Key Legislators and Faith Leaders Gather for Hearing on Equitable Transit in Greater Minnesota
On Friday, April 5, Rep. Frank Hornstein, Chair of the Minnesota House Transportation Finance Committee and St. Cloud area Rep. Zach Dorholt met with 35 GRIP/ISAIAH clergy and faith leaders along with other community members for a public hearing at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud. The group discussed working together to build a robust public transportation system that promotes equity and helps to create a more vibrant region.
“Everyday we hear what it will take to put our children and our families on a firm foundation,” Rev. Dee Peterson, Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, said discussing the needs for equitable state budget solutions. “They need changes in the systems that our leaders have the power to change right now. If we work together, I truly believe that we can build an economy that gives opportunity and hope to everyone.”
Other clergy and concerned residents shared personal stories about the barriers to opportunity imposed by the lack of access to public transportation, and spoke of the economic vitality that a comprehensive public transportation system creates.
Rev. James Alberts, Pastor at Higher Ground Church of God in Christ in St. Cloud said, “We have these pillars [education, jobs, transit and housing] in a community that must be whole in order for a person to be healthy… We see the importance to each one of those to the other. We ignore one pillar at the risk of making the other three sick.”
Rep. Hornstein thanked the group for sharing their stories and spoke of the transportation budget bill currently moving through the legislature. He asked the gathering to organize even more to make sure their voices are heard and to work together with him and other elected officials to ensure that the transit funding currently proposed for Greater Minnesota is not cut from the final state budget.