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For Those About to Plow, We Salute You

December 15, 2010

When winter weather hits, it's public employees who help our communities dig out and get back on the road. This past weekend, when almost 20 inches of snow were dumped on Minnesota, snow plow drivers from AFSCME Council 5 worked tirelessly to keep the roads open. Via the Minnesota AFL-CIO comes this footage from the blizzard posted by Mn/DOT: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUUEFTV-ay8 Those drivers will be back on the roads today as another storm dumps even more snow on the area. Here's a timely reminder from John Van Hecke at Minnesota 2020 of just how much we count on public service workers to keep our communities moving:

A foot and a half of snow is a lot of snow. When you’re driving around today, remember to thank your state, county and local government snow plow drivers. They made your mobility possible despite the fifth largest snowfall in Minnesota’s recorded meteorological history.
Despite steady, predictable conservative policy rants declaring that government is failing, city, county and state snowplow drivers achieved an impossible level of street clearing in a remarkably short of amount of time. Government did this, acting on our collective directive to maintain safe, free-flowing and commercially vital transportation infrastructure. As a consequence, emergency calls were answered, people traveled safely to and from work, and Minnesota quickly returned to the business of Minnesota prosperity.
All of this happened because publicly-employed snow plow drivers did their jobs under very difficult circumstances. Coping with blizzards is an intrinsic Minnesota experience. We all have roles, whether it’s shoveling out and moving cars ahead of street plowing, assisting neighbors or just being supportive of a storm’s imposing demands. We may marvel at the challenges flowing from 18 inches of newly-dumped snow but we’re not surprised. Prospering in Minnesota requires planning for winter.
We are freer — not less free as conservatives would have us believe — precisely because we empower ourselves through government to quickly open snow-closed roads.
So, thanks again public works and transportation department employees for getting the job done. Without you, we’d still be gridlocked just as the next storm, projected for Wednesday, hits. Instead, we’re moving around and getting on with our lives. And, really, that’s why we have government.
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