A plea for transparency

Waylon Hedegaard

President of the North Dakota AFL-CIO

In November, nearly 170,000 North Dakotans voted for transparency in government by supporting Measure 1, the anti-corruption ballot measure. They did this in spite of misinformation about what the measure would do. The overreaction by Measure 1’s opponents was fierce but unwarranted.

The truth is that as a constitutional amendment, it does little on its own. The burden is now on our Legislature to implement this measure in a manner that is both effective and unoppressive so that it will benefit all North Dakotans.

We all realize that this isn’t the same state it was 15 years ago. With the oil boom and the resulting economic and population growth, the world has noticed North Dakota. While much of this notice has been good, there have been serious downsides. Deep-pocketed corporations have been pushing their agenda, and it’s not to the benefit of average North Dakotans.

Corporate money should not equal governmental control, and working people and retirees deserve as much of a voice as the companies and industries they work for.

The fact is that North Dakota needs more transparency, and our citizens voted for that transparency. I implore the Legislature to do its best with the needed legislation. Let’s put differences aside and make this a state our children will always be proud of, a state that’s of the people, by the people, for the people.

Let’s make this all our legacy.

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