MS Society names Mike Opat Public Official of the Year
February 13, 2007
Contact: Emily Wilson
MINNEAPOLIS Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat has been presented with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter’s Public Official of the Year Award in recognition of his efforts to secure nearly $400,000 from Hennepin County to help fund Kingsley Commons, one of the nation’s first apartment buildings designed to provide independent living for people with multiple sclerosis.
Opat played a crucial role in ensuring adequate funding for the building project that will offer 24 accessible apartments to people who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income of the Twin Cities metro area.
“Kingsley Commons is one of the first building projects in the nation designed to provide accessible, affordable living for people with MS,” said Joel Ulland, vice president of public affairs of the National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter. “Mike Opat’s efforts were critical in making sure this very important project became a reality.”
Opat was given the award at the Minnesota Chapter’s MS Society Day at the Capitol Conference, held Feb. 12 and 13. At the event, nearly 100 people affected by MS learned about public policy issues important to people with MS and met with their legislators at the State Capitol to advocate for improvements to health care, transportation, education and employment for people with MS and other disabilities.