In Minnesota, we’re blessed with abundant natural resources including lakes, rivers, forests and more. Tragically, these resources are in jeopardy. We’re facing an urgency to take action before the effects of the climate crisis become irreversible. Minnesotans are motivated and pushing for our state to be a leader in the fight against climate change. We’ve especially seen this from Minnesota’s young people who descended upon the Capitol for the Youth Climate Strike.
Alongside this historic event, last month my colleagues and I launched the Climate Action Caucus in the Minnesota House. The caucus will create an ambitious agenda – the Minnesota Climate Action Plan – based on input from Minnesotans. The plan will draw on the unique advantages of our state – hard-working people; innovative businesses; world-class colleges and universities; and vast natural resources – to find solutions and establish Minnesota as a national leader in the fight against climate change. If this pressing issue isn’t addressed, the next generation of Minnesotans and those that follow will be the ones left to deal with the consequences: devastated ecosystems, more frequent catastrophic weather events, poorer public health, and other drastic changes. Action cannot be delayed.
Yesterday, our caucus held its first community conversation, and we focused the discussion on transportation. It was beneficial to hear about efforts currently being undertaken by MnDOT, the Met Council, and other organizations to improve energy efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions.
Minnesota Values Project Survey
The Minnesota House DFL launched the Minnesota Values Project (MVP) in 2017. MVP serves as a partnership between Minnesotans, elected officials and organizations to create a shared vision for the future of our state. Working together, we can strengthen our communities by improving education opportunities, making affordable health care a reality, and increasing economic prosperity for all Minnesotans.
Through MVP, we have facilitated hundreds of meaningful conversations with Minnesotans all across the state about their priorities. Looking ahead to the 2020 legislative session, we’re looking to hear more perspectives and feedback from Minnesotans. As part of this effort, you’re invited to take the new Minnesota Values Project survey. The survey only takes a few minutes, and as we build a shared vision for our state, your input is crucial in this process.
Cannabis Community Conversation
At the Minnesota State Fair, Rep. Ryan Winkler, House Majority Leader, launched a statewide effort to gather input from Minnesotans on the topic of cannabis legalization. Clearly, this is an issue which Minnesotans feel strongly about, but attitudes are changing rapidly. It’s time for Minnesotans to have an honest conversation about this topic.
On Monday, November 18, Rep. Winkler is bringing his “Be Heard on Cannabis” effort to Eden Prairie for a community conversation. The event will be held at the Eden Prairie Community Center at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to everyone in the community and all perspectives are welcome. I hope you can join us.
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 PM
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room
Who: Hosted by Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, Assistant Senate Minority Leader Jeff Hayden, Rep. Laurie Pryor, Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, Rep. Brad Tabke, Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, with Special Guests Doug Friednash, Former Colorado Legislator and Former Chief of Staff to Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Stanley Garnett, Former District Attorney for Boulder County
Gun Violence Prevention
I share the frustration with many in the community that due to the influence of the NRA and their allies, the status quo has prevailed over efforts to reduce gun violence. This past legislative session, the Minnesota House approved two key measures: criminal background checks prior to gun sales and “red flag” laws. Each of these would help ensure guns remain out of the hands of dangerous people or others who shouldn’t have access. Unfortunately, these met resistance in the Republican-led Minnesota Senate despite broad public support, even among gun owners.
This week, the Star Tribune issued results from a Minnesota Poll showing that support remains strong for reforms like these. We’re not giving up the fight to ensure our communities can remain safe from senseless gun violence and I remain committed to solving this problem. I know many people are passionate about this issue, and I encourage you to remain steadfast in your advocacy as we work to enact stronger gun violence prevention laws
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.