Tenant Protections & Affordable Housing
I believe that having a home is a human right. Wilder Research not so long ago released their “Single Night Count of People Experiencing Homelessness” study, which showed in 1991 approximately 3,968 people in Minnesota were homeless. Fast forward to 2018, approximately 13,498 people in Minnesota were homeless, and nearly half (46%) of homeless people were children. There were a few periods of hope during the last 27 years to reduce homelessness, but overall it appears our State Legislators chose to step over the family sleeping in the doorway or at least chose to look the other way. We Minnesotans can do better! This is why I support tenant protections, such as rent control, and high quality, attainable housing ensuring that all people in 67A have a place to call home. To do this, as your State Representative, I will fully support Housing Infrastructure Bonds and advocate for increased investment in housing options, as well as prioritizing home ownership education opportunities for historically marginalized communities.
Climate and Environmental Justice
I support the Green New Deal. What should be achieved on a Federal level, could first be demonstrated on a State level. Like the Green New Deal, in Minnesota I believe we could achieve: net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers; create good high-wage jobs to ensure prosperity and economic security for all people in Minnesota; invest in infrastructure and industry in the state of Minnesota to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st Century (HRES 109). More importantly, we would address the injustice that comes with climate change, which disproportionately impacts communities of color. As your State Representative, I would create legislation where new technology and education would bring a fair, just, and healthy future to the people of District 67A.
Investing in Education
I believe in fully funding our public schools. Public education is at the foundation of our State, so much that creating and funding public schools was written into our Constitution in 1858. Over the last twenty years, this value has disappeared at the Capitol --forcing cities to increase property taxes to fund their schools. Moreover, this method of funding our schools has created an unequal educational system; where you reside determines the quality of education your child will receive. As your State Representative, I will fight for fully funded public schools, which means $4 Billion more dollars invested in our children, according to Education Minnesota. I will fight to create schools that work for all students in the 21st century. As a trained machinist, I believe we need to invest in the trades and industrial arts pathways for more students as they are good paying jobs in high demand.
Free Reliable Transportation
I support Zero Fare Transit. Kansas City, Missouri has recently become the first major city to offer Zero Fare Transit. Their City Council unanimously voted (13-0) to pass a resolution, so residents will no longer have to pay transit fare when riding the bus or light-rail. I agree with this resolution. In Minnesota, we can’t afford to build our way out of our transit problems by adding more lanes to our highways. Zero Fare Transit would provide residents in 67A the option to utilize mass transit for commuting to and from work, which would mean less vehicles on the roads as well as less wear and tear on our roads. Plus, Eastsiders could spend more of their income on food and clothing, and less on gas and car maintenance. As your State Representative, I will push for increased transit funding and bus routes that are applicable to Eastsiders -eliminating multiple transfers to reach your destination.
Criminal Justice Reform & Community Safety
I am an organizer. I have spent a good portion of my life organizing to reform our criminal justice system by working in coalition to eliminate the deeply punitive systems and practices in our communities. Community safety is about investing in people, not status quo systems like policing that were historically set up to oppress people of color, people in poverty, and more. My lived experience will ensure we pass a people-centered budget that invests in our people through community programming and improve and maintain top quality public facilities for families and children to play. Furthermore, I will push to dedicate funding to local community organizations that do the groundwork to eliminate gun violence, empower our youth, and more. As your State Representative, I will lead in restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people, banning private prisons, and ensure people directly impacted by our systems have a seat at the table to craft real life solutions.
Universal, Single-Payer Healthcare
I believe that having access to healthcare is a human right. The framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, were human rights, but currently we have a healthcare system that only a small few can afford. How can anyone pursue happiness when they have a terminal illness left untreated or healthcare bills forcing them into bankruptcy? We need a single-payer healthcare system in place to ensure everyone can care for themselves and their family regardless of income. In 1992, MinnesotaCare was created by Republican Governor Arne Carlson and a bipartisan coalition of legislators. MinnesotaCare was our solution to affordable coverage for people who could not qualify for Medicaid, but earn below the Federal poverty line. Today, MinnesotaCare covers more than 89,000 Minnesotans. We don’t have to wait for Washington to solve our healthcare problem. As your State Representative, I will fight to expand MinnesotaCare, so that all Minnesotans can receive coverage and I will advocate for a dedicated funding source to ensure that our State dollars can keep this program in the black.
Economic Prosperity for All
I believe in fair wages. Unemployment in Minnesota is low, but low-wage jobs are high. We have a wage problem in Minnesota. According to Minnesota Housing Partnership’s (MHP’s) 2019 Out of Reach study: The highest housing wage in the state is located in the counties within the greater Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area, at $22.13 per hour — or $46,040 annually — to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. In district 67A, 44% of all households are renters and incomes since 2000 went down 16% creating a median income of $25,853. As your State Representative, I will fight for a livable minimum wage to keep a roof over your head; Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) for self-care and care for your loved ones; and prevailing wages to keep low-wage jobs and wage-theft out of our state’s economy.
I want Minnesota to be a sanctuary home for people across race, class, gender, and age, regardless of citizenship and for all of us to live dignified lives. I support immigration rights, such as passing the Driver’s License for All bill and providing full access to healthcare regardless of citizenship. As State Representative, I will push for more dollars to be allocated to support immigration rights organizations and ensure that no state agencies cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).