Len Levine (Part 4)

Served as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and worked on the transition to State-Operated Community Services

DHS Commissioner Len Levine Recalls Changes in the 1980s

(Run time 1:40)

Most people will never know and will never remember the... the hard-working professionals in the Department. You know, that department gets beat up a lot because it's a social service agency.

Sometimes it's hard to measure the results. It was different for me when I went into the Department of Transportation and I ran that department. There you could measure results. You put the concrete down and the bituminous down and you get a new road. You build a new bridge, and you can see it and you can cut the ribbon.

It's hard really to see it in the social service field, many times. Except in this case you could see the stark difference between people who were in... in... in prison as compared to homes. There were no longer bars on windows. They were... they were in a home like we live in a home. And... and they had the love and caring attention of dedicated professionals.

That's... I mean, that's my legacy. It's part of what I did, and I look back on it with great pride. So, maybe like Abraham Lincoln said, "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but they'll remember what was done there." And in this case maybe people won't know how it all came about.

But one thing will be clear: Life will be better for people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable and who are people, just like we're people, and who are living in homes all across the state because of what was done here in Minnesota. So I'm proud to have been a part of that.