U.S. Sen. Al Franken joined members of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) on Veterans Day as keynote speaker for the organization’s annual fall conference, which was held November 10 – 12 in Alexandria. Addressing current economic uncertainties, Sen. Franken discussed how the “greatest generation” lifted the country to a post-war economic boom by focusing on investments in education, infrastructure and research and development. Efforts to restore economic prosperity today, according to Sen. Franken, should focus on emulating these investments and strengthening the middle class.

CGMC members also heard from guest speaker Dan Dorman, a former Republican state Representative and current executive director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency. Dorman gave members his perspective on working with the new majority GOP caucuses in the state House and Senate, drawing upon examples from his own time as a member of the House majority during the 1999 – 2006 sessions.

The CGMC fall conference is an annual event at which members develop policies, strategies and messaging for the upcoming legislative session. Flaherty & Hood, which has served the Coalition for over 20 years, organizes two conferences in greater Minnesota and a legislative action day in St. Paul each year to engage members, define lobbying goals and strategies and educate state lawmakers on rural issues.