History professor, Patti Minter, holds kickoff rally for state representative campaign

Patricia “Patti” Minter speaks during her campaign kickoff rally on Feb. 23 at La Gala. Minter is running for 20th district seat and has made a commitment to restoring jobs, keeping pension promises, education and LGBTQ rights. “I have always fought for the people that I represent.” said Minter.

Srijita Chattopadhyay

The crowd chanted, “people have the power,” while Patti Minter waved and smiled at them during her state representative kick off rally on Friday night, Feb. 23, at La Gala.

Patti Minter, a history professor, ACLU-KY board member and a former faculty regent on the WKU Board of Regents, is running for state legislation for the 20th House District of Kentucky, a position that was previously held by Rep. Jody Richards. The rally also featured guest speaker Rep. Attica Scott, who holds the seat for House District 41 in Jefferson County. 

“Being a teacher at a public university has made all this possible, because at WKU you see everybody,” Minter said. “And you understand that the public universities are the best chance that people have to realize their dreams.”

Minter began her activism career in Bowling Green in 1999. She crafted her first letter proposing the Fairness Ordinance to Bowling Green community leaders, she said. Now, Minter still fights for equality for the people of her community.

What started as a fight for fairness snowballed into a motivation to build a better society.

“I want to lift up the voices in my classroom that I have heard for 24 years and the people I have met in my activist movements,” Minter said. “This is a people-powered campaign, and I will take their voices to Frankfort and work for them every day.”

The event hall of La Gala held nearly 150 people of all ages and color who came to show support for Minter’s cause. In her 20-minute speech, Minter said that her vision comprised of three things: public school education, equality for those receiving pensions and fairer wages.

“I wish we didn’t have so much to fight for,” she said.

David Merdian, 20, a junior at WKU in economics said that the reason he was present at the rally was not only because he respects Minter as his professor, but also because he supports what she stands for.

“Fairness and public education and proper wages is not just important to this state, but every state,” he said.

Merdian said that the rally helped him realize that if people stand up with a united voice and demand action, the representatives will either take notice and bend to popular bill or they will be voted out of office.

“A college professor with infinitely more qualifications than some of the people currently in the state legislature I feel is a first-rated choice,” he said.

A portion of the crowd that was present Friday night had worked with Minter for various issues around Bowling Green. One such attendee was Claudia Hanes, 67, retired Warren County teacher.

Hanes said that she has known Minter for 10 years and was excited when she heard that she was in the running for state legislature.

“It is the year of the women,” she said.

On the other hand, Ruby Thurman, 68, said that she wanted to attend the meeting because she wanted to learn about way that Minter was planning to reform the community.

A senior elementary education major, Carolina Escobar, 22, said that as a future educator she felt the need to be a part of the rally and support Minter.

Minutes before ending her speech Minter said, “I can feel my spirit rising looking at your beautiful faces.”

Minter she said her fight has always been for people and giving their voices a platform. She said that she will not stop until she is able to give the people what they deserve.

“This rally tonight shows what people can do when they work together,” Minter said. “Looking forward to bringing the peoples voice to Frankfort and to show that people do have the power. I can’t wait.”

Correction, Feb. 25: A previous version of this story said Minter was an associate professor of history, she is a professor not associate professor. The previous version also said Minter was the first to send a letter to community leaders on a Fairness Ordinance, she was not the first but personally sent her first letter in 1999 as mentioned. The Herald regrets these errors and makes strides to correct any factual errors as they are brought to our attention

Reporter Srijita Chattopadhyay can be reached at (270) 745-0655 and [email protected].