Friday, March 6, 2009

Pictures to come later...

Jake's hogging my computer so I can't put any pictures up yet, but wanted to write about our trip to the State Capitol. Jacob and I started in the morning by picking up another scout who is working on his Citizenship in the Community badge. We went to a local church to meet up with a bus that took us and another neighborhood down to the Capitol. On the bus there was just Jake, me and our friend and then another family from our neighborhood. The other neighborhood had about 30-45 senior citizens. I heard that they have had three rent raises in the last year.
This is my report I gave the President of our Association:

On Friday March 6 there was a rally at the State Capitol for resident’s rights, that was sponsored by All Parks Alliance for Change.
We began the day by being picked up at the North Heights Lutheran Church parking lot by a bus and a van for overflow. The bus then picked up residents from another manufactured home park . The bus was nearly full when we reached the Capitol.
The first meeting was in an upstairs room where we received instruction on how to speak to legislators. Spokespeople from different groups were selected and taken to another area for more formal training. In the first group we also were taught a few rally chants, “Move roads, not homes!” and similar messages.
The second part of our day was a rally in the Rotunda. Here we heard from different leaders in communities who’d been chosen as our spokespeople and Kate Knuth as well. There were a lot of chants yelled and speakers to get the residents fired up to share their messages. At this point I estimated maybe 150 people from two different buses and several neighborhoods, both north and south of the Twin Cities, had showed up for this event, which is a great number considering it was a workday for most people. I heard conversations about people making sacrifices to make it to this meeting, such as taking the day off of work, despite their boss’ wishes.
After the short rally and speakers we divided into our groups and walked over to the office building to search for the different representatives and officials that we’d been assigned to share our messages with and asked them for their support on the issues.
The three topics addressed with them were:
1. The One for One Replacement Plan.
2. Alternative Dispute Resolution
3. Relocation Trust Fund
Then we met up for a meeting at Kate Knuth’s office. We were a little early, but she came soon and graciously invited us into her office where we were able to talk a bit with her about the issues we’d come to the Capitol to speak about. We all had a chance to introduce ourselves to her, and she also took this time to make us aware of a bill she was authoring for the cleanup of TCAAP and asked our opinion on the matter, which was very nice of her to do. We all appreciated the information and common respect she showed us in the matter.
We ended the day with a pizza lunch in the basement cafeteria provided by APAC, which was also much appreciated! We then took the bus provided by APAC back to our communities.

No comments: