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Minnesota Politics

After surviving floods and an earthquake, Jean’s family moved from Morocco to Minnesota where Jean promptly became involved in DFL politics and was elected a McGovern delegate to the 1972 state convention. Her first doorkocking was for McGovern. Three year old Stuart went with her and told people he was working for “McGovernment.” His word.

In 1973 Jean and Dwight bought their home at 4804 11th Avenue so they could be in the Hale-Field attendance area. The schools had been recently paired for integration and Jean and Dwight wanted their sons to go to integrated schools.

Soon after they moved into their new home, a pornographic movie operator bought the Parkway Theater. Jean led the year long neighborhood fight that forced the owner to sell the theater to a new owner, who restored it to a family theater.

Jean began taking economics courses at the University of Minnesota. She also kept up her political activities, was a board member and lobbyist for the DFL Feminist Caucus, and served as chair of the State Advisory Committee for Battered Women. As a lobbyist she organized the effort that secured the first state funding for family planning and worked for the first state funding for battered women’s shelters. She was instrumental in the advocacy effort to have Rosalie Wahl named to the Supreme Court.

During this time Jean and Dwight bought an old and very rundown farmstead in Douglas County near where Dwight had grow up. They could nourish family ties and the love of the outdoors at the same time. Jean went though Master Gardener training which prompted Koryne Horbal, a founding mother of the DFL Feminist Caucus, to call Jean a “mother earth feminist.” The name stuck.

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