If you happen to bump into Karen Clark at the grocery store – as well you might – you might not immediately recognize the power and influence this diminutive dynamo wields in the political arena. Last week Clark, who has represented her South Minneapolis District since 1980, was one of ten individuals honored by President Obama with the Harvey Milk Champion of Change award. The Award recognizes the leadership Clark has shown as author and promoter of the Minnesota Freedom to Marry bill which recently passed the Legislature with bipartisan support.
In this and other situations Representative Clark is often identified as the champion of equal rights for LGBT persons. Towards this end she authored and championed the same-sex marriage bill through good times and bad.
Lest anyone think Karen Clark is a one issue person, consider the range and depth of her legislative initiatives to promote social justice. The list of bills she has authored range from issues dealing with housing and homeless people to human rights, affordable child care, women’s rights, peace, labor and more. Whenever and wherever the little people have a need Karen Clark is at the ready.
The Harvey Milk award is surely a feather in Karen Clark’s cap. Let it be known that this wise and powerful legislator has cast her political net to encompass every individual and segment of society that needs and deserves a voice in the Legislature.
If you see her at the grocery store, let her know how she has affected your life and the lives of those you know and love.