Letter - Legislators owe an apologyThe group to whom all 13 of you owe an apology are the consumers. I doubt that any of you understand the courage it takes for these folks to share their stories. What was most distressing – Ingebrigsten and Franson are from Alexandria, where the meeting was held.
To the editor:
I just came from a meeting in Alexandria, “Day At Home in Region IV.” This was to be a place for mental health consumers and providers to hear presentations by mental health advocates and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The afternoon was to be a chance for a “conversation between attendees and legislators.” Thirteen legislators were invited – Senators Skoe, Langseth, Hoffman, Ingebrigtsen and Gimse, and Representatives Eken, Marquart, Lanning, Nornes, Murdock, Westrom, Franson and Anderson.
Of the 13, six didn’t respond at all, despite three e-mails and a phone call to their offices by the presenters. These were Eken, Langseth, Marquart, Hoffman, Gimse and Anderson.
Two had conflicts – Nornes and Murdock.
One wanted to come but makes his living as a farmer and was busy with harvest, Skoe.
Four said they were coming but didn’t bother to show – Ingebrigsten, Lanning, Westrom and Franson. I hold the least regard for these four.
As you can see by the above list, bipartisanship was running wild. Democrats and Republicans alike were avoiding their constituents and their responsibilities.
I’m a provider who has worked in mental health and/or chemical dependency treatment for more than 20 years, so I have gotten used to being overlooked and ignored by the Legislature.
The group to whom all 13 of you owe an apology are the consumers. I doubt that any of you understand the courage it takes for these folks to share their stories.
What was most distressing – Ingebrigsten and Franson are from Alexandria, where the meeting was held.
I hope the electorate in each of your districts takes your lack of commitment, your lost sense of responsibility, and if you have excuses for not showing, your inability to be organized enough to let the presenters know, into consideration in 2012.