On Sunday, July 6, parishioner Greg King hosted our Letter to the Editor training after mass (and 24 people attended. On 4th of July weekend. On a really nice day. HOW SURPRISED WERE WE?) Greg provides some recent articles that people can respond to, or they can choose their own topic and by the end of the training, everyone leaves with a letter that is ready to submit. Since Sunday, two attendees - Nancy Eder (involved in our ISAIAH Core Team) and Mary Jo Malecha (a member of our Parish Council) - have had their letters printed in the Star Tribune. Their letters are included below.
POVERTY IN MINNESOTA
By one measure, it doubled?
This matters. The short July 4 article "Poverty marker doubles for state" seems to make the argument that while the portion of Minnesotans living in poverty more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, we should be happy that it is not worse. It points out that our change was less than that of the nation and far less than for benchmark states like Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
I find that kind of indifferent attitude about our rising poverty rates disheartening. By contrast, that same day, "Dow closes above 17,000" was a headline on the front of the Business section. This points out the widening gulf that exists between the haves and the have-nots in our state. In this election year, let us make sure our candidates and elected officials know that we want them to address the underlying causes of why so many of our neighbors are living in poverty in our great state - before we double it again.
Mary Jo Malecha, New Brighton
Who’s to blame? Who should be helping?
What do you suppose it took for 52,000 children to leave their homes and flee to the United States? And how have we received them? This is not to blame the cities along the border (“Divided California city becomes flash point in debate,” July 5) that are paying in strained resources for the government’s failure to address the immigration crisis. Ever since President Bill Clinton sold us the bill of goods known as NAFTA, things have gotten worse for workers in the countries involved, including ours. Those 52,000 children are bringing us a message we’d do well not to ignore.
Nancy Eder, Burnsville