Readers Write: (April 16): Sixth District, the schools, women in the workforce, war spending, fire safety, justice

  • Updated: April 16, 2014 - 10:55 AM

Tom Emmer got the endorsement because he worked the hardest as a campaigner.

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SIXTH DISTRICT

Emmer was endorsed because he earned it

I was disappointed to see congressional candidates Rhonda Sivarajah and Phil Krinkie make statements claiming that the endorsement process in the Sixth District was not representative of the voters (“GOP endorses Emmer in Sixth District,” April 14). As an elected delegate in Senate District 37 and an alternate for the congressional district, my observations were completely different. Business owners, retirees, young adults and parents all participated in this process, and all of our caucus events were held in public — the only people who I recognized not to be there were the apathetic.

Regarding the statement that there were no grass roots: Only one candidate contacted me throughout the process, and he made contact often. That same person hosted multiple events, made introductions and facilitated networking of people within our party. His wife and daughter were right there with him, too. Tom Emmer did not get our endorsement because of some failure within the caucus; he received our overwhelming endorsement because he worked his butt off to get it.

Joseph Reiter, Blaine

 

THE SCHOOLS

Janitors and engineers play a crucial role

Teachers are important, but who really keeps a school going? Manipulated like puppets within school districts and kept out of the public’s eye are the janitors and engineers.

Each task they do is for us, the students, to help us learn better by keeping our learning environment a clean, comfortable and safe place. They shovel the snow, man the boiler, change the air filters, mop the spilled milk and much more.

With recent budget planning underway in the Minneapolis School District, these janitors and engineers are about to receive significant pay cuts. The district sees the engineers union as the weakest, making it the first target. Many of these dedicated and noble workers are already struggling to keep their families afloat financially.

Most of us have never thought about it, because attention has been directed toward new budgets being voted on by teachers and issues like the new stadium. But we are all affected by the quality of our environment, which is directly correlated to the quality of the building maintenance staff. We all take them for granted, and now it is time to give them the respect they deserve.

Stephanie Daub, Minneapolis

 

WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE

What job interests you? Openings may await

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed the Women’s Economic Security Act on April 9. The Minnesota Senate will get its chance to weigh in next week. There are many facets to this bill, especially job-segregation remedies. There is grant money for programs to move more women into high-wage, high-demand jobs, which according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development are: plumbers, pipe fitters, masons, electricians, computer-controlled machine tool operators, carpenters, painters, truck drivers, construction managers and laborers, software developers, welders, machinists.

Many women would and could move into these jobs if given the chance and if the build sites became more woman-friendly. For those women who love their jobs as teachers, nurses, clerical workers, health care aides, we salute you, too. It is my hope that the Women’s Economic Security Act is the first step of many to begin valuing and paying for the work that women already do and love. No worries — we don’t all have to become plumbers. But if you would like to, there’s a job waiting for you.

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