It’s not every week you form a new caucus and pass the session’s first bill. Though I rarely have a minute to spare, I want to catch you up on what’s been happening this week.
Some of the worst disparities in the country between black and white citizens for unemployment, income, incarceration and home ownership are in Minnesota. I’m excited to tell you about the first bill this session that passed through a floor vote, which would help address home ownership disparities.
This bill, which I am a co-author of, would address some of the racist housing history in Minnesota. If the bill passes, it will allow homeowners to denounce restrictive home title rules that have been used to exclude minority communities. The bill would allow homeowners to attach a formal document to their home title repudiating the racist language, but it would not remove the language from the title in order to allow for future research on the impacts of racist housing policies.
You can see the Star Tribune’s coverage of the topic here.
Rep. Noor at the United Black Legislative Caucus Press Conference
This is just one of the reasons why we created a new United Black Legislative Caucus. We held a press conference today to announce that we will work together to address Minnesota’s achievement gaps and use our collective voices to lift up the issues of Minnesota’s black communities. I will work with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to set an example for the next generation of leaders. It is significant that during Black History Month, which honors the contributions black Americans have made to our state and our country, a historic number of black state legislators are joining together to make the changes our state needs to improve the lives of black Minnesotans.
You can see the Pioneer Press coverage of our press conference here, and MPR’s coverage here.
I wanted to let you know that on Friday at 11a.m. I will be live on Facebook talking about what Black History Month means to me, and how we can continue to honor the contributions that black Americans have made to our communities and our country. As we celebrate Black History Month, we look to the extraordinary story of African Americans in our state. The contributions of black Minnesotans are deeply woven into our history, and their achievements are ever present as we face a world of transformative change.
Cash Bail Legislation
On Monday I introduced a bill to reduce the use of bail for certain misdemeanor offenses. These fines and financial conditions, like bail, allow wealthy Minnesotans benefits while forcing others to sit in jail while awaiting trial. Poverty isn't a crime - and people shouldn't be punished if they can't afford unnecessary, insurmountable court costs and I’m hopeful that this will be passed into law.
Paul Bunyon’s Axe – the trophy won by the Minnesota Gophers when they beat the Wisconsin Badgers football team in the fall – made a stop at the State Office Building. We’re hoping it’s here for many more years, and that we complete the Wisconsin Sweep in basketball tonight! Always proud to have the Gophers in our district.
It’s hard to believe we’re nearly one month into the legislative session. Please continue to send questions and comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-4257. You can also follow my official Facebook page here or @RepMohamudNoor.