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Nights of the roundtable

Rep. Erik Simonson, Rep. Jennifer Schultz, Rep. Mary Murphy and Sen. Roger Reinert answered questions about their goals for the upcoming legislative session at a roundtable sponsored by the Duluth League of Women Voters. (Photo courtesy of Theresa O’Gara) 1 / 2
More than 30 people gathered at the Willard Munger Inn on Grand Avenue to discuss upcoming legislative issues with Duluth area state legislators. (Photo courtesy of Theresa O’Gara) 2 / 2

The Duluth League of Women Voters (LWV) held a legislative roundtable at the Willard Munger Inn on Jan. 4. Jane Gilley, a co-treasurer of the league, facilitated the event. Between 30 and 40 people attended, she said. “It was a good meeting. It’s our annual meeting with legislators ... to give them and us a chance to talk about the issues,” she said.

League members asked the legislators about some of their top priorities, which include environment, health care and “Safe Harbor,” regarding a law that looks at trafficked youth as victims rather than the criminals. The law was passed in 2011 and additional changes went into effect in 2014, such as no longer defining sexually exploited youth as “delinquent.”

State legislators attending the event were Rep. Mary Murphy, Rep. Erik Simonson, Rep. Jennifer Schultz and Sen. Roger Reinert.

“I came away thinking we’re really lucky to have these four people representing us in St. Paul,” Gilley said.

The LWV has held roundtable annually in January at the Willard Munger Inn for many years.  “I’m emotionally attached to having it at the place,” said Gilley, who joined the Duluth organization in the late 1990s. 

LWV member Sally Munger and her husband Willard Munger own the inn and their son Jeff now manages it. * “Sally’s always had a lot of good connections with the delegations because of her family,” Gilley said.  

Citizens in Action workshop Jan. 31

The next event that LWV plans for the public is the Citizens in Action workshop Jan. 31 at the First United Methodist Church. The event will give citizens a chance to network with elected officials from the Duluth School Board, Duluth City Council, the St. Louis County Commissioners and state senators and representatives. The event is free and includes a free lunch. Twenty other organizations are also sponsoring the event. Preregistration is requested; contact LWV at or (218) 724-0132.

* This paragraph was updated on Jan.17, at 5:06 p.m.

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at