ROCHESTER, Minn. – Dozens of people held signs and chanted outside of the Mayo Building in Rochester Monday afternoon all in hopes of getting the attention of Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy.
The picket was organized by members of CURE or Communities United for Rochester Empowerment. It comes after two attempts to meet with the CEO in person to discuss the lack of affordable housing and how it’s impacting Mayo employees, patients, as well as the community as a whole.
"We are working people, we are not asking for a handout. They had a handout from our taxes we ask for them to help us find a solution to the problem,” explains CURE Member Xen Merrie Estrella.
CURE members want Noseworthy to agree to a face-to-face meeting with people who have been directly impacted by the growing housing crisis, people like Lynda Parsons.
"I've been personally affected by it because I just had to move out of my apartment that started off as $725/month when I first moved in then they wanted $1,100. I can't afford that," Parsons explains. "I'm very disappointed because Mayo is very much respected and if they pitch in and they get involved then everybody else will get involved and see how important this is.
Mayo Clinic responded to the picket with the following statement:
“We share concern about affordable housing in our community. This is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires strong community collaboration, not confrontation, to find meaningful and long-lasting solutions. Mayo Clinic has been and will continue to be engaged with the Rochester Area Foundation and others in the community to find and support meaningful solutions for our community. We are proud to be a part of a community where we together identify pressing community issues and collectively find needed solutions and resources to address them.”