Questions and Answers from Minnesota's Road to Volunteer Drivers Virtual Forum Series 2nd Stop: Policy Issues and Real Life Stories

Minnesota's Road to Volunteer Drivers Virtual Forum Series with State of Minnesota wordmark over an aerial view of a road and autumn leaves on trees

December 9, 2020

Questions and Answers

The second stop in the MCOTA volunteer driver virtual forum series, Minnesota's Road to Volunteer Drivers, featured real-world stories about impacts of volunteer drivers throughout the state through several real-life stories and a discussion of state legislation to strengthen volunteer driver programs. Below are answers to audience questions that the panelists answered after the forum ended. Most of the questions are answered in the Forum recording.

Question 1: The Volunteer Driver Coalition Formed in response to the failure of MCOTA to get the job done?

Answer: Dawn Simonson responded: The Volunteer Driver Coalition formed following a suggestion to me from the Living at Home Network, that I should meet with the MN Public Transit Association about our shared concerns for the viability of volunteer driver programs.  Until 2019, MAAA, the Living at Home Network and the MN Pubic Transit Association had primarily been working on these issues separately, without strong connections to each other. The Coalition founders recognized that the best chance for success was to tap the influence and organizing abilities of our respective organizations while working together, and to also create a grassroots mechanism to advocate for change. Our intent was to also secure the support of MCOTA, primarily but not exclusively, through Tom Gottfried, in his newly created role of executive director. After years of effort it’s clear that no one organization’s or group’s efforts will move the needle on the changes we all seek. We are convinced that a collective effort of the Coalition’s founders and members, with MCOTA’s support, is what it will take to secure the legislative changes needed to protect and strengthen volunteer driver programs.