Ross Peterson’s letter in the March 12 Ely Echo was a Trump-et call for proponents of sulfide mining to join the Trump side of politics (bombast, exclusion, intimidation and personal attack). It is true those who have or do work in the mines have been shifting away from the DFL and from DFL concerns about worker’s rights and safety, a fair cut of the profits for workers and a viable environment in which to live. It is true they are shifting to non-regulation of industry and public tax subsidies for companies in exchange for jobs, any jobs, short or long term, sustainable or not.
However, I disagree with Peterson’s depiction of those at the Ely DFL Caucus who supported a ban on mining that would pollute as not representing us. The majority at the Ely DFL Caucus elected the caucus chair—some mining supporters voted for her. She was not the reason for the resolution passing. Note that the chair of the Morse Township Caucus was a pro-mining person, and I heartily supported him as chair. He has always conducted a fair meeting, and he did so this time when a resolution opposing sulfide mining was passed by the caucus. There were few students present at that caucus, mostly full time residents, and the resolution still passed.
Some whose families have been here three or four generations make it clear outsiders are not welcome. All of us who are non-Native Americans are transplants. The fact is, the Ely area has many people who have moved here in the last two decades: students, business owners, retirees and young families. All are working to create a sound future and a sustainable quality of life for our community.
Anne Stewart Uehling