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Silencing the voices of our democracy

To the editor:

Recently there has been a growing pressure to silence voices on a local, state, and national level. I am deeply concerned that Minnesota GOP Representatives including Rep. Torkelson, voted to continue allowing the Speaker to use a mute button to silence the voices of fellow representatives. According to MinnPost, the mute button was reportedly used on May 22, 2016 at the end of the legislative session. This was done without the full knowledge of those on the floor intending to speak.

I ask, “Why we are afraid to listen to one another?” Our democracy is founded on selecting individuals to represent their districts. These representatives are charged with the task to discuss and debate to the best interest of their constituents. Muting not only silences one legislator it silences the voices of democracy, the voices of the people.

I truly believe if our state and nation are going to move in a positive direction then we ought to do more listening rather silencing opposing views. Perhaps those we have the most difficulty listening to are those whom we can learn the most from if we open our hearts and truly hear.

I encourage you to call Rep. Torkelson (888-727-3891) to let him know you support open debate in the MN House of Representatives.

Marinda Kimmel

New Ulm

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