Letter: Step up and help your neighbor

Aid for local businesses needs Senate approval

Letter to the Editor graphic

In times of great hardship, people help their neighbors. We see this displayed during war and natural disasters. When governments fail to respond to the suffering of their citizens, caring people are shocked and appalled. Long term residents of Rochester will recall the community-wide efforts of people helping people recover from the flood of 1978, an initiative that included $100 million in funding from state and federal governments to build a flood control system.

Right now, our neighbors in Minneapolis are dealing with severe hardships imposed by the destruction of local businesses that occurred after the killing of George Floyd. While some might be tempted to blame the destruction on lawless protesters, the fact is that thousands of aggrieved citizens protested peacefully while a very small number were responsible for the destruction. To blame the people of Minneapolis for their own difficult circumstances as justification for denying aid to the community is to yield to a misbegotten impulse to impose austerity as collective punishment on a struggling community.

The Minnesota House has passed the Promise Act, a bill that allocates funds to support rebuilding local businesses. But the legislation still needs Senate approval. Please urge your state senator to support this bill and ensure our neighbors in Minneapolis receive the financial help they need to rebuild their lives.

Henry Homburger, Rochester

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