With the recent passage of the Minnesota SF 2620 pension bill, our REAM Legislative Committee has been busy introducing themselves to the Legislators that have recently resumed their duties at the Minnesota State Capital. There are many new legislators along with those that have held their seats, and we want them to know about REAM and how our retired educators impact the economy of Minnesota. We want to remind our legislators that there are hundreds of thousands of reasons to feel good about their “yes” vote on this bill. They are your family members, neighbors, and Minnesotans throughout the state depending on you to take care of the Defined Benefit Pension systems. All communities benefit from the stable income earned, taxed, and spent by retirees.
Those currently serving on the REAM Legislative Committee are Tim Moynihan, John Fisher, Henry Carbone, and Lonnie Duberstein. They have presented each legislator with a letter signed by me giving a brief description of our Association. We have over 9,000 members. REAM works hard to promote the protection of our pensions and helps to serve our members well. The economic impact of retired educators adds millions of dollars to the state and local economies. Just in my county, Carlton County, there are a combined 1,340 retired PERA, MSRS, or TRA members and most, if not all of them, spend a great deal of their retirement income in the area. Not only do they contribute financially to their local communities and state, many of them spend countless hours as volunteers in their hometown communities. They coach little league teams, read to students, deliver Meals on Wheels, teach first aide classes, participate in many church activities, or serve on county boards, and more. I’m sure you can name many in your community who are active members of your area.
And with this in mind, I received a wonderful letter from Joyce W. She writes to thank me for my message in the January issue of the REAM News. She writes: “It was funny, down to earth, and presented an inside look about you, our new president. Thanks for that. I was very involved when I lived in St. Cloud, but as of May 2018 I moved to a retirement villa. I do love it – no more shoveling, no more warming up the car, no more feeding birds in the cold, and all that goes with living alone in a big house. I have found a place to volunteer – right here on the lower level with ‘Open Circle’, a day care for Metro adults. They are my students, only older!”
It’s folks like Joyce that make our communities so wonderful. Thank you to all the retired educators who make a difference for as long as you are able. I always say: “Once a teacher, always a teacher!”