Honored for service, advice for women candidates

On an evening when she was honored for her public service,  Becky Lourey offered advice for new women leaders seeking office. She was recognized along with former Minneapolis Mayor  Sharon Sayles Belton and Elizabeth Kupchella, who is emerging as leading campaign talent for the House DFL caucus.

A Night to Honor Women Leaders was sponsored by the DFL House Caucus Sept. 15, 2016 in Minneapolis. The honorees were encouraged to answer five questions regarding their early political influences, and offering advice to women who are seeking leadership roles in Minnesota public service.

Becky focused most closely on looking to the future, offering advice for achieving success based on her extensive experience.  After losing two close general election races for the Minnesota House in the 1980s, she was elected to the House three times from 1990-94, and defeated a 26-year state Senate incumbent in 1996. She served three terms spanning 10 years in the Senate.

At the event where Becky was honored, she praised the Women Candidate Development Coalition as a key resource for recruiting and preparing women in Minnesota to run for office.  She pointed to other important offices besides the legislature or Congress that are worthwhile on their own, or as stepping stones to higher office. "Not enough women are mayors, city council members, county commissioners, county attorneys, soil & water district representatives, or sheriffs."

Minnesota's Gold Star families struggle with Trump remarks

Star Tribune

      Minnesota's Gold Star families struggle with Trump remarks

"How can you compare employing people to losing a child to war?" asked Becky Lourey, whose son, an Army pilot, was killed in Iraq.

By Mark Brunswick (http://www.startribune.com/mark‑brunswick/10644526/) Star Tribune

AUGUST 2, 2016 

As the loved ones of armed forces members killed in combat, Gold Star families always have enjoyed a wide latitude to express their grief — and their opinions — without fear of rebuke.

But furor over Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks to a Gold Star family suddenly has altered the security of that landscape.

Becky Lourey: Respect for sacrifice and love of country

Several articles and the following opinion piece published in August 2016 featured Becky Lourey comments condemning 2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his attacks on a Gold Star family and other military veterans. As indicated here, she is supportive of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. She was a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders throughout the 2016 nominating process, as well as an early supporter of Barack Obama in 2008, and in 2012.     

St. Paul Pioneer Press

  Becky Lourey: Respect for sacrifice and love of country


PUBLISHED: August 12, 2016

My husband and I protested the Vietnam War and opposed the Iraq War. But we have never wavered in support of America’s military men and women who defend the freedoms of this country — nor have we questioned their commitment or love of country.

And that support continued when our son, Matt, joined the Army in pursuit of his dream of becoming a military pilot.

The Moving Wall Museum visit

Honoring the memory of those lost during the Vietnam War, The Moving Museum was welcomed July 17-21, 2014 by the Sandstone, Minn. community.  Following opening ceremonies on July 17, Becky Lourey spoke as an invited Gold Star Mother during local dedication ceremonies on July 19.


“We are here to remember. We are here to honor all the names on this wall. We are here to support all of their loved ones,” Becky stated in her opening remarks. “We recognize the heavy impact that this war – and all wars – have on those who suffered the loss of their loved one, and you know their loss came after months or years of holding their held breath every time they heard about another death near where their loved one was fighting … Then the relief that it wasn’t their loved one … Then the guilt that it was someone else’s loved one and that person is now mourning, and you suffer both happiness that it isn’t yours - and grief with the family who suffered the loss that day.”


Workplace Fairness: It’s time to pass the Women’s Economic Security Act

Local View: Duluth News Tribune - April 4, 2014

By Becky Lourey


When it comes to basic rights, treating people fairly not only is the right thing to do – it contributes to stable communities and a stronger economy. That’s always been my philosophy in public life, and it extends to the many years I’ve dedicated to owning a major technology business in east-central Minnesota.

I’m one of many volunteers who are helping pass the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act, which is under strong consideration in the Legislature this year.  This broad legislative initiative addresses not only pay inequities between genders, but will help men and women balance family and work responsibilities.

Lisa runs her 50th for Matt

Ben Lourey poses next to Matt’s memorial along the marathon route; Lisa and Tony running together; Lisa and Becky celebrate the moment near the finish line.

