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Welfare Cuts, No Thanks!

by Kim DeFranco |
December 11, 2002
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Tombstone-themed protest signs
Thanksgiving press conference at office of MN Governor Ventura. (Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN - The Welfare Rights Committee and community supporters went to Governor Ventura's office, Nov. 21, to picket and demand that the he stop the scheduled "Holiday Welfare Cut-offs."

"There will be 'no thanks' in this Thanksgiving season when 41 families, including 196 children, are facing welfare cut-offs Dec. 1 because of the welfare time limit. " said Elizabeth Wirtz of Welfare Rights.

At the picket, Committee members delivered over 100 tombstones to the Governor's staff. The tombstones represented all the families and children that would be cut off on Dec. 1, as well as families that have already been cut off of assistance since Sept. 1, 2001. The families that have been hitting the time limit since Sept. 1 are those who moved to Minnesota from states where the time clock started earlier than Minnesota's.

On Friday, Nov. 30, the Welfare Rights Committee returned to Governor Ventura's office. Chang Thao, whose family was scheduled to be cut off on Dec. 1, spoke against the time limits.

This father has been working 4 out the family's 5 years on welfare, but has been unable to earn enough to get off of the welfare grant. The mother has been working too. The whole time, while working at low wage jobs, the family's 5-year clock was ticking. Then, like many in this time of recession, he recently lost his job.

Deb Konechne of the Welfare Rights Committee, stated, "For a week, we have heard nothing from the Governor, despite repeated follow-up calls and letters. We demand he talk with this family face-to-face and figure out what he will do for this family and the other families!" The Committee met with the Governor's representative. As we go to press, Chang Thao's case is under appeal and his family has not been cut off of public assistance.