"Are you listening with both ears" is a question I would often ask my young children when I wanted to make sure they were intently listening to me. Our State Senator, Julia Coleman, is also a mother and should be familiar with this concept. But, based on her first — and only — town hall on Jan. 24, I have to wonder if she is really listening to all her constituents.
Sen. Coleman was asked no less than seven times, "Who do you believe won the 2020 Presidential election?" No answer. Prior to the town hall, I submitted seven questions to Sen. Coleman in writing. One was chosen for the town hall. The following questions were asked both in writing and submitted during the virtual town hall with no answer:
- Do you believe the 2020 elections in Minnesota were fair, accurate and secure, or inaccurate and fraudulent?
- What is your opinion of the verdicts for Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter?
- Three COVID questions; one regarding wearing masks indoors to protect community members, one regarding why she doesn't provide helpful COVID information to her constituents, one regarding COVID precautions taken for the town hall.
- Do you support the Minnesota 100% Clean Energy Bill which would mandate 100% carbon-free energy throughout Minnesota by 2030 and meet or exceed “net-zero” emissions by 2040 or earlier? Why or why not?
In addition, Senator Coleman was asked no less than 11 other questions ranging from police accountability to gun violence prevention to disinformation to critical race theory. No answers. She was also asked if she would separately answer the questions that she "didn't have time to answer." No response. She could have offered to host a follow-up town hall to answer these questions. She didn't. But, she did have time to talk about water bottles, and the Prince section of Highway 5.
One of the main jobs of a state senator is to listen to their constituents and represent their constituents at the state level. When Sen. Coleman refuses to answer our questions, we can only conclude that she is not listening.