MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to rename the Federal Building in Minneapolis the “Paul D. Wellstone Federal Building,” in honor of the legacy of the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN). Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Senator Wellstone, his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia, his staff members Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy, and Will McLaughlin, and pilots Richard Conry and Michael Guess.
“During his time as an educator, an activist, and a United States senator, Paul Wellstone touched the lives of people throughout Minnesota and across the country. That’s because he stood up for people, persistently fighting against injustices, small and large,” said Klobuchar. “From his passionate advocacy for better care and services for those suffering from mental illness to his leadership on civil rights and campaign finance reform, Paul showed how getting involved in public service can make a real difference in improving people’s lives. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will rename the Federal Building in Minneapolis in Paul’s honor. It’s particularly fitting that this building is where people gather when they prepare to embark on an adventure or need help with housing or the labor issues that were so near and dear to Paul’s heart. I can’t think of a better tribute to Paul’s unparalleled legacy of service to our state.
“Paul Wellstone had a profound impact on my life – and the lives of so many Minnesotans – as a public servant and as a friend,” said Smith. “From his work on mental health and campaign finance reform to his votes against the Iraq War, Senator Wellstone never wavered from his convictions or his commitment to improving the lives of working people. By naming this building after him, we hope to honor his legacy and years of service to Minnesota.”
“It was an honor to work with and get to know Senator Wellstone. From neighboring states, we often teamed up on agriculture and other issues to find common ground and get things done for Iowans and Minnesotans. Although we had very different political philosophies, we shared a common passion for serving our constituents the best we could. That’s why I was glad to support this effort to honor his service,” said Grassley.
“My family is extremely honored that you have named this building after my father… As my father said, ‘we all do better when we all do better,’ and that to me is what this building is all about… It’s about housing, it’s about labor, it’s about seeing other cultures and learning… everything that my dad and my mom worked for,” said Dave Wellstone.
Klobuchar and Smith held a press conference with Senator Wellstone’s son, Dave, at the Federal Building in Minneapolis earlier today to announce this bipartisan bill. The Federal Building in Minneapolis currently houses offices for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Labor Relations Board, and the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency.