USING COMMON SENSE TO FIND COMMON GROUND
Hello! I'm Keith Franke. I was born in South St. Paul, then my family moved to Cottage Grove and later moved to St. Paul Park where I live currently. I am a single father of two children, Brenna and Kassie and enjoy my two grandchildren Lily and Jordyn. I am the owner of Park Cafe and Franke's Corner Bar which are both located in St. Paul Park. I ran for the MN House of Representatives during my second term as Mayor of St. Paul Park. I proudly served one term in the MN House where I represented our communities and I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve again.
I decided to run for the office of Mayor when I became frustrated with decisions being made at the city level. I took to the streets and met as many citizens of St. Paul Park as I could in the months leading to the election. Taking the time to meet the people I would be representing and listening to their concerns really helped prepare me to make the best decisions as their mayor. I used this same grassroots approach when first running for the House. Being personally in touch with people in the communities I want to represent is the only way to keep perspective of people over party
My first year in the MN House, I had three big provisions signed into law. These include the expansion of the Minnesota GI Bill program to provide for apprenticeships and on-the-job training benefits, a strategic plan to eliminate HIV/AIDS in our state and a provision to provide a greater level of care for our elderly and vulnerable adults. Focusing on concrete issues, working openly across the aisle and keeping the diversity of our district in mind, made the Pioneer Press name me one of the most bi-partisan legislators in 2017.
My second year, I co-authored legislation to ensure transparency and allocation guardrails regarding the $850 million 3M settlement, acquisition of $9.5 million funding for the HERO center in Cottage Grove and also earmarked funding for Seidls Lake water level and quality improvement projects. I also authored legislation to improve school safety through threat assessment teams, increase penalties for distracted driving and plans to tackle the opioid crisis with greater oversight and treatment options.
Since leaving the MN House I have continued my civic involvement and currently sit on the St. Paul Park City Council, support local organizations and help folks who reach out needing help navigating their way through our government systems.
My core belief structure comes from family and becoming a self-made person and small business employer. Everyday and especially in the last few months I understand the importance of making sound decisions because people are counting on me to help maintain their health, their livelihood and their hope for the future.