Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Commissioner Nelson Again Misinformed

At the county board meeting on November 3rd Commissioner Keith Nelson responded to comments made by three citizens who addressed the Board. He said that, again, commissioners statements were "taken out of context" regarding people on public assistance, drug use and stigma. He suggested that those who spoke to the Board had not actually watched the entire discussion, thus misunderstanding the "tone" of the discussion which he believed was very respectful.

The entire 17-minute discussion is posted on the We are Watching web site:


Take a look and decide for yourself!

Mandatory Drug Tests for People on Public Assistance?

At their November 3, 2009 meeting the Board was addressed by a number of people who indicted concern regarding recent comments made by Commissioners Forsman and Dahlberg suggesting that people on public assistance be required to pass random drug tests and perhaps be prohibited from purchasing cigarettes. Additionally, Forsman suggests that “stigma is a good thing” and maybe if there were more of it people would “get to work”.

Folks from the We are Watching campaign let commissioners know that they are still paying attention and do not agree with the characterization of low income people as drug-addicted, irresponsible, poor parents who do not want to work.
The perpetuation of stereotypes such as these do not have any place in the formal statements of our elected public officials. While unfortunately not surprising, this is disappointing.

People who live in St. Louis County, especially in the districts that Commissioners Forsman and Dahlberg represent, may want to give them a call to let them know what they think of their public statements.