This morning I went to a Town Hall report given by our local State Senator, Nicole Mitchell.
Sen. Mitchell is in her first term. She did an excellent job. Her one hour demonstrated to us how complicated a job we citizens give to our representatives.
There were about 60 of us in attendance.
Our Senate district has about 70,000 citizens. We’re a state with about 6 million people, from large city to sparsely populated rural areas, people with all conceivable needs and circumstances.
Nicole pointed out what is not always obvious to us: there are state and national governments; city and regional governments; endless agencies, all legally constituted, and necessary, often representing competing priorities.
(Suggestion: Just make a list, sometime, of all your own representatives – the people elected to represent you and your neighbors, and make note of how to keep in touch with them. Every one of them, from city office to President, are crucial to your well being.)
It is Sen. Mitchells job, and of her colleagues at all levels, to do the best possible job to represent not only her constituents but the entire state.
Not all of the priorities she talked about were of specific interest to me, but they were essential to others.
She estimated she gets about 100 e-mails a day, not all of which she can get to, much less respond. Her job just doesn’t end with long lunches and time-on-your-hands. There are no easy decisions, either for individuals or groups. There are incessant demands lobbying for non-negotiable top priorities from this citizen or that special interest.
There are tens of thousands of Nicole Mitchell’s around this country of ours and we should be thankful. In the audience today was a County Commissioner, for instance. Asking questions were people lobbying this or that particular specific concern.
In our court, as citizens we have the responsibility to not only represent our particular priority, but to recognize that we are a country of incredible diversity – a country where we have to care for each other, and for the greater world as well.
Every country is similar. We are part of a world that must work together.
I don’t expect that Nicole, or any of the other elected representatives I had a hand in electing to other offices, need to follow my whims. It is impossible for them to do so. They are elected to represent all of us. It is our responsibility to elect people with Nicole’s qualities.
What we can expect, and what we generally receive, is our representatives honest efforts.
Generally, we can be very thankful.
Senator Mitchell’s dedication to her role on the Minnesota Legislature is commendable. Wish I could feel so positive toward our local State Senator, Representative, County Commissioners, both Republicans, and City Council Members, to say nothing of Township officials. Working with them while managing our County 2000 Census was eye-opening to say the least.