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Did votes on gay rights cost Savick?

When I was the chairman of the Albert Lea Human Rights Commission under the leadership of then-Mayor Marv Wangen — the only major human rights issue remaining unresolved was the denial of civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender folks including the civil right to get married. Many Americans discriminated against GLBT adolescents with impunity. The bullying of GLBT adolescents was rampant and allowed by administrators in our schools. GLBT adults were fired or not hired simply for what they looked like and who they were. All of them were Americans.

Then along came a courageous civil rights leader (in a very modest style) like Rep. Shannon Savick. I am not saying that Shannon jumped up on a pedestal and shouted out her votes and support for same-sex marriage and the anti-bullying legislation. Shannon is not one to brag about like a gadfly.

These two votes cost her the job, a job that brought us the dredging of Fountain Lake, all-day kindergarten, a successful fight within her own political party to bring home $50 million — not the $20 million that metro wanted Greater Minnesota to have — for local government aid to all rural communities, a long-overdue minimum wage increase and, of course, letting us all know that she was 100 percent in favor of Gov. Mark Dayton’s signing of the Medicaid expansion for literally thousands of Minnesotans who could not afford health insurance.

Not a single person in District 27A has not benefited from Shannon’s work.

Shannon will be missed but not forgotten, mainly for her two courageous votes.

 

Ted Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea