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Winona County Attorney

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    Karin L Sonneman

Información Biográfica

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (750 characters)

How has your career prepared you for this role? (500 characters)

What do you see as the biggest challenges to your office, and how would you address them? (500 characters)

How would you work for racial equity in the justice system? (500 characters)

How would you manage conflict within your office, and earn the public’s trust? (500 characters)

Continuing my work with community partners in the criminal justice fields, but also in the community-at-large (education, human services, local government, mental health service providers, citizens with lived experiences and others) in a systems and strategic approach to (1) address mental health and substance abuse affecting criminal justice-involved individuals; (2) with those same community partners continuing our work to establish and foster early intervention and prevention programs, especially in the areas of juvenile substance abuse and mental health; and (3) working to sustain those programs, including our Treatment Court of Winona County and the Winona County Re-Entry Assistance Program.
Everything I have done in my life, including my now over 40 years in public service, prepared me for my work as Winona County Attorney. From the teamwork I learned as a member of the U of Maryland women's field hockey team, my work as a research assistant while earning a masters degree in Ag Econ at the U of Minnesota, my work as a telecommunications rates analyst for the MPUC, my trial work as a public defender for 20 years, and doing the job well, for the last 12 years, as County Attorney.
Continuing to meet our numerous responsibilities under the law in serving the public and county government and doing so with limited public funding. The provision of County services, unlike state and federal services, rely on property tax funding. I am cognizant of using those tax dollars wisely. I will continue to lead my office with the help of my smart and hard-working staff as well as collaborating with community partners to efficiently and effectively provide justice and public services.
As County Attorney and Chair of the County's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), I have and will continue to lead in our efforts to work for equity, diversity and inclusion in the justice system. It is work that requires continued effort, not just a training here and there. CJCC started in 2007 and created then our Community Outreach and Diversity Committee through which we continue to work toward racial equity, gender equity, and cultural competence in the justice system.
I have managed conflict in my office as County Attorney for the past 12 years. The fact that I have run unopposed for the last three election cycles (I had an opponent in my first election) says volumes about my success at effectively managing my office to deliver the services the public expects from my office. My management style is supporting my staff, trusting in their work, and addressing problems before they fester.