HIRE MN (Healthcare, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy) held a rally at the state capitol April 20, despite rain and blustery wind. Speakers said they wanted to deliver a message to legislators that Minnesotans want green jobs and that they expect the government to use stimulus funds to make them happen.
The turnout of supporters was less than HIRE organizers had hoped, but with dozens of speakers including Congressman Keith Ellison and Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, a traditional Hmong dance performed by girls from the Lao Family and a performance by local hip-hop artist Brother Ali, the energy was high.
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Catherine Deponty, who was carrying a home-made sign that read “The best social service in the world is a job,” said that it was important for her to be there because she knows several students at the Summit Academy OIC and wants to make sure that they have access to good jobs when they graduate.
HIRE founder Louis King also held up a sign with transportation commissioner Tom Sorel‘s phone number on it and asked everyone in the crowd to get out their cell phones to call and ask him to make sure transportation jobs are going to those who need them.
Kary Tyler, a Sophomore at the University of Minnesota, admitted she was mainly there to see Brother Ali, but said she thought HIRE was doing a great job of getting the word out about the importance of green jobs and showing people how they can be involved.
Toward the end of the rally, a group of Minnesota legislators came onto the stage to show their support for HIRE’s mission and told the crowd they could come in and visit them in their offices to warm up and chat if they were interested.
Mysti Strege is a student at Hamline University and an intern at the TC Daily Planet.
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