Rep. JIm Hagedorn's recent statements suggest that he is either is legitimately ignorant of his constituents who are working long hours for low pay, or he knows but doesn't care. Both possibilities are unacceptable.
In April, the Worthington Globe reported Hagedorn saying: “Nobody goes to sleep at night wondering if they’ll be able to feed their families.” His clarification, that he meant no one had to worry because there’s food in the grocery store, completely missed the point. Almost 60,000 people in southern Minnesota are food insecure. Food on the shelves is of no use to people who cannot afford it.
In July, a group of constituents, politely and respectfully, informed Hagedorn’s office staff that two-thirds of Minnesota State University students have difficulty affording food. His staff said he was unaware of this and would pass it along.
Hagedorn, however, continues to ignore his struggling constituents.
At a recent town hall, I asked what Hagedorn was doing to ensure our “great economy” actually pays people well enough to feed their families. He claimed in response that all the jobs being created were well-paying, ignoring the reality that many southern Minnesotans work two, even three jobs to make ends meet.
The economy may be working well for Congressman Hagedorn's East Coast donors, but it's not working for the average southern Minnesota family. The most recent jobs report shows that, while job growth is up, wage growth and purchasing power for working families is going down.
When so many of our friends, family, and neighbors are struggling, we deserve a representative who knows what working people are going through and who cares enough to find a solution.