Gov. Walz visits Mankato for state address, protestors gather outside

On Sunday evening, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz traveled to Mankato to livestream his State of the State Address for updates on COVID-19 vaccinations, a booming economy, and education equality. 

This speech was made at the Mankato West High School, a school where Walz once taught history in hopes to show Minnesota that he cares about the people. 

Groups of people gathered outside to voice their frustrations towards the governor and the concerns they have about his abilities to carry out his duties.

The governor wove in stories from his past to bring up new points of discussion, emphasizing his focus on empathy and understanding

Walz began his speech with the statistics of how many people in Minnesota have been vaccinated and the opening doors of eligibility.

“More than 1.5 million Minnesotan people have received the vaccination, leading the nation in vaccines,” as these numbers include the elderly, healthcare workers, and educators.

“Starting on Tuesday, all Minnesotans 16 years old and older will be eligible for the vaccine as well,” Walz explained.

He continued with expressing how the sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we can experience the normalcy we’ve all desired to have since the pandemic first hit last March. Walz often referred to the Minnesotan hard-work ethic ideology when discussing our fight against COVID-19.

“Minnesotans have always risen up by coming together,” he stated.

Walz quickly discussed how the state of Minnesota has increased its economy while slowly opening up more businesses, and it will only continue to go up. With time and patience, schools and businesses are looking to operate as normal, with Minnesota State University, Mankato being one of them.

As more vaccines are being handed out and COVID-19 cases dropping, Minnesota State University, Mankato is looking at in-person classes and campus activities for students to have a normal college experience. 

MNSU President Richard Davenport announced in an email to students and faculty on March 22 that the University is planning on a normal semester this fall. 

To wrap up his address, Walz announced the state’s plan for tacking education equality for children. This plan, Due North, will strive for the rights of all children, no matter their background, to a fair and guiding education experience. 

In order to help with this, the proposed state budget by Walz will help support working families and small businesses by giving a tax break to 300,000 Minnesota families and investing in a small business COVID-19 support program.

As news was spreading of Walz’s rescheduled appearance in Mankato, a group of residents, who are part of the Rocks and Cows organization, took to themselves to protest outside of the high school. Some key ideas they were fighting against included the mask mandate, the ways in which the pandemic were handled, and the freedom they’ve been wanting in the past year.

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