What is the primary role of a senator? To be the representative of their constituents in the Legislature and pass laws that benefit the people and their state.

In this past week, we have seen a direct violation of the role of our senator in Senate District 26 as the youth and educators in our community have not been taken seriously nor listened to.

On Monday, July 20th, Sen. Carla Nelson introduced and led the adoption of Senate Resolution 5 – a resolution that urges Gov. Walz to exclude public schools from executive orders under his emergency powers. This decision ultimately strives to undermine guidance from the state level, not only from Gov. Walz but also the qualified experts of the Minnesota Department of Health and MN Department of Education. Sen. Nelson made this decision, as a representative of all constituents of Senate District 26, to pursue this stance on the issue without seeking guidance or perspectives from those who will be impacted by this decision. As the chair of the Senate E-12 Education Finance & Policy Committee, she had zero public hearings on the issue of reopening schools or distance learning before this resolution and continues to show no interest in doing so. Through these actions, we can see that Sen. Nelson is out of touch with her constituents and is actively disregarding her role as our senator, choosing to politicize an issue that has nothing to do with partisanship, but rather with the safety of students like myself.

Shikha Kumar, Rochester