In-district meetings continue with legislators in Mankato

Publish Date

Members are continuing their in-district meetings with legislators across the state, and last week a dozen members met with state lawmakers in Mankato. Members met with Sen. Nick Frentz (SD 19) and Rep. Jack Considine (HD 19B) for 90-minutes to share their stories and experiences in the workplace.

Rep. Jeff Brand was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

“It was a friendly meeting. We talked about things important to our state, our community and our members,” MAPE Statewide Secretary Lynn Butcher, Local 1901, said.

In-district meeting with legislators in Mankato

Photo at right: Members meet with Sen. Nick Frentz (top row, far right) and Rep. Jack Considine (bottom row, second from left) in Mankato.

Members at the meeting represented rehabilitation counselors, recreation therapists, accountants, long-term care specialists, academic professionals and information technology representatives. They spoke about their experiences at St. Peter Security Hospital, Minnesota State University at Mankato, South Central College and the Minn. Sex Offenders Program.

 “Our goal is to have our members establish relationships with the senators and representatives who represent them in the state legislature so the legislators will have a face to put with the stories they hear,” said Political Council Vice Chair John Ferrara, Local 2001.

“We spoke about safety and staffing levels and how members can do their jobs and still be safe. Minnesota State was there so we spoke about the importance of fully funding to make college more affordable for students and the importance of investing in infrastructure,” Ferrara added.

Abdi Sabrie works at South Central College where he serves as an academic advisor for the TRIO Upward Bound program which provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. He also was elected to serve on the Mankato School in 2015.

“I attended the meeting because I believe in the power of collective bargaining – it’s not just for me, it’s for everyone involved. The most valuable part of it was listening to other MAPE members and learning what they do and deal with on a daily basis. Hearing about the work being done at the security hospital and the sex offender program put a lot more emphasis on collective bargaining – it could be a matter of life or death for them,” Sabrie said.

MAPE’s Political Council is working with locals and legislators to schedule more in-district meetings in the future. “It was really good to get faces and stories that go along with the budget bill and the infrastructure bill so legislators will know people and families directly impacted by these bills,” Ferrara said. “We’re trying to schedule more in-district meetings around the state.”

Interested in getting involved or attending a local in-district meeting? Visit www.mape.org/committees/political-council to learn more.