Sen. Matt Little (DFL) represents Minnesota Senate District 58 in the southern portion of the Twin Cities including portions of Lakeville, Farmington and numerous townships.
Q: Your district has seen immense residential growth in recent years. What’s been the impact of this growth?
Sen. Little: New residential growth has brought in thousands of new families. I was recently at a National Night Out party where there must have been 50 kids running around. These families are revitalizing the schools and providing energy to neighborhoods. Not only that, new businesses are opening up everywhere to serve these new neighbors. All the growth has provided a wealth of excitement and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Q: Where do you see your district in five years?
Sen. Little: I see continued success in the next five years. As more people move in for our good schools and good jobs, my district doesn’t have to worry about losing talent. I see young folks moving back to their hometowns, opening a new business, and giving back to the town they grew up in.
Q: When you are talking with younger voters, what has been the interest in vocational careers?
Sen. Little: There is a renewed interest in avoiding the long-term debt a lot of my generation is saddled with. Students and families are looking at what their future might be and weighing opportunities for their own success. That may take the form of entering into skilled labor, pursuing a technical degree, attending a four-year college, or just gaining experience in the workforce! People are being presented with options now, and they’ve got the information to make the best choice for them.
Q: As a younger legislator, what barriers to homeownership do you hear about or see amongst your generation?
Sen. Little: When my wife and I were trying to buy a house, we both had law degrees and stable jobs. We both had really high credit ratings and had some money saved. That being said, we had trouble finding a lender that would take us because of rigid formulas used to determine loan eligibility. Even though my wife and I have met every single financial obligation we’ve entered into, the only thing the banks would look at was our law school debt. After a lot of searching we found someone that would take us on. But then the most absurd thing happened, a bank that turned us down for a loan ended up buying our loan from the bank that said yes to us! What sense does that make? Anyhow, the biggest obstacles are student loan debt and the policies that make it hard for small banks and lenders to take a chance on someone they know and trust.