There was a rally in the Rotunda this afternoon by hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to SUPPORT YOUR PUBLIC LANDS. Speakers talked about their various experiences in the outdoors and the importance of access to public lands. Whether it was hunting, fishing, or just enjoying the natural settings, they emphasized the importance of public lands to their lives and the necessity to pass these treasures on to our children and grandchildren.
A delegation from the Government of Kenya has been visiting the Minnesota State Capitol this week. They came to see how our government works. At a reception yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to ask some questions. One was an inquiry about what were they taking away from their visit here. One person said that we seem to be very organized. Another was impressed with all the rallies and protests in the Capitol. I also learned their Parliament membership term in parliament is five years long. Their next stop is Wisconsin.
April 2 was Autism Awareness Day and the lights on the Eagan Tower were shining blue in observance.
This was due primarily to the persistence of a very determined high school student, Emily. I recall how disappointed she was when the City of Eagan refused her first request. Since that time, the City has altered the policy and the blue lights shined brightly on this Autism Awareness Day.
In addition, Emily also arranged a celebration of the occasion at the shelter by the Eagan Community Center. There were blue lanterns, blue cupcakes that she baked, blueberries, and glow necklaces. An event to remember.
Autism impacts so many people and we need to be addressing it on a much larger level than we are doing currently. The earlier it is addressed the better the outcome.
We heard testimony tonight on House File 3375 in our Government Operations and Election Policy Committee. This legislation will create a Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The testimony from all the women made very clear how prevalent assault, murder, and kidnapping is in their communities. It was very moving.
One of the charges for the Task Force will be to examine and report on the systemic causes behind violence that indigenous women and girls experience, including patterns and underlying factors that explain why higher levels of violence occur against indigenous women and girls, including underlying historical, social, economic institutional, and cultural factors which may contribute to the violence. The women look to the Task Force as a step in the right direction to end the history of violence.
I have signed onto HF 3375.
The DFL Senate District 51 Convention was held on Saturday, March 10. Included in the day’s work was electing new party officers, delegates to the upcoming congressional district and state conventions, and voting on resolutions.
I am particularly grateful to be endorsed by the delegates from 51A to be the candidate for 51A in the 2018 election. It is an honor to have their confidence and support!
My appreciation to all who participated in this event. This is democracy in action.
There was a program on February 28 to recognize Rare Disease Day. We have a number of people with rare diseases in our district, so I found this event very interesting. The most recent case is a young woman who has a rare form of cancer. There are 30 people, worldwide, with this condition.
One of the speakers was from NORD, National Organization for Rare Disorders. See rare diseases.org for more information.
I will be signing on to House File 2574, a bill that creates a rare disease advisory council.
The Minnesota Humanities Center hosted an Open House at the Capitol this evening to highlight their exhibit on WHY TREATIES MATTER. The exhibit is on the third floor of the Capitol.
One thing that is brought out is that while the Dakota and Ojibwe people may have ceded land to the United States, they sometimes kept rights to minerals, timber and land use. These rights were not given, they were retained by sovereign nations. Even today, this concept is difficult for some to comprehend.
For more information, please refer to www.treatiesmatter.org
I want to thank everyone who participated in the Town Hall meeting that Sen. Jim Carlson and I hosted on Saturday, February 17. We are particularly grateful to the four government relations specialists/lobbyists who shared their experiences with us. They did a great job of explaining their jobs, the committee process, details on advocating for an organization, and challenges in getting legislation passed.
We had a a number of questions, so I think we all learned something.
I had the opportunity to tour the new Vikings practice facility in Eagan on Friday. It is scheduled to open at the beginning of March. The field that will be available for youth activities is also nearing completion. The complex will be an impressive addition to our community. The building definitely has a visible presence when you are driving by on 494.
On Wednesday, I attended the 2018 State of the City Address at the Ames Center. It began with a video that highlighted the 2017 events of the community.
Afterwards, Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz outlined the plans for the next 20 years. More housing, replacing infrastructure, transportation improvements, and adapting city buildings to meet the needs of the community, were some of the items she mentioned. She talked about maintaining some of the current business areas as well as working on areas that need changes, particularly some of the retail areas. Mayor Kautz was especially enthused about the development potential of land along the river. She painted a bright future for Burnsville and its residents.