Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District Congressman Tim Walz drove to the end of the world district today (a few minutes more and he would have been in South Dakota) for a listening session about the economic stimulus package recently passed the the U.S. House of Representatives. One of several throughout the 1st district over the last couple of days, the event in Luverne was well attended. Local elected officials, school administrators, business people from the private sector, ag interests, social workers, organized labor and concerned citizens were there to hear what the congressman had to say and to ask questions and share their concerns.
Congressman Walz was straightforward about the seriousness of the
economic crisis we face as a nation as well as the pros and cons of the stimulus package. He would have preferred more infrastructure spending (as do I) but also touted the fact that the transparency measures are unprecedented. The congressman and his staff received valuable input on projects from the assembled crowd and will use that information to pass on to state government officials who will eventually receive the stimulus money and be tasked with its distribution. They will also use the information gathered today in Luverne and from previous listening sessions to help shape the final look of the stimulus package. The Senate will deal with the legislation next and eventually the two legislative bodies will have to reach an agreement on the final package. Representative Walz says this will all be done by February 15 but there is still time for citizen input. A Bluestem Prairie has a summary of the plan posted here.
I continue to be impressed with the Congressman’s willingness and eagerness to constantly get out and meet with the people he represents. There may be more voters in Rochester and Mankato but he also came to Luverne because he sincerely wants to represent all the people of the 1st District.
Oh, just one more thing. My youngest of five grandchildren, at 11 months, had his first face to face meeting with a congressman. It was a proud moment.
Peace & solidarity,