October 17, 2023

DFL Statement on Passing of Ambassador Geri Joseph

ST PAUL – Today, Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement following the passing of Geri Joseph, former United States Ambassador to the Netherlands and former DFL Party Chairwoman.

“Geri was a champion for the values that have made Minnesota our country’s North Star,” said DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin. “She was a trailblazer who was the first woman to hold many crucial roles in government and politics – her “firsts” ensured that many women would follow after her.

“She was only one person, but Geri’s accomplishments could fill several lifetimes. She lived to be 100 years old and served as Chairwoman of our DFL Party, Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands. She also recruited more women to enter politics and fought for better conditions in mental health hospitals.

“Geri and her family experienced a heartbreaking loss when her daughter, Shelley, was fatally shot in 2003. After this tragedy, Geri’s granddaughter, Rachael – who was also Shelley’s niece – set out to fight back against our gun violence epidemic. Since then, Rachael and a strong team of gun reform advocates have helped us pass crucial reforms that will save lives in Minnesota. Geri might be gone – but her values live on in that work.”

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