I hope this newsletter finds you well and taking care of yourself this week. With the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin beginning on Monday, it will be retraumatizing and painful for many in our community, particularly Black Minnesotans. I encourage all of you to be good to yourself and each other during this difficult time.
I’m holding George Floyd’s family in my heart this week. Justice for George Floyd and other victims of injustice requires us to also look beyond the courtroom and continue to focus on addressing the structural harm and deep systemic inequities that harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous Minnesotans. It requires urgent action and investment to build a state where everyone feels safe, everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and everyone has the opportunity and resources to thrive.
Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault
Far too often, loopholes in Minnesota law make it difficult for survivors of sexual assault to get justice or deny them the opportunity to pursue it altogether. For example, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that under current law, the definition of “mentally incapacitated” doesn’t include people who become intoxicated after voluntarily consuming alcohol. Victims who are intoxicated to the degree that they cannot give consent are entitled to justice under Minnesota law, and the Court’s ruling is a painful reminder that in cases like these, Minnesota law leaves victims without the justice they deserve.
This is a problem that we need to fix. That’s why I’m supporting legislation that would close the intoxication loophole and strengthen the state’s criminal sexual conduct (CSC) statutes. The bill includes recommendations from the CSC Statutory Reform Working Group, which spent the past two years examining Minnesota’s laws, identifying potential loopholes and weaknesses, and proposing solutions. It’s a strong, comprehensive plan to ensure Minnesotans who experience sexual assault - including people who’ve been assaulted while under the influence of alcohol - get the justice they deserve.
Reminder: Take My Legislative Survey
Responding to my legislative survey will help guide my decisions as we head into the final weeks of the legislative session and plan for the future. If you’ve already completed it, thank you for sharing your input! If you haven’t, please take a few minutes to respond.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
As I mentioned in my last email, all Minnesotans who are 16 years old or older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you’d like to receive alerts when there are vaccine opportunities nearby, I encourage you to sign up for the Vaccine Connector at mn.gov/vaccineconnector or call 833-431-2053. You can also contact your health care provider, local pharmacy, or use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to search for providers in your area.
While everyone 16 and older is eligible, that doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to access the vaccine right away. Demand still exceeds the supply, but opportunities to get vaccinated are expected to increase over the next few weeks as Minnesota receives larger vaccine shipments from the federal government. In addition, the state is preparing to launch new methods for delivering vaccines to Black, Brown, Indigenous, and immigrant Minnesotans and communities that have been disproportionately impacted, including mobile vaccination units that will hit the road in the coming weeks.
Please continue sharing your questions, ideas, and feedback and let me know if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-4200.