Most Minnesotans love the four seasons we experience and fall is one of our favorites. It is also a predictably busy time of the year as we work on projects, hoping to finish or make progress before holidays and the cold of winter. As is typical, it is a busy fall.
Over the course of the interim, I have served on the Governor's Commission on Long Term Care, addressing the issues at the Minneapolis Vet's Home and the Minnesota Veteran's Homes. The Commission is addressing governance, care delivery and operational improvements and the future care of Minnesota Vets. I have learned a great deal about the funding of long term care, the differences between the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Vet's Home and about the challenges we face in caring for this population, especially considering the new returning vets from the war in Iraq. The Commission will meet one more time in November to finalize our recommendations. I am pleased with the work of the group and the concerted efforts to address the immediate issues in Minneapolis and the future of care delivery for Minnesota Vets. I look forward to sharing the recommendations with you.
I have attended a number of events in the past weeks preparing for the upcoming session.
Fresh Energy held an energy justice event and shared their agenda on justice, housing and energy conservation on the indian reservations in Minnesota.
Friends of the Mississippi is holding stakeholder meetings, dicussing the urban critical access area. I attended and listened to a variety of citizens and organizational representatives describe their experiences and ideas for the future. The meeting was constructive and folks in attendance had variety of ideas that would protect and enhance the river. Very Cool.
Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace held a forum entitled "Health Care in Crisis" and had speakers share perspectives on current reform discussions underway at the state capitol, models of financing in other nations and the ideas coming from the federal level. Senator John Marty spoke about his bill "The Minnesota Health Act" of which I am a house author.
The Wilder Foundation held its annual fundraising breakfast. We heard a number of stories of individuals whose lives are improved as a result of the work of the Wilder Foundation. Tom Kingston, Wilder Foundation CEO, reminded us of the growing gap in human and social services over the past five years and challenged all of us not to tire in our efforts to reach out and serve the least among us. I am grateful for the efforts of Wilder and its generous supporters. And I reminded of the work ahead to advance public policy to address the economic, social and educational inequities that foster continued poverty.
Finally, I attended the celebration of the lives and Paul and Sheila Wellstone, their daughter Marcia, and their staff and friends mary McEvoy, Tom Lappick and Will McLaughlin. The event was held at the College of St. Catherine and was a bittersweet celebration of the lives and contributions of those lost on October 25, 2002.
It is daylight savings time-- remember to turn your clocks back on Saturday night. I hope our paths cross soon. Don't hestiate to call or email! Peace, Erin
Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2007 by Erin Murphy,