Meet John Marty

An Icon of Progressive Courage

John Marty is a strong advocate for government ethics, environmental protection, and health care reform and is a highly respected and experienced state senator.

Senator John Marty standing at Minnesota State Capitol
About John Marty

The Conscience of the Senate

The son of Dr. Martin Marty, a renowned author, minister and theologian, and his wife Elsa, John grew up in a home engaged in the civil rights and anti-poverty movements, where his parents taught him deeply-rooted values, such as respecting the dignity of every human being, the value of working hard and playing fair, and the importance of taking responsibility to bring change when confronting injustice.

  • Former Chair, Environment & Energy Committee
  • Former Chair, Health and Housing Committee
  • Former Chair, Government Ethics & Campaign Finance Reform Committee
John Marty and his wife Elsa posing for a photo in the mountains

John attended St. Olaf College in Northfield and received a B.A. in Ethics in 1978. After college, he worked as a researcher and a foundation grant administrator. During this time, he met his wife Connie. They have two adult children, Elsa and Micah.

John won an upset victory for state Senate in Roseville in 1986. He first became known statewide for his work in ethics and campaign finance reform. In 1993, he authored successful legislation to reduce the impact of special interest money on the political process. John was also the author of landmark legislation that prohibited lobbyists and interest groups from giving gifts to public officials. He has been a tireless voice for government reform and continues to press for legislation to end the influence of special interest money in politics.

John has been a strong advocate for public investments in education that enable children to reach their full potential. He has been a leading advocate for early childhood health and education and other initiatives to help children succeed. He co-chaired the Legislative Commission to End Poverty and works for legislation to ensure that all workers receive a living wage.

Senator Marty is the current minority lead on the Senate Finance Committee and the former chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. He is author of the Minnesota Health Plan, a bold single-payer health plan that would cover all Minnesotans for all their medical needs, including mental health and substance use treatment.

John is also former chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and has been an outspoken leader on environmental protection, renewable energy. He pushes for aggressive action to address climate change. He has received numerous awards and honors for his climate and environmental leadership.

A Message of Hope

The challenges our society faces are immense. But there is reason to hope.

Younger generations are demanding bold action on climate. Americans of all ages are demanding action to stem gun violence.

There has been a shift in public attitudes. Much of it comes as a backlash to the Trump presidency after he tore the very fabric of our democracy.

Many newer legislators share this sense of urgency with me. Even some cautious politicians seem to be awakening to the depth of the problems we face.

While these bold reform proposals I am pushing have yet to be implemented, I have had victories – often huge victories – even when pundits said there was no chance.

I urge you to join me in speaking out for visionary change. On Climate. On Healthcare for All. On Social, Economic, and Racial Justice. On Gun Violence. On rebuilding our democracy and ensuring the right to vote.

Please join in creating a sustained, persistent effort to demand change. Speak out – with kindness and understanding and a willingness to listen – but also with firmness and persistence. It is not ok to maintain the status quo in the midst of a crisis.

John Marty Signature

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