response Activities
  • Farmer Lender Mediation Act Expiration Extension
  • Agritourism Professionals Liability Immunity
  • Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Requirement Modifications
  • Rural Finance Authority Agricultural Loan Programs Appropriation
  • MN Agricultural Education Leadership Council Grants
  • Agricultural Growth, Research, and Investment (AGRI) Program Extension
  • Farm to Food Shelf Program Second Harvest Heartland Grant
  • Southern MN Initiative Foundation Local Food Promotion and Education Grants
  • Food Licensing Law Expansion for Farmers Markets
  • Sales Tax on Labor for Farm Equipment Repair Services Repeal
  • Qualified Small Business and Farm Properties Estate Tax Exclusions

 

At Our Business

My husband, Trevor and I own and operate Jensen Agency, an independent insurance agency in Owatonna. We knew when we left the family farm we would concentrate on farm and commercial coverages but had no idea the impact we would have on our community as health insurance agents. We are the only agency left in our community who will assist with health insurance products on the Minnesota health insurance exchange – MNSure.

As agents we know what it is like to obtain health insurance in the individual market, before, during and after the passage of ACA. We have sat across from families agonizing over how to pay for a plan with very high deductibles and does not include their family physician or clinic. We have sat across from families who are thrilled they finally have access to a plan.

I fought for Mainstreet Businesses because they are fundamental to the success of our local communities. I also fought for changes to the ACA to try to stabilize the individual market by placing our public option, Minnesota Care, on our public exchange. 

Common Sense Main Street Legislation

  • Small Business Bureau Modernization
  • Women Entrepreneurs Business Development Grants
  • Greater Minnesota Business Public Infrastructure Development Grants
  • Qualified Small Business Investors Certification
  • Jobs Training Program Establishment
  • Life Insurance Reserves Modifications
  • AWAIR Workplace accident and Injury Reduction Program
  • Building and Construction Contracts Modifications
  • Unemployment Insurance Employer Tax Rate and Taxable Wage Reduction
  • Gift Tax Repeal
  • Realtors Investigator Fees if Found Innocent Repeal

 

Our Safety

I fought for the safety of our families, children and workers because it’s the right thing to do.

  • Children’s Advocacy Center Greater MN Expansion
  • Criminal sexual conduct offenses for persons with authority over juveniles
  • Untested Sexual Assault Test (rape) Kits Accounting and Reporting
  • Implied Consent Court Proceedings Necessity Defense
  • Sexual Assault Victims Written Notice of Rights by Hospitals Requirement
  • Domestic Violence Victims Offender Release Notice Requirement
  • Domestic Abuse Probable Arrest Provisions Modifications
  • Domestic Abuse Order for Protection Violation and No Contact Order Clarification
  • Crime Victim Services Grants
  • Crime of Fourth Degree Assault Protections Expansion For Secure Treatment Facility Employees working Directly with Mentally Ill and Dangerous Patients
  • Suicide Prevention Training for Firefighters, law enforcement and emergency service personnel
  • Volunteer firefighter killed in line of duty continued health insurance coverage requirement
  • Crime of Violence Modification
  • Oil and Hazardous substance requirements for preparedness and response

Public Policy

My story is about lifelong learning and having the courage and determination to make a better life for us. It’s also about how my passion for people and understanding what they are going through led to my commitment to public service for:

Our Families

  • Passed Military Retirement State Income Tax Elimination
  • Worked to increase funding for mental health treatment and reduce Homelessness for our Veterans
  • Created Child Care Affordability Task Force
  • Carried tax credits for working families, property owners and students

Our Communities

  • Secured resources for Hwy 14, Corridors of Commerce, local bonding projects
  • Provided Resources for Rural Economic Development
  • Created Rural Teacher and Physician Shortage Solutions
  • Equalized Rural School Funding

Our Main Street Businesses

  • A well educated skilled workforce
  • Affordable Housing
  • Business Tax Reforms

Our Family Farms

  • Voted for Agriculture property tax cuts
  • Co-Authored Broadband funding bill
  • Advocate for transportation for cities under 5,000
  • Working for the protection of landowner rights

And Our Safety

  • Carried domestic and sexual violence along with child protection bills
  • Passed Railroad Safety Bill to provide training for first responders
  • Enacted family death benefits for volunteer firefighters