MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Dean Phillips introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to rename the Wayzata post office in honor of former Minnesota Representative Jim Ramstad who passed away last month. Senator Tina Smith and Representatives Tom Emmer (MN-06), Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Collin Peterson (MN-07), and Pete Stauber (MN-08) have also sponsored the legislation. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Hoeven (R-ND) joined as original cosponsors as Ramstad was born in North Dakota. Representative Phillips holds the seat Ramstad once held.
“Minnesota has lost a friend and hero – former Representative Jim Ramstad. He was a faithful public servant whose personal struggle with addiction guided his life’s work to help those struggling with substance abuse and mental health,” Klobuchar said. “He was a true mentor to me on how to work with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done. Renaming the Wayzata post office in Jim’s name will allow Minnesotans to remember Jim for generations to come.”
“Jim Ramstad served the people of Minnesota’s Third District – first as a citizen, then as a state Senator, then as a U.S. Congressman – for three decades,” Phillips said. “I am humbled to serve the very same community as he once did, and continue to look to his example for inspiration. His work leading the passage of the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Act was a powerful display of bipartisan leadership that has helped millions of families access the health care they need. Renaming the Wayzata Post Office in his name is a small gesture, but one I hope will add to the growing symphony of affection for the man who left a remarkable legacy in our community, our state, and our country.”
Representative Jim Ramstad served in Congress from 1991 until 2009. He was a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Health and Trade Subcommittees and Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee. Ramstad also served on the House Small Business Committee and co-chaired the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, Medical Technology Caucus, Law Enforcement Caucus and Disabilities Caucus.
Representative Ramstad was co-sponsor of the landmark Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Parity Act which became law in 2008.
“Jim Ramstad believed in and embodied the best of Minnesota values. As a State Senator and as a member of Congress he served with dignity and pragmatism, and he worked with both Republicans and Democrats to get things accomplished for our state,” Smith said. “Because he reached across the aisle to solve problems, many of his accomplishments are long lasting and touched the lives of people, not only in Minnesota, but across our country. Naming the Wayzata Post Office in his honor is a fitting tribute to his important legacy.”
“Representative Ramstad, who was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, served in Congress for nearly 20 years,” Hoeven said. “Renaming the Wayzata post office is one way that we can honor his many years of public service.”
“As a young politico in North Dakota, I was always proud of Congressman Ramstad’s political accomplishments and prowess. A native of Jamestown, ‘Rammer’ demonstrated how to carry that North Dakota work ethic to Congress and represent his constituents well,” Cramer said. “I am grateful to have gotten to know him over the years and to be a part of this effort to honor his memory and time in public service.”
“Representative Jim Ramstad was a friend, a role model, and an incredible advocate for Minnesotans.” Emmer said. “His work on mental health care and addiction recovery are the inspirations for the work I do today. I hope to honor his legacy by serving Minnesotans with the same integrity that he did. Renaming the Wayzata post office for Representative Ramstad will continue to secure his rightful place in Minnesota history.”
“Jim Ramstad served Minnesota and the nation honorably for nearly three decades and his dedication to increasing access to mental health and addiction treatment was nothing short of heroic,” Hagedorn said. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort to honor the memory and legacy of Congressman Ramstad.”
“I’m proud to join the full Minnesota delegation in an effort to rename the Wayzata post office in honor of former Representative Jim Ramstad,” Craig said. “His years of dedicated public service and his passionate advocacy for folks struggling with addiction made our state a better place and earned him this recognition.”
“Congressman Jim Ramstad was a champion for Minnesota and someone I worked with on public education and women’s reproductive health,” McCollum said. “Jim was an effective, respected leader who will be missed by many, and this is one way we can honor his legacy.”
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Jim Ramstad,” Omar said. “I applaud his years of service to our state and his commitment to improve the lives of Minnesotans. I’m glad to join my colleagues in support of renaming the Wayzata post office in Jim Ramstad’s name. May this renaming provide a smile to all those who knew and loved him.”
“I served with Jim Ramstad in both the Minnesota Senate and in Congress,” Peterson said. “Jim was an outstanding public servant. He left an impact on his district and renaming the Wayzata Post Office for him is a fitting tribute to his service to his constituents.”
“Jim Ramstad was an effective leader whose advocacy helped countless Americans struggling with addiction,” Stauber said. “Although I did not know Jim personally, his strong legacy of bipartisanship and dedicated service to our state serves as an inspiration to me and countless others. His incredible work has made a lasting impact that will be felt for generations to come, so I am honored to help ensure the Wayzata post office is renamed in his honor.”