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Your Letters: Budget cuts hurting

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opinion Wadena, 56482
Wadena PJ
(218) 631-1621 customer support
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Community Action has been a first responder to poverty in our Minnesota communities for years. Now, with the latest funding cuts, many of these community based initiatives will be forced to close their doors.

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The working poor; low and moderate income families; and the elderly on fixed incomes will no longer be able to turn to their local community action agency - because in many locations, we won't be anymore.

Small building contractors that have been providing home weatherization through Community Action Weatherization and energy assistance will lose most of their client base - and most likely their business. Many more construction workers will lose their jobs. Building product manufacturers and suppliers will be dealt a serious blow. The dedicated professionals who have invested their lives and careers in community action will have their positions abruptly terminated.

The reason for all of these crippling blows to our community: budget cuts and the priorities of our elected officials.

In the case of our agency, the weatherization program has received a death blow. In the new President Obama 2013 budget, one half of the community action agencies will not be funded. The result: we will cease to be a home weatherization provider at the end of June 2012.

If you have been served, or need to be served by community action, through energy assistance or home weatherization; or if you are a contractor or employee of a builder, or a vendor or manufacturer who has benefitted from our program, please contact your elected officials and express your concern. Here's a short list of who to contact:

Senator Amy Klobuchar, 121 4th Street South, Moorhead MN 56560

klobuchar.senate.gov/emailamy.cfm

Senator Al Franken, 916 W. St. Germain St., Suite 110, St. Cloud MN 56301

www.franken.senate.gov

Representative Chip Cravaack, 6448 Main Street, Suite 6, North Branch MN 55056

cravaack.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Representative Collin Peterson, Lake Avenue Plaza Bldg., Suite 107, 714 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes MN 56501

collinpeterson.house.gov/zipauth.htm

I part with some wisdom of old - Americans are unique in history - we look out for the little guy. We are champions of justice and committed to see that everyone gets a fair shake. One of the hallmarks of being an American, we give until it hurts and have done so for our entire history. It has served us well and defines who we are. Do not disregard the wisdom of the ages, from Psalms 41:1 "Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble."

Stephen Bjorklund

Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action Council, Inc.

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