DLGA Dispatch: Lt. Govs lead on teaching shortages, affordable housing and campaigning for Biden-Harris

From Oregon to Pennsylvania, our Democratic Lieutenant Governors have been leading efforts to ensure Americans have access to affordable housing, lowering the cost of living, tackling teacher shortages and making the case for President Biden and Vice President Harris to be reelected this November. 

See more highlights from our Lt. Governors on how they continue to lead across the country:


DLGA Chair Peggy Flanagan recently announced new grants to combat the growing teacher shortage in Minnesota, while continuing to lead on tribal issues in the state.

KSTP: New grants available to combat looming teacher shortage

Over the next 10 years, Minnesota will have an estimated 18,000 job openings for elementary school teachers and 14,000 for high school teachers, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. However, there are not nearly enough student teachers enrolling in higher education programs to meet the demand.

“We continue to see a need for more teachers in our schools,” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, DFL-Minnesota, said as she was joined by Walz administration higher education leaders and educators to announce three new grant programs aimed at attracting more students into the teaching profession.

The need is especially acute in the math and science areas along with the need for more teachers of color.

“We need to continue closing these gaps and make sure more students know this is an opportunity for them and that representation matters,” Flanagan said at a State Capitol news conference. “It matters here at the Capitol and it matters also in the classroom.”

Star Tribune Editorial: A pioneering office to aid Indian health

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, health officials and dignitaries from the state’s American Indian communities were among those who gathered Wednesday at the Capitol to mark the occasion and share details of the new office’s mission. It includes supporting and promoting public health in American Indian communities through “partnerships, targeted initiatives and a broad spectrum of public investments.”

Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan: Paving the way for Indigenous female leaders

A woman. A citizen of White Earth Nation. The first Native woman in the nation to serve as a state’s lieutenant governor.

“I’m small, but mighty,” Flanagan told a crowd gathered at Minnesota’s Capitol on May 6 for American Indigenous Day, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Indian Citizenship Act and honors Indigenous culture.

She greeted the crowd in the Ojibwe language, welcoming and thanking everyone for attending.

“It’s always a good day when there are lots and lots of Native folks walking around the Capitol and we start with a drum on the front steps,” Flanagan said. “This is how it’s supposed to be.”


Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman recently recognized the strength of Kentucky’s economy by celebrating main streets across the Commonwealth. She also recently welcomed the opening of the new Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

WYMT: 12 Kentucky Main Street communities recognized by Lt. Gov.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman joined leaders from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in recognizing a dozen main street communities as well as their efforts to create jobs and boost economic viability. “Kentucky Main Street communities are the heart and soul of the commonwealth. They preserve our heritage, foster local entrepreneurship and create vibrant spaces for residents and visitors alike,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Thank you to this year’s Main Street award recipients, who invest in our downtowns, playing a crucial role in supporting small businesses, local communities and Kentucky families.”

Northern Kentucky Tribune: Dolly Parton Imagination Library now reaches every preschool child in Kentucky

“As a rural Kentuckian and as a former educator, I am so proud and excited that every Kentucky child will now be able to create their own home library,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. “As a mom to a preschooler, I’ve gotten to see firsthand the impact that reading has had on my own daughter from a young age. The Imagination Library is helping thousands of Kentucky children develop a love of reading and learning that they will carry with them as they grow up.”


Secretary of State nominee Tobias Reed recently announced in his role as treasurer that Oregon’s college saving plan is now available in fourteen languages, creating more opportunities for Oregonians from every walk of life. 

Longview News Journal: The Oregon College Savings Plan Now Available in Fourteen Languages

“We are delighted to introduce the Oregon College Savings Plan’s newly redesigned website to our current and future savers,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “The new website was designed to be accessible and understandable to everyone, regardless of the language they speak or their level of experience with investing.


In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. Austin Davis continues his efforts to reduce gun violence across the Commonwealth. He also recently rallied black voters in support of President Biden, and touted the benefits of solar development on Pennsylvania’s former mine lands.

Ellwood City Ledger: State leaders, regulators push for solar on former mine lands at Greene Twp. event

State and local leaders gathered on a sprawling Beaver County solar farm Thursday to tout the potential benefits of solar development on Pennsylvania’s former mine lands.

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis joined DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley, state Sen. Elder Vogel, R-47, New Sewickley Township, and Zabriawn Smith, Housing Opportunities of Beaver County executive director, at Pittsburgh-based Four Twelve Renewables’ recently opened utility-scale solar facility, BE Pine, in Greene Township.

Davis on Thursday noted Pennsylvania will receive nearly $245 million annually for the next 15 years from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reclaim and treat abandoned mine land, and new Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives are expected to reduce the cost of solar development.

Erie Times-News: Lt. Gov. Austin Davis highlights $100 million investment to reduce gun violence 

Curbing gun violence is possible, according to state officials, but it’s going to take a more collaborative, data-driven approach to achieve.

That was the message conveyed by Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, who on Friday hosted a roundtable discussion in Erie with local public health, law enforcement and community leaders.

Davis, who’s chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, sought to hear from Erie-area voices involved in gun violence prevention.

Keystone Newsroom: Davis and McClinton rally Black voters for Biden, warn of Trump’s attacks on personal freedoms

Lt. Gov Austin Davis and House Speaker Joanna McClinton launched Black-Pennsylvanians for Biden-Harris on Thursday and warned voters about rights and freedoms being at stake in the upcoming election.

