I hope you’ve had a wonderful fall so far, and that if you’re a student or a parent, the school year is off to a great start.
Our work at the Capitol continues. With reproductive rights under attack across the country, my colleagues and I announced a new Reproductive Freedom Caucus last month to promote and protect the reproductive rights of all Minnesotans. I am a proud founding member of this caucus and look forward to continuing this important and necessary work. You can watch the press conference announcing this new caucus here.
Special Session Update
It remains to be seen if we will be called back for a special session this fall. A key driver is continued disagreements on how the $250 million additional aid will be allocated to frontline workers who have been sacrificing their health and safety since the onset of the COVID-19. Senate Republicans would prefer to limit the scope of recipients to health care workers and first responders only, leaving out thousands of others who kept us all going throughout the toughest parts of the pandemic, like the grocery store workers for example.
Governor Walz has also requested that Senate Republicans attest they will not use the special session as an opportunity to play politics and fire Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. He has not received that confirmation from Senate leaders. Commissioner Malcom has been a steady and reliable leader since the onset of the pandemic and her work is critical to our state recovery from COVID-19. I’ll keep you posted on any special session developments.
Rebuilding Lake Street Efforts
Last week, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the partners for the first round of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. This new $80 million statewide economic redevelopment program we passed in the legislature, distributed through two rounds of applications, will award grants to partner organizations to establish programs within specific communities that will, in turn, fund economic development and redevelopment projects. The first round of grants will award up to $39,850,000 to organizations across Minnesota. I’m pleased to share the Minneapolis Foundation is a recipient and will be awarded $20,800,000.
The Minneapolis Foundation is a community foundation supporting efforts to address the greatest civic, social and economic needs of Minneapolis and surrounding communities through grantmaking, research, advocacy and donor services. Their project will include partnering with Propel Nonprofits and LISC Twin Cities to provide grants and loans to businesses impacted by the social unrest of Summer 2020 including the Lake Street corridor, the 38th street corridor and West Broadway in North Minneapolis.
Minnesota Values Project
As we look back on the past 18 months, we can see how the pandemic has exacerbated disparities among our families and workers. My colleagues and I are seeking input from Minnesotans on how we can build on the values that unite us to take action so everyone has the opportunity to thrive. It’s important for our South Minneapolis community’s voices to be heard. Please take a moment to fill out this short, 4-question survey to contribute to the Minnesota Values Project. Thank you for your participation!
You are also encouraged to participate in our local democracy by voting in the Minneapolis citywide elections this November. Now more than ever, we need strong leadership in our city and it’s critical we have our voices at the table. You can make sure you’re registered to vote here and can find your polling location here.
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Town Hall
On Wednesday, October 20th, you’re invited to join local legislators and Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness for a virtual town hall meeting for residents of Minneapolis.
I’ll be presenting with my colleagues our work at the Capitol to pass a Prove It First law and answer questions from the audience. This is a great opportunity to connect personally with elected officials and learn more about the fight for clean water!
Virtual Clean Water Town Hall: Minneapolis Wednesday, October 20 7-8pm
Liquor Bills This Month
Next Wednesday, October 27, the House Commerce Committee is holding an informational hearing on approximately 20 bills related to liquor sales, taxes, licensing, and distribution. I’ll be presenting my bill to the committee allowing producers to provide liquor to nonprofit organizations for tasting events. You can watch the committee live next week here.
Keep in Touch
Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime with questions or if you need assistance. You can reach me at 651-296-0173 or at email@example.com.
It’s an honor to represent our South Minneapolis neighbors at the Capitol.