Rowenhorst Named 2016 Advocate of the Year
October 19, 2016
 
Rowenhorst holding Advocate of the Year Award at the 2016 Celebrating Independence event.

By: Scott Burlingame, Executive Director

Brandon Rowenhorst of Minot has been named the 2016 Advocate of the Year by the Board of Directors of Independence, Inc. and was presented with his award at the 2016 Celebrating Independence Picnic. Rowenhorst is a Minot area attorney who recently opened his own practice.

Rowenhorst has long had a strong desire to live and work independently in the community, and he refuses to allow his physical disability to keep him from that dream.  After High School in South Dakota, he attended college, obtained his law degree, and became an attorney.  He later moved to Minot to begin his law career. Sadly, like many people with disabilities, Rowenhorst faced many barriers along the way.

Perhaps the biggest barrier Rowenhorst faced was is related to transportation.  Because Rowenhorst does not drive, he was forced to rely on Souris Basin Transportation to commute to and from work.  Souris Basin Transportation is a “Dial-a-Ride” system, and users are required to schedule all rides at least 24 hours in advance. The hours of service are also very limited. This reality limited Rowenhorst’s availability at work and left him unable to attend after hours events.

In order to begin a community discussion on how to improve transportation options, Rowenhorst reached out to State Senator Oley Larsen. Sen Larson helped to bring together stakeholders in order to discuss how to improve public transportation options in our area. Rowenhorst also began to advocate for the city taxi companies to be required to provide accessible transportation services.

This advocacy led to Mayor Chuck Barney appointing an ad hoc committee to work on resolving this issue. This ad hoc committee was chaired by Council Member Miranda Schuler and consisted of representatives from local taxi companies, city government, Souris Basin Transportation, and other concerned citizens.

Brandon worked very hard on keeping the public informed on this issue, leading to at least three articles appeared in the Minot Daily News about his efforts.

As a direct result of Rowenhorst’s advocacy, last fall, the Minot City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that requires each taxi company in Minot to provide accessible transportation. That ordinance is now being used as a model for accessible taxi laws across the state of North Dakota and the nation.



Rowenhorst Named 2016 Advocate of the Year
October 19, 2016
 
Rowenhorst holding Advocate of the Year Award at the 2016 Celebrating Independence event.

By: Scott Burlingame, Executive Director

Brandon Rowenhorst of Minot has been named the 2016 Advocate of the Year by the Board of Directors of Independence, Inc. and was presented with his award at the 2016 Celebrating Independence Picnic. Rowenhorst is a Minot area attorney who recently opened his own practice.

Rowenhorst has long had a strong desire to live and work independently in the community, and he refuses to allow his physical disability to keep him from that dream.  After High School in South Dakota, he attended college, obtained his law degree, and became an attorney.  He later moved to Minot to begin his law career. Sadly, like many people with disabilities, Rowenhorst faced many barriers along the way.

Perhaps the biggest barrier Rowenhorst faced was is related to transportation.  Because Rowenhorst does not drive, he was forced to rely on Souris Basin Transportation to commute to and from work.  Souris Basin Transportation is a “Dial-a-Ride” system, and users are required to schedule all rides at least 24 hours in advance. The hours of service are also very limited. This reality limited Rowenhorst’s availability at work and left him unable to attend after hours events.

In order to begin a community discussion on how to improve transportation options, Rowenhorst reached out to State Senator Oley Larsen. Sen Larson helped to bring together stakeholders in order to discuss how to improve public transportation options in our area. Rowenhorst also began to advocate for the city taxi companies to be required to provide accessible transportation services.

This advocacy led to Mayor Chuck Barney appointing an ad hoc committee to work on resolving this issue. This ad hoc committee was chaired by Council Member Miranda Schuler and consisted of representatives from local taxi companies, city government, Souris Basin Transportation, and other concerned citizens.

Brandon worked very hard on keeping the public informed on this issue, leading to at least three articles appeared in the Minot Daily News about his efforts.

As a direct result of Rowenhorst’s advocacy, last fall, the Minot City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that requires each taxi company in Minot to provide accessible transportation. That ordinance is now being used as a model for accessible taxi laws across the state of North Dakota and the nation.





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