Lisa runs her 50th for Matt

Matthew Lourey had an ambitious goal carried out in his loving memory by his wife, Lisa. Matt wanted to run in 50 marathons by his 50th birthday which would have set the goal at July 28, 2014. Lisa decided to reach 50 marathons of her own at least before her 50th birthday – and if possible - before Matt would have reached 50. It was an especially exciting moment on Oct. 27, 2013 when she reached her lofty goal – at the age of only 44. 

What made it even more special for Lisa was the place, and strong support she received in making the tribute to Matt. Number 50 came in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. where Matt and Lisa had last run in a marathon together. Joining Lisa on the 26.2 mile journey were Matt’s brothers, Tony and Ben, and childhood friend Jan Knutsen. Mom Becky and sister, Heidi, were there to cheer all of them. 

What honoring vets does and does not mean


Published in the StarTribune Sunday, November 11, 2012

This Veterans Day, I want to thank all of the men and women who have bravely served our country. I am so glad for every one of them who has returned home. So very glad. My son didn't return. U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Matt Lourey served proudly as an instructor pilot in 4-2 ACR during one of the most pivotal periods in the unit's history. Matt was a highly skilled aviator who loved to teach and train army aviators, and who died on May 26, 2005, in Buhriz, Iraq, in service to his country when his OH58 was shot down while he was saving soldiers on the ground. In his memory, I must do all I can to ensure that our returning veterans receive all the care necessary to recover and maintain their health. A grateful nation also must establish the pathway for the skills and education our veterans gained while serving our country to be transitioned to jobs at home. Nothing less than this will do as we recognize the sacrifices they made and the risks they took.

Pentagon Spending vs. Education

Letter to the Editor published in the Duluth News Tribune Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012

We’ve heard so much talk about not cutting the Pentagon Budget these past weeks that I must weigh in before we lose track of the balance necessary to remain strong. Yes, we need a strong defense, but we also need a strong education system.

I write from the perspective of the mother of a dedicated U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Matt Lourey, who served proudly as an instructor pilot in 4-2 ACR during one of the most pivotal periods in the unit’s history. Matt was a highly skilled aviator who loved to teach and train army aviators, and who died on May 26, 2005, in Buhriz, Iraq in service to his country when his OH58 was shot down while he was saving soldiers on the ground. Matt could not have been of service to his beloved country if he had not received an excellent education from Minnesota’s schools.

Future of DNR Parks and Trails

With an eye toward preserving and enhancing Minnesota parks and trails in the next budget cycle and beyond, Becky Lourey has accepted an invitation to co-chair a key Department of Natural Resources advisory panel. The 15-member Parks and Trails for the Future Advisory Committee is charged with making difficult recommendations for the 2013-15 state budget cycle in the likely face of a continued decline in general fund revenues.

As a former DFL senator, Lourey shared a favorable reputation with former Republican House member Dennis Ozment, as bipartisan lawmakers willing to reach compromise while holding firm to their strong environmental conservation principles. Now they are working together again as co-chairs of the advisory committee. The working group is exploring new ways to provide adequate funding to the parks and trails system as the trend toward fewer general state fund dollars appears certain to continue.

Nick, Shana, Quentin - and Samara

Nick and Shana weddingShana Ogren married Nick Lourey in Askov, Minn. on June 18, 2011. The joyful event drew many friends and family from far and near. Although they had been well acquainted as youngsters, Shana and her family moved to California many years ago.

Shana Ogren and Nick Lourey walked down the aisle together, marrying at the old school now housing the Pine County Historical Museum and the Little Mermaid Cafe  in Askov.  

In Minnesota, the Lourey and Ogren families were well known for community and political activism that continue to this day. Nick is the son of former state Sen. Becky Lourey and Gene Lourey of Kerrick, Minn. Shana is the daughter of former state Rep. Paul Anders Ogren, now of San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Sherryl Cantor Ogren of West Palm Beach, Fla. Adding to the progressive public service flavor of the two families, the late Sandra Gardebring was Shana’s step mother – active in several key state and regional administrative roles over many years.