St. Paul, MN –State Representative Connie Bernardy (DFL-New Brighton) will complete her 8th term in the Minnesota House of Representatives at the end of the year and will not seek reelection the 2022 general election.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime to represent the communities in which I grew up,” said Rep. Bernardy. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for and with the community that raised me by ensuring strong schools, more economic security for families, a cleaner environment, and a safer and more comprehensive transportation system for all. Thank you.”
First elected in 2000, Rep. Connie Bernardy currently represents neighborhoods in Fridley, New Brighton, and Spring Lake Park in the Minnesota House of Representatives. She also served neighborhoods of Blaine, Coon Rapids, and Mounds View. Rep. Bernardy is the current Chair of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee, having served since January 2019. In previous sessions, she served as the lead DFLer on the Transportation Policy Committee and was a member of the Education Finance, Transportation, Rules, Ways and Means, Elections, Taxes, State and Local Government, and Veterans committees.
At the legislature and in the community, Rep. Bernardy has been a steadfast leader in fostering bipartisan relationships to achieve results for her community. Some of her key legislation includes: her work on the Springbrook Wetland Restoration Project, the first urban wetland restoration of its kind in the nation; securing $5 million to build the Springbrook Nature Interpretive Center; expanding the New Brighton License Bureau; making safety improvements on University Avenue and Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, Fridley, and Spring Lake Park - with more improvements coming soon; securing funding to establish the upcoming bus rapid transit F-Line, providing 10-20 minute service along Central Avenue and University Avenue; replacing Railroad Bridge in New Brighton; enacting an Aquatic Invasive Species Emergency Response Plan for Long Lake; spearheading the creation of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency Citizen Advisory Committee; and preserving hundreds of voluntary PreK opportunities for preschoolers in the community.
Rep. Bernardy was one of the first 26 trained facilitators by the National Institute of Civil Discourse, founding member of the Legislative Civility Caucus, which was designed to renew efforts to bring Democrats and Republicans together in Minnesota and legislatures throughout the country. She voted to recognize marriage equality under the law. Rep. Bernardy is a transportation leader advocate for long-term and sustainable multi-modal transportation funding. She focused on active transportation for Minnesotans who walk, bike, or have a disability to ensure all Minnesotans have safe access to transportation to get them where they need to go.
Rep. Bernardy has served as the House Higher Education Chair since her appointment by Speaker Hortman in 2019. A champion for students, her work centered on improving access through tuition and textbook affordability, hunger free campuses, comprehensive affirmative consent standards, and for the first time ever, dedicated funding for higher ed students of color training to become teachers.
Representative Bernardy’s retirement speech can be found here.