Working Cooperatively When Times are Tough - A Lesson from Marvin Windows
The Minnesota Legislature could learn a lot about working cooperatively from Warroad, Minnesota’s own Marvin Windows. The President of the United States did.
For those of you who may have missed the President’s nomination acceptance speech during the Democratic National Convention, he highlighted the fact that Marvin Window’s owners, feeling the strain of the downturn in the construction industry, found themselves faced with a dilemma. There was no way they could continue to operate as they were without losing money. Yet, a mass layoff of personnel was not going to keep them from losing money either. They needed to figure out how to make the best of a bad situation.
So what did Marvin do? They did something the MN Legislature proved they couldn’t do last legislative session.
They had an open and honest conversation with their employees about the tough issues and they negotiated. That’s right; they laid the good, bad and ugly on the table, and engaged in some adult give and take. Management took a temporary pay cut, labor made some temporary concessions, but nobody lost their jobs or their benefits. Both sides looked at the big picture rather than drawing a line in the sand across which neither would cross. What’s remarkable to me about the Marvin Windows example is that anyone thinks it is such a novel approach to resolving a problem – especially in the political arena.
As a lifelong Minnesotan I recall when both sides of the aisle put aside their partisan politics and did what was best for the people of Minnesota. They didn’t posture themselves into gridlock and an embarrassing government shutdown. They talked, they negotiated, they acted like adults, and they made things work. Was the end result always perfect? No, it wasn’t. But perfection wasn’t the end goal.
Fostering open and cooperative conversations designed to get things done in the best interests of all Minnesotans is the cornerstone of my candidacy. I don’t have the answer to every possible question, and cannot guarantee that the end result will always be perfect, but I will not let partisan politics come before what is best for my neighbors in Maple Grove and Osseo.