Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan have announced state appointments to several boards, councils and commissions to lead our state in everything from firefighter training and juvenile justice to occupational safety and rural policy.

Among these appointments, three individuals from the Grand Rapids area were selected. These include Christina Bowstring, of Deer River, for the Center for Rural Policy and Development as a Regional Initiative Organization Representative. Bowstring’s term is effective July 3, 2019 and expires Jan. 6, 2025. She is replacing Tony Sertich.

Bowstring works as a domestic abuse advocate for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and has served on various other boards. She was a member of a research advisory committee for the Chippewa National Forest for 8 years, the Take Action Minnesota Board of Directors for past four years, and a member of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Forestry Affairs Committee for the past nine years.

“I’m really anxious to begin with this board because I don’t think rural Minnesota gets a lot of attention or voice when it comes to state funding,” said Bowstring. “I would love to be that voice, especially for our farmers and with economic development. Our farmers are barely making it and need to be heard.”

Bowstring would also like to help promote improvements in education, health care, transportation, and housing for rural Minnesotans.

From 2016-2018, Bowstring served as Outreach Officer for the 8th Congressional District covering 17 counties in central and northern Minnesota.

“ We have a huge district and not a lot of people don’t get heard,” she said. “I enjoyed serving in that capacity and being a representative for our district. Now, I’m really looking forward to this.”

Myrna Peterson, of Grand Rapids, has been appointed to the Council on Disability. Her term is effective July 3, 2019 and expires Jan. 3, 2022. Peterson is replacing Hilary Hauser.

“I am so honored to accept the appointment to Governor Walz’s Council on Disability. I plan to be a voice for differently-abled people within our region, state and nation,” said Peterson.

Proud to be a co-chair of the local nonprofit group, Mobility Mania, sponsored by the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, Peterson explained, “It is our purpose to increase accessibility awareness to make Itasca County the showcase of accessibility in Minnesota and to raise financial capital for local accessibility needs. I often say that I only have one thumb that works, but I have a mouth that won’t quit! I am excited for the opportunity to work with and for legislators to secure a more accessibly-friendly quality of life for all.”

Peterson served on Governor Walz’s Council for Connected and Automated Vehicles last year and was part of preparing a document for legislation. She reapplied to that council awaits new of whether she’s been re-appointed.

“That was one very exciting experience that I’m really hoping to continue,” added Peterson who is excited to be more visible in legislative efforts once again. “I did so much of this in the mid-80s lobbying for technology in the classroom while I was teaching in Deer River. This time I’ll be on four wheels instead of two feet, still fighting for a better quality of life for all ages.”

Megan Christianson, of Cohasset, was reappointed to the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council as a Northeast Region Representative. Christianson’s term is effective July 3, 2019 and expires Jan. 2, 2023.

"I am honored to be reappointed as the Regional Marketing Representative for Northeast Minnesota on Explore Minnesota Tourism Council,” said Christianson, who is the Executive Director for the local tourism bureau, Visit Grand Rapids. “I look forward to serving another four years on the Council."

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