Nancy's longtime friend and political colleague, Chuck Slocum, a former “National Mentor of the Year,” offers these reflections on the importance of mentoring:
“Nancy Brataas was a legend in my political circle when I first worked as a fieldman for the Minnesota GOP in 1969 as she was leaving as State Chairwoman; six years later I was elected State Chair (age 28) and we soon renamed the party “Independent-Republican” to emphasize the kind of pragmatic outreach and professionalism that your mother exemplified. We also were trying to overcome political fallout from the Watergate scandal that was especially turning off the public.
I noted in your MinnPost piece http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2014/04/she-died-sen-nancy-brataas-posed-final-question-unconventional that one of the several legacies left by your mom was the need for all of us to mentor. I could not agree more. Your Mom was a unique professional: strong, focused and results oriented. As a former “National Mentor of the Year,” I will welcome an opportunity to support a “positive civic contributions” scholarship, or general community-building kind of mentoring scholarship in her name. Just a great idea. Can we get it going?"
A former colleague of Nancy's passes along this In-The-Trenches tale of statecraft and workers' comp from the mid-1980s:
"I had the honor and privilege as a twenty-something to work alongside Nancy in the mid-1980s. We spent many hours working on reforming state unemployment compensation law and even had the privilege of being invited to her home to assist her over a weekend on a number of documents. Obviously, this thing called the internet did not exist at the time, so it was good, old-fashioned manual data entry that got the job done. The lessons I learned alongside her in those days have carried me along throughout my career.
At the time, I was collecting reams of official data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Minnesota Department of Economic Security. One of the comparisons created in this process was a data table that took the average weekly unemployment benefit, multiplied by the average duration in weeks of unemployment. This calculation incensed the DFLers, so I could see your mother was putting extra thought into what to call this statistic. With a tilt of her head up, those piercing eyes peering through her glasses, and a small, wicked smile shared between her, myself and Margaret in that narrow office space in her basement, the pronouncement was made: this would be known as “The Misery Index.” I have never forgotten that.”
As people reflect on the leadership legacy of Nancy Brataas, a topic that comes up frequently is her mastery of method for campaign organization.
Read more about this aspect of Nancy in Lori Sturdevant's Strib piece:
Thank you Sen. Carla Nelson for your sharing insightful highlights of Nancy's political life on KROC a.m. radio April 21.
Listen here: http://krocam.com/senator-nelson-on-nancy-brataas/
There will be two services in May to celebrate the life of Nancy Brataas, one in Rochester on May 10, and one in St. Paul on May 18.
In Rochester, the Saturday May 10 visitation starts at 10 a.m., with service at 11 a.m. and a light luncheon following. All will be in Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901.
In St. Paul, the Sunday May 18 celebration will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University Club of St. Paul, 420 Summit Avenue, 55102. There will be valet parking, and the event will be a remembrance and open-mic story-telling fest about the life and times of Minnesota politics, and Nancy's contributions to it.
Nancy would love it if you could join us at either one!