A homeless advocate who spray-painted slogans on the state Capitol after the governor refused to meet with her in 1989 says she is sorry, but she still wants to see the governor.
"Just 10 minutes of his time," Nina Diane Mincarelli told reporters Sunday morning beneath the 400 South viaduct, where hundreds of homeless and low-income people gather every Sunday for a hot breakfast provided by area volunteers.Mincarelli was arrested at the homeless women's shelter and charged with felony criminal mischief on March 2, 1989, a week after spray-painted messages were discovered on the Capitol's front steps, pillars and stone lion statues. The slogans included, "Ten minutes for the homeless" and "We want to be heard now."
After pleading no contest to a reduced charge of misdemeanor criminal mischief, she was ordered to pay $1,100 restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. Mincarelli admitted that she and two others were responsible, but she refused to identify the others.
Mincarelli said she has paid $1,147 in restitution and has performed 264 hours of community service.
"We're sorry for what we did," she said Sunday. "Two wrongs don't make a right. The Capitol belongs to everyone, and we shouldn't have lashed out as we did."
However, she said her frustration with the governor is undiminished. "We wanted 10 minutes of his time. We've tried to meet with him for three years now, and this is the final year."
Mincarelli refused to disclose what she wants to tell the governor, saying only that it involves information on how to help the homeless.
Her public apology and reiterated plea for a meeting with the governor coincided with the anniversary of the Feb. 24 spray-painting incident, she noted.