We’re over two months into the legislative session, and already we’re approaching the point where important legislation is being finalized in each chamber ahead of upcoming negotiations. For my role as Chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, that means packed committee schedules of back-to-back bill presentations, and then my fellow committee members will begin the process of crafting what will be included in our House proposal.
One bill I had before the committee would fund a new Avenues For Youth facility in North Minneapolis. Avenues for Youth serves youth experiencing homelessness aged 16-24, most of whom are BIPOC and disproportionately identify as LGBTQI+. Their programs include shelter, transitional housing, host homes, rapid rehousing, and a new collective housing program. On average these programs serve more than 300 youth per year with 70% moving into stable housing.
You can watch that committee meeting here.
Fighting for Environmental Justice
This morning, in the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee, I presented my bill to take on air pollution and fight for environmental justice. Every Minnesotan deserves to breathe clean air, but it’s our BIPOC communities that are disproportionately left to deal with the cumulative impacts of industry and pollution. That needs to change.
You can hear my testimony and that of others in favor of this legislation below:
Main Street Redevelopment Grants
Since the unrest that devastated neighborhoods after the murder of George Floyd, we’ve been fighting for resources to help impacted communities rebuild. It’s been an uphill battle, but slowly and surely we’ve been able to secure tools to help impacted neighborhoods in Minneapolis pick up the pieces - the latest of which being the Main Street Redevelopment Grant.
The Minneapolis Foundation, in partnership with LISC Twin Cities and Propel Nonprofits, announced yesterday the launch of a new grant opportunity to support small business recovery and rebuilding in the business corridors of Lake St., 38th St. and Chicago Ave. in South Minneapolis, and West Broadway Ave. in North Minneapolis.
The Foundation is now accepting pre-applications for Main Street grants. Prospective applicants can review detailed grant guidelines and eligibility information here.
Support for Minnesota’s Workers
This week, we passed several pro-worker bills on the House floor, including two bills I co-authored to implement Earned Sick & Safe Time for Minnesota workers and make our warehouses safer places to work. We also passed a bill ratifying the 2020-21 public employee labor contracts and thank our state workers who have done so much for us.
For Earned Sick & Safe Time, the legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year and can be used to attend to physical and mental health needs – including illness, injury, or a doctor’s appointment – for workers and their family members. Thousands of Minnesota workers, including two-thirds of workers in the lowest wage positions, lack access to paid time off.
Our warehouse legislation would protect and empower Minnesota’s warehouse workers and to address practices leading to high injury rates at Amazon facilities. No one should be at risk for injury in the workplace. This measure holds large corporations accountable and impels them to create and maintain a safe environment for every worker.
If you have any questions about these bills, or anything else that we’re working on, please feel free to reach out at 651-296-4262 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!