President Joe Biden warned members of Philadelphia’s Black community on Wednesday that “all progress, all freedom, all opportunities are at risk” under a second term for former President Donald Trump.

Less than 24 hours later, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Austin Davis and House Speaker Joanna McClinton echoed those sentiments as they launched Black-Pennsylvanians for Biden-Harris on Thursday.

“I think when you see people coming for a certain group’s freedoms, while it may not necessarily be in your backyard, it may be coming to your backyard tomorrow,” Davis said.


Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll continues her efforts to advocate for affordable housing across Massachusetts. 

ITEM LIVE: Driscoll’s road to the State House went through Lynn, Nahant, Saugus, and Salem

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll said that long before she took elected office in the Commonwealth, her introduction to Massachusetts was on the North Shore.

“My grandparents are from Lynn, my dad grew up in Lynn and so while I never lived in the state because my dad was in the Navy and I was born in Hawaii, we traveled all around with his deployments until I came to college,” she said.

She then attended college at Salem State University, then known as Salem State College, before serving as the mayor of Salem from 2006 to 2023.

Driscoll said she spent a lot of time in the area growing up. She remembers learning about the history of steel at the Saugus Iron Works, going to Nahant Beach, and watching taffy being made at the Salem Willows — some of her earliest memories in Massachusetts.

Worcester Telegram: Lobbying ramps up ahead of House housing debate

Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, who like Augustus also attended the roughly hour-long event, urged housing supporters — representing communities from various swaths of the state including Greater Boston, Western Massachusetts and the North Shore — to speak with lawmakers about the importance of ADUs.

WWLP: Supporters advocate for Affordable Homes Act at State House rally

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, a speaker at the event, says that affordable housing is seriously lacking across the state.

“And I would think that there’s a real consistent need for new housing opportunities, more affordable housing, and that is true from coast to western Mass,” said Driscoll. “Even in places where housing is a bit more affordable, it’s not really more affordable to the people that’re there.”


In Michigan, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist campaigned for President Biden in the Labor community, while continuing his efforts to push for more affordable housing and cost of living in Michigan. 

Michigan Chronicle: Biden-Harris Campaign Hosts Community BBQs in Detroit Grilling Up Support

“So everybody in Michigan is either in one or two categories. Either you are part of the labor movement or love somebody who’s part of the labor movement. And I’m going to tell you what I support. That means that the labor movement is connected to everyone in Michigan. And so the opportunity to talk to every single person about voting in Michigan that starts with the labor movement, the reason we’re doing the first barbecues, with Biden, here with the laborers, is because we recognize that this is the foundation of the power that is possible from this movement here in Michigan” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said.

WXYZ: $40 Million Bridge Housing Campus opens to help create ‘pathways from homelessness to affordable housing’

The Pope Francis Center is working to combat ongoing homelessness in Detroit with the opening of its Bridge Housing Campus, a $40 million facility that hopes to provide comprehensive transitional services in one location.

The Pope Francis Center says the opening of this campus will do wonders to help combat Detroit’s chronically homeless population.

Among the speakers at the Grand Opening were Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Michigan Advance: ‘There is more work to do’: Gilchrist, local advocates talk barriers for Michigan workers

Michigan’s government has attempted to remove some barriers for people who want to work, like a lack of access to transportation, health care and childcare, but there is still progress to be made, according to leaders at a Wednesday roundtable.

The discussion in Lansing included Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) Director Susan Corbin and state Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt). Other representatives from various community and social service organizations in the region attended to voice their perspectives on strengthening the state’s workforce. 

“I think we have shown that when we commit to solving a problem in Michigan, we can solve that problem. We can at least make progress with resolving that problem,” Gilchrist said. “… But there is more work to do.”


Lt. Gov. Stratton celebrated the passing of the historic state budget in Illinois, including her efforts to enhance birth equity across the state.

WTVO: Illinois passes record $53.1B budget, largest in history

‘From combatting homelessness to stopping predatory insurance practices to expanding access to holistic birthing care, this budget prioritizes human dignity, compassion, and the well-being of our most vulnerable populations,’ said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D). ‘It reflects our steadfast belief that every individual deserves an opportunity to live a fulfilling life, free from the burdens of poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and systemic barriers.’

Chicago Sun-Times: Lawmakers clear major healthcare reforms

Lt Gov. Juliana Stratton, who had advocated for the measure, called it a ‘lifesaving, family-saving bill.’ The legislation was part of a larger effort to enhance birth equity across the state, especially in underserved communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.


Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez continues to campaign for President Biden in Wisconsin, and lays out the clear choice on abortion ahead of the RNC in Milwaukee later this summer. 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Heading into RNC in Milwaukee, Republicans grapple with a stance on abortion 

Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, a Democrat, said she expects Republicans to avoid discussing abortion during the convention.

“Democrats have always been the party that has supported reproductive rights and abortion care (and) never wavered … no matter how the Republicans are trying to dance around it. The Democrats have been consistent,” Rodriguez said. “We are the ones who are going to fight for reproductive rights. We’re going to fight for women to be able to make decisions about their own body. And we’re going to continue to talk about that.”


If you've saved your information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.