Rally for Rail Minnesota: Supporting a multimodal transportation system in the state of MN
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We, as concerned citizens and college students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, have decided to start a grassroots campaign in support of passenger rail in the state of Minnesota, and we are calling ourselves Rally for Rail Minnesota.
In 2014 Republicans ran and won on a campaign promise they would deliver a transportation bill that would “meet the needs of Greater Minnesotans” if elected. Advocates wonder, where is the bill that meets those needs? Conversations with transportation advocates and county engineers around the state reveal there has been no effort to adequately address the needs facing the state with
regards to road and bridge infrastructure either.
On Friday, March 17th 2017, Governor Dayton announced a proposal for a demonstration project to extend rail service to St. Cloud to begin this fall. Many area supporters were encouraged by the Governor’s effort. However, upon hearing this last week that both omnibus bills that passed the House and the Senate contained legislation that would defund the MNDOT Passenger Rail office, area college students in particular, were outraged.
We know it has been 29 years, (before we all were born!) since our legislature last passed a substantial transportation bill to increase funding to meet the needs then, and we need another bill now because there are real needs that exist around the state that are not currently being met.
The Campaign’s first initial steps include:
- Meet with House Transportation Finance Committee Chair Paul Torkelson (R) - New Ulm
- Organize a petition drive requesting state lawmakers to fully fund the MNDot rail office with 21
million dollars, on no fewer than 10 college campuses.
- Identify and build partnerships
Rally for Rail Minnesota Committee:
Lucy Dornbach, Chair (Edina) 952.465.9652
Augie Witkowski, Co-Chair (St. Joseph) 801.989.0423
Anna Peichel, Spokesperson (New Ulm) 507.240.0062
Kevin Duong, Media and Communications Strategist (St. Cloud) 320.250.9398
Spencer Vogel, Outreach Coordinator (Alexandria) 320.491.2631 Anne Buckvold, Campaign Strategist (St. Joseph) 320.339.2942
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