This week in the House Capital Investment Committee, we heard testimony on equity-focused projects that would help Black, Indigenous, and communities of color throughout the Twin Cities - communities that have been historically left behind when it comes to state investment.
This was the latest in our efforts to make Capital Investment more inclusive, with previous efforts leading to $30 million in equity investments in 2020, and $24 million for underserved or economically disadvantaged communities last year.
For my part, I was proud to work with Appetite for Change (AFC) to present their legislation. Appetite For Change is a community-led nonprofit that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis and beyond. The bill I’m working on with them would create an AFC Campus in our community, providing a wealth of services, gathering spaces, community revitalization and food retail options. Additionally, the campus would create an estimated 50 jobs initially, and another estimated 30 jobs annually through expanded social enterprises, and expanded training and employment opportunities.
You can watch yesterday’s hearing here.
Addressing Staffing Shortages in Long-Term Care
Yesterday, we passed a bill off the House floor allowing the Minnesota Department of Human Services to establish a temporary staffing pool for long-term care facilities and other facilities and programs experiencing an emergency staffing crisis. The bill also allows DHS and the Minnesota Department of Health to reinstate a series of waivers to provide flexibility and remove barriers toward delivering services.
You can read more about this legislation here.
COVID-19 Testing Still Available
COVID cases continue to steadily decrease, bringing us down from the highly dangerous numbers we started the year with, and in response restrictions such as mask mandates have been lifted throughout the state. As we return to a great sense of normalcy, it’s important that we continue to utilize the resources and best practices that will continue to drive cases and hospitalizations down. Best among those is getting vaccinated, if you haven’t done so yet (or gotten your booster) you can find more information here.
For our community, the closest testing site is the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, which accepts walk-ins. They do saliva testing during the following hours:
Tuesdays: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Wednesdays: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursdays: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
For more information, you can contact their hotline: 612-254-1145
Our community has done an outstanding job of looking out for one another during the darkest days of this pandemic. I know we can meet this moment and continue to drive down cases to help make sure those dark days are behind us. If you have any questions about the resources available to our community, or my work in the Minnesota House, please feel free to reach out.