Executive Director Griensewic reflects on Mondale’s impact on MN and how we need to continue to fight the “good fight”

Dear fellow Minnesotans,
Adversity seems to lurk around every corner as of late, and yesterday’s news added only more grief. I was devastated at the announcement of Mondale’s passing. Minnesota has experienced great loss once more.
Vice President Walter Mondale made his mark on Minnesota, the nation, and the world. He redefined what the role of Vice President could be. Mondale was known for his ability to collaborate. He was before his time focusing on clean water, child poverty, and fair housing. These issues were not commonly discussed.
He was well known for being the first Presidential candidate on a major ticket to have selected a female running mate. This deliberate display of feminism was and is so essential. Speaking personally as a female leader in government, representation matters. The highlight of 2019 for me was having a one-on-one meeting with Mondale. My intent was to discuss his timeserving as an ambassador for the U.S. to Japan. He instantly pivoted the conversation to me instead, interested in hearing about me, my background, current work, and career aspirations. He instantly filled the role as a mentor.
When I asked if he ever watched the HBO show, Veep, he laughed and said, “No, should I?” to which I quickly replied—” Yes, please!”. He meant so much to me, I named my adopted cat after him. When he learned of this, he stated that he was “honored and humbled”. I pointed out that both were from Region Nine territory and had white and gray hair. His assistant, Lynda received more cat photos than what was probably needed.
It is easy to feel deflated and overwhelmed with grief and trauma, Minnesotans have all endured as of late. I had to remind myself that Mondale always encouraged others to ignore the noise and step up to be a leader. 
The world is watching Minnesota. His legacy can guide us as a state as we work towards healing, helping, and be a catalyst for the needed change, especially in the days and weeks ahead of us. We need to keep fighting the “good fight”. It is what he would want us to do. His famous quote, “We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace.” We need that type of leadership now more than ever. 
Let us be more like Mondale. #moreMondale
RIP Fritz
Nicole Griensewic
Executive Director