St. Paul, Minn.— The Minneapolis and St. Paul delegation of DFL Senators released the following statement in response to Sen. Justin Eichorn’s insensitive comments equating Minnesotans experiencing homelessness to camping in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota.
Senate DFL Legislators’ joint statement:
“Living in a tent on the streets because you are experiencing homelessness is not a fun vacation outing. We have a housing crisis – which was exacerbated by this pandemic. Senator Eichorn is using our most vulnerable Minnesotans experiencing homelessness for political posturing. It says a lot about Senator Eichorn’s values when he looks at a homeless encampment in St. Paul and his first thought is, “I’m angry we can’t go on a camping vacation right now” … not “how can we end the epidemic of homelessness in our state?”
Most people understand that experiencing homelessness and living in a tent on the street is not the same as recreational camping up North. No one should have to live in a tent because you can’t find an affordable home. Our residents experiencing homelessness should not be used as props to take a cheap shot at our governor, especially during a public health crisis. That is wrong and immoral. We need to work together to address the pandemic and the housing crisis, protect the most vulnerable among us, and trust the science and data so we can reopen our state safely.
To equate and politicize our poorest of the poor who are living in tents on the street, just trying to survive, to camping is insensitive, uncaring, and callous. We expect better. Minnesotans expect better. Justin Eichorn owes every Minnesotan an apology.”
The link to the video Sen. Eichorn posted can be accessed here.