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Thank you for working for us

Carolyn Moore, Minot

When his cell phone rang at 10am on a recent Saturday morning, Minot Rep. Bob Paulson answered from his tractor.

I was on the other end of the line, calling to voice my concern about the suspension of winter athletics and what I saw as executive overreach by the governor. “I’ve never had a busier morning in all my years as a legislator,” he chuckled.

I doubt he was talking about hauling hay.

“Can you help with this?” I pressed enter on the Facebook group post about inconsistent crowd limits in high school venues, tagging Rep. Scott Louser.

“Working on it,” he commented back, nearly instantaneously. And he was. Hours later, the NDHSAA board met and compromise came, no doubt at least partially the result of countless phone calls with various officials on his constituents’ behalf.

“Can you ask administration to allow immediate family into the game, instead of just saying two fans per athlete?” I texted my daughter’s junior high basketball coach Julie Johnson. “I can’t leave my other kids unattended.”

“I understand completely. Let me see what I can do.” And she did, reporting back shortly thereafter that yes, my daughter’s younger siblings were welcome, thanks for asking.

Rep. Paulson, Rep. Louser, and Coach Johnson are just three of the many elected officials and community leaders who are standing in the gap for constituents, concerned citizens, and parents as the pandemic wears on.

And we would be remiss not to pause amid all the upheaval to say “thank you.”

Thank you for answering all those phone calls and emails.

Thank you for listening–then acting.

Thank you for calling the meetings and having the hard conversations.

Thank you, ultimately, for seeing our passion for what it is: love for our kids, our friends, our families, our neighbors.

In this stressful time, you often bear the brunt of our frustration–but rarely receive our appreciation.

So to the concerned citizens calling and writing state leaders–

To the teachers and coaches and administrators fighting for our kids–

To the state agencies aiming for compromise–

To the elected leaders amplifying our voices–

Thank you.

Seen or unseen, what you do matters–and I, for one, am exceedingly grateful.

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