Reaction to the passing of U.S. Sen. David Durenberger

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“You know, his legacy certainly has a lot of depth to it beyond what the average Minnesotan thinks,” says Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Senator David Durenberger passed away at age 88, Tuesday January 31st. The former senator was greatly known for his championing for disability services throughout his career. He was a co-sponsor of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990.

“What I loved about Dave is that his work didn’t end when he left the US Senate. His work didn’t end when he walked out that door. He kept pursuing his passions for legislating on health care and the like. And he’d always tell me if he thought something was good or bad. He’d always speak his mind,” continued Klobuchar in a statement. Klobuchar holds Durenberger’s old seat.

Durenberger’s legacy lives on in the hearts of so many who are still fighting for disability rights.

“There’s a picture on the wall here of a truck and it’s got a sign on there that says not charity, but a chance. That was more than 100 years ago. And in some ways, it’s still the same thing, you know, not charity, but a chance and a chance for everybody to be part of everyday life. If you look around even in Duluth in the wintertime, sidewalks aren’t clear, parking is blocked… Lots of buildings are accessible, but a lot of them aren’t. I think people are sometimes scared. They think making access is difficult. Sometimes it’s just as simple as asking somebody what they need,” says Mary Junnila, Executive Director for Lighthouse Center for Vital Living.

The challenges of the disabled community still echo today, however the legacy of Durenberger is still ever-present.

“I think gratitude for the progress. And, you know, for all the little things that we are doing and realizing, you know, we’re all in this together,” finishes Junnila.

If you are interested in learning more about Lighthouse Center, click here:

To learn more about Senator Durenberger, click here: