Public Engagement is vital to democratic process

Last week, the Star Tribune Editorial Board highlighted the fact that a handful senators are “tinkering with” Medicaid without public hearings or input. We agree with the editorial board that this secrecy is unacceptable, and believe that the process to pass legislation is strengthened through a system that values public input. This is especially important when what is being discussed will deeply impact Minnesota communities, the way a healthcare bill will.

Public hearings are vital to the democratic process, and contribute to a system that draws from the wealth of knowledge and experiences in our communities. The Senate has established rules of order that invite public commentary during the legislative process through things like committee hearings and testimonies. Members of Congress also engage their districts through public events like town halls. By disregarding these established norms, the Senate jeopardizes the openness and transparency that is essential to democracies.

MCN believes that deliberate, thoughtful public engagement creates an open and transparent process that help communities to thrive. It creates a space to work toward meaningful, long lasting solutions. Now is the time to embrace public input, not to shy away from it.

We are appreciate the Star Tribune’s editorial board shedding light on this issue, and are encouraged to see citizens engaging with their congressional delegation