Minneapolis, Minnesota , United States
|| 00, 1951
May 25, 2008 05:07pm
Caucasian - Very Liberal - Anti-Bush Tax Cuts (Pro-Tax Cut Rollback) - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Embryonic Stem Cell Research - Pro Environment - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Labor - Protectionist - Married - Lutheran - Straight -
|Info||Born and raised in Minnesota, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer believes in a politics of hope in this time of widespread concern for the future of our nation and our planet. He recognizes that we are entering the most important decade in history, in which the decisions we make will determine the quality of life for all future generations. As a Senator, he will face these challenges with vision and courage. |
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer was born in 1951, the youngest of four children, to a working class family. His mother stayed home until he started kindergarten and then worked for twenty years as an insurance underwriter. His father served in the Navy during World War II, attended Dunwoody Institute and worked as a printer until his death of cancer at age 59.
Jack was a good student and an athlete through his years at Coon Rapids High School. He went on to St. Olaf College and graduated with a major in political science in 1973. In his junior year he participated in an urban studies program in Chicago that helped him better understand why Martin Luther King insisted that our nation address the tragic links between poverty, racism, and war. In that program, he volunteered at a poor middle school on the west side of Chicago and returned after graduating from St. Olaf to teach social studies for a semester at the request of the principal.
In his senior year he also took part in a life-changing five-month study program in India, Ethiopia, Israel-Palestine, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Japan. It caused him to invest his life in changing the world to one in which all people’s essential needs are met. As he grew more politically aware, he realized the best values and priorities of the Democratic Party were consistent with his own.
Jack then attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, focusing his studies on the politics and faith dimensions of hunger, and received a Master of Divinity degree. He turned his master’s thesis into his first book, Hunger for Justice: the Politics of Food and Faith, and then worked for nearly five years as the National Program Director of the Politics of Food Program with the interfaith organization, Clergy and Laity Concerned.
Jack returned to Minnesota and worked for two years on hunger issues for the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church of America. In 1984 he and his wife Sara were hired by the Center for Global Education at Augsburg College to run a house of studies in Managua, Nicaragua. After returning to Minnesota in 1986, Jack focused on writing, public speaking, and teaching at area colleges. Since 1992 he has taught Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
In 2006, Jack sought the DFL endorsement for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District. His campaign focused attention on serious issues, infused politics with hope and joy, brought many people into the political process for the first time, and reenergized others. When Keith Ellison won the endorsement, Jack strongly supported Keith. Jack was subsequently invited to address the Iraq War at the 2006 DFL State Convention, where he received rousing applause from the delegates.
Jack has been happily married to Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer for twenty-five years. Sara directs the Center for Families in North Minneapolis, a project of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Their three capable, caring daughters are sources of profound joy to them. Hannah is a junior at Macalester College in St. Paul. Audrey is a senior, and Naomi a freshman, at South High in Minneapolis.