As the new face on our public affairs team, Director John-Paul Yates manages legislative affairs, lobbying and advocacy on behalf of our diverse clients. Read on to find out what key issues John-Paul is tracking this session, where you can find him outside of the Capitol and which team he hopes to see in the Super Bowl.
What key issues are you tracking this legislative session?
With the new dynamic of a DFL trifecta controlling the Legislature and Governor’s office and Minnesota’s unprecedented budget surplus, there will be so much to keep track of for our clients. Some of the big issues will be paid family and medical leave, a possible bonding bill (or two) and the crafting of Minnesota’s next biennial budget.
Before working at Goff, what was the most unusual or interesting job you had?
In 2008, I was the political tracker assigned to Al Franken on his first run for U.S. Senate. I spent months traveling across Minnesota to dozens of campaign events following Franken with a camera. It will always be one of the most interesting jobs I’ve had.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
To not go to law school!
What has been your proudest personal moment lately?
Completing my first Chequamegon 40 mountain bike race last fall. The course is normally a brutal mix of grass, dirt and gravel. It became an epic mess when it poured for 20 minutes toward the beginning of the race and turned everything into mud. It felt pretty good to finally cross the finish line!
What are you reading, watching or listening to these days?
As a native Pennsylvanian, I’ll hopefully be watching another Eagles Super Bowl Championship in a few weeks.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)! I recently completed my 46th trip which includes about a half dozen solo trips. Our oldest son (5 years old) is already a BWCA veteran, but we’re looking forward to taking our youngest (1 year old) on his first trip this summer.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?