What a gorgeous day! With the clear skies, warm days, and cool evenings, this is one of my favorite times of year to take my niece to the Triangle Park playground, explore Woodlake Nature Center, and take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities we have in our district and across Minnesota. I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve had lately. If not, now is the time to get outside because as every Minnesotan knows, winter is coming!
National Voter Registration Day
It’s National Voter Registration Day! I encourage you to celebrate by registering to vote if you haven’t yet or confirming that you’re registered at your current address. You can register and check your registration at https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/. This is also a great opportunity to check in with friends and make sure they’re registered too.
Connecting with Minnesotans
As a legislator and a voting rights lawyer, talking with Minnesotans about the freedom to vote is one of my favorite things to do! I had a great time joining my legislative colleagues from St. Cloud, Sen. Aric Putnum and Rep. Dan Wolgamott, on the doors talking to residents this weekend. What I heard was deep support for action to strengthen our proud tradition of safe, fair elections and to ensure all Minnesotans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
I was also able to attend the annual Minnesota Heats On event with Local 455 and Local 539 members this weekend! I’m grateful to the Pipefitters for volunteering thousands of hours this fall to help seniors and low-income homeowners ensure their homes are safe and ready for winter.
Energy Assistance Available
On a related note, I want to remind you about a few programs that can help folks stay warm during the fall and winter months. The state’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), for example, helps Minnesotans pay for heat, water, and furnace repairs. The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced that they’re expanding the program, making more than 600,000 households eligible for assistance.
People who qualify for energy assistance may be eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program as well. It offers free energy upgrades to help homeowners and renters save money and ensure their home is a safe and healthy place to live.
Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule protects people from electricity and natural gas shutoffs during the coldest months of the year. It takes effect on October 1. My colleagues and I voted to add an additional two weeks in the fall and two weeks in the spring so that no Minnesotan goes without electricity or heat in our cold weather months.
Pfizer Booster Shots Available for Eligible Minnesotans
According to the latest guidance from the CDC, you’re eligible to get a booster shot if you received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago and:
There are plenty of ways to get the booster shot if you’re eligible. Free vaccines are available at pharmacies, health care providers, community clinics, and more. You can use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a provider near you.
Booster shots aren’t yet authorized for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Experts are also urging people to get a flu shot this year. Minnesota’s health care system and health care workers have been pushed to their limits by the pandemic. If COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue rising, a serious flu season could be dangerous. Getting a flu shot is a step Minnesotans can take to protect themselves and others and to preserve the capacity of our health care system.
Connecting with Me
Last but not least, I want to remind you about the weekly office hours I hold on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. If you have questions, ideas, or feedback you’d like to share with me, please check it out! You can email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (651) 296-5517 to schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting or phone call.
If you can’t make it to my office hours, feel free to email or call me anytime. You can reach me at email@example.com and (651) 296-4200.