Karen was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1980 on a platform of economic and social justice, and neighborhood priorities. She has been re-elected each election, every two year, since.
Karen was raised on a farm in southwestern Minnesota. She graduated from Edgerton Public H.S., Edgerton, MN and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the College of St.Teresa, Winona, Minnesota. Karen has been a South Minneapolis resident since 1967, mostly in Phillips Neighborhood. Karen completed a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's JFK School of Government in 1996.
Karen has worked as a public health nurse, VISTA nurse-organizer and OB-GYN Nurse Practitioner, as an adjunct faculty member at the Department of Human Relations of St. Cloud State University, at the University of Minnesota's Women's Studies Department, Macalester College's Women's Studies Department, and currently teaches at St. Catherine's University's Holistic Health Graduate School program. She has been an AFSCME member and active in numerous neighborhood, housing, health, human-rights, labor, women's, peace, environmental and child-care organizations. Karen is volunteer executive director of the Women's Environmental Institute, an environmental and agricultural justice organization she helped co-found along with her partner of 27 years, Jacquelyn.
Karen serves the lowest income, most culturally diverse legislative district in Minnesota and consistently receives 75-85% of the vote from her constituents (89% twice). Karen is a frequent speaker on her innovative and "cutting edge" legislation to local, national, and international audiences. She is known among her colleagues for her coalition-building skills and her persistent community-based advocacy on behalf of her inner-city, low-income and communities of color and Native American constituents and on behalf of these Minnesotans throughout the state. Karen has used her seniority in the MN House of Representatives to help ensure that affordable housing, environmental justice, human rights, good paying jobs/job-training, affordable health care and women and children's issues are priorities. Supporting the culturally based assets of her neighborhoods is her consistent and effective legislative strategy. Karen is the longest-serving openly GLBTQ state legislator in the U.S.
Re-Elect Representative Karen Clark on Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Strong support of educators in our district: Maria, Shaun and spouse Jacquelyn
Rep Clark joined SEIU Local Union 26 Office Janitors rally.
Somali leaders at Voice of East African Women’s community forum on youth
Karen Clark, a strong advocate for the ARTS met with arts advocates at the State Capitol
Rep. Clark joined other advocates for racial equity at a meeting with Governor Dayton
Chief author of the 2013 Marriage Equality Act, Rep. Clark celebrated its passage
A trusted voice for economic and social justice in the MN House of Representatives. Your ideas, testimony and support inspire me to fight hard for the changes we need.
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