Thursday I went on a short field trip with my Alternative Learning Center students. We were invited to share a meal with St. Olaf students at their 'honors' house. The theme for their house is 'food and conversation' and they have been inviting various people from the community to meet and have a conversation. It reminded me of how simple it can be to gather and share each other's gifts in a hopeful way. It was so encouraging to see these very different young people gather, prepare a meal, talk about issues that concerned them, have fun and talk about the future. If only our legislators could do the same.
My students come from different communities and all walks of life and it was interesting to watch them visiting with the St. Olaf students who didn't seem so different when we learned about their lives and hopes, dreams and fears. It made me think about what a great place our community, our state can be when we dream together with the well being of everyone in mind.
When we were visiting at St. Olaf other ALC students went to visit a homeless shelter in the cities and then had plans to visit the James J. Hill House. These two extremes represent two distinct halves in our country, I hope the students are moved to think about how these two very different people can live together and be one country.
In 1944 talking to a despondent nation that had weathered economic depression and war, FDR proposed an Economic Bill of Rights here are just a few of them:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The Economic Bill of Rights" excerpt from 11 January 1944 message to Congress on the State of the Union
For sixty years we have been a better society because of this investment and yet these are the rights that the extreme right in our country wants to do away with. You can read more about this in Joe Conason's book "The Raw Deal" in which he explains how Bush Republicans are trying to destroy Roosevelt's legacy.
I was out and about this week, here’s a sample of the things I visited: THURSDAY, APRIL 6th: 4:30pm Carleton forum 149 Olin Hall at Carleton College: "An unhealthy start in life: Why pollution matters for children's behavioral health," by Colleen Moore of U.W. Madison. In her presentation Dr. Moore talked about the impact of addressing the problem of Lead in the environment on society and health. I was unaware of the impact Lead can have on behavior problems and learning. It makes one wonder what the effects of mercury and other chemicals may be having on children.
THURSDAY, APRIL 6th: 7pm, Science Center, Room 274. St. Olaf College Health Insurance Forum Kip Sullivan of the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, was at St. Olaf on Thursday, April 6th to present the background history of our current health insurance system and explain why a universal single-payer insurance system is a better plan. This event is open to the public and co-sponsored by the Northfield League of Women Voters and the St. Olaf Nursing Dept. For more information, see the MUHCC website.
FRIDAY, APRIL 7th : Arts Ala Carte Celebration at Northfield High School.
This event showcased the talents of hundreds of talented students and featured vocal and instrumental ensembles, a student art exhibit and booths of the Honors Art students who demonstrated in various media, including painting, ceramics and filmmaking. They had numerous displays including one called 'edible art' featuring art made out of food, like this piece depicting a quiet scene on Bridge Square.
SATURDAY, APRIL 8th: Belle Plaine Showcase, Belle Plaine Elementary School 8am to noon. Hosted by the Belle Plaine Chamber of Commerce. Various agencies, businesses and civic groups displayed information about their organizations. I was their with the Belle Plaine DFL.
SATURDAY APRIL 8th: St. Olaf College AAUW Luncheon at 12:00 with a presentation at about 1:00: Mary Cecconi of Parents United for Public Education presents "A Crossroads for Public Education in Minnesota.” Mary gave a very informative presentation about how crucial it is for our state to invest in public education.
As the campaign for the endorsement is winding down here are some final thoughts I would like you to consider about me, and the campaign.
I was convinced by the overwhelming number of people who care about health care, education, and the environment who implored me to run again. "The third time's the charm," they say. Becky Lourey told me she ran three times before she gained a seat.
Social scientists know that an election is a moment in time with a lasting result. Close elections are a mystery.
There has been talk by some of a "western strategy" and the need for a new name in the house campaign. Please consider the facts:
In 2002 next to Hatch I was the top Democrat vote getter in the four Scott County precincts (Belle Plaine, Belle Plaine Township,Helena Township, and Cedar Lake Township).
In 2004 in the same four precincts I was the top Democrat out polling John Kerry. This was also the case in Shieldsville, Erin, Forest, and Wheeling Townships.
In both 2002 and 2004 I was the winner in Rice County, and in Northfield.
In 2003 I started the group of Democrats that has met monthly at the Belle Plaine Library since then and joined them in many of their projects.
On the other hand in the 2004 Belle Plain City elections, Lies got 909 votes for city council, the winning candidate for mayor got 1,132 votes and I got 1,299 votes in the city of Belle Plaine. I received more votes than any council member or mayoral candidate. Voters were able to vote for two candidates for city council so out of 2,700 votes cast, 1,800 did not vote Lies as their first or their second choice.
I have good name recognition. Most of the votes are in Northfield. There is no evidence an untested candidate from the west will do better than I can in Northfield. I will represent the entire district.
I will take a leave of absence from my job in Sept. and Oct. (something I was unable to do in '04) in order to campaign full time at the end of the campaign.
My campaign is about Hope, Fairness and Building Community this is what also guides the work I do on a daily basis and what I hope to bring to the Minnesota Legislature as I represent you. I believe in:
Fair taxation based on ability to pay
Clean water, clean air and clean energy initiatives.
A sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.
A better education for our kids one that prepares them for the challenges ahead.
Responsible classroom sizes and resources. No more classes of 40 in schools lacking basic resources.
Universal single payer healthcare system
I will fight for these issues in the Minnesota House upon election and until they are achieved.
You have my commitment.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
If your a delegate I'll see you at the convention April 11th 6:30pm registration at the American Legion in Montgomery, 102 Elm Ave. Sw Here is a link to a map of Montgomery