Earlier this week, I went out to Washington, D.C. to join state legislators from Texas and around the country to urge the Senate to protect the freedom to vote by passing the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The good news is that the advocacy of state leaders and voters from across the country has created momentum and urgency to pass voting rights legislation (stay tuned for a deeper dive in my email early next week). But it also meant I wasn’t in town on Tuesday to stop by and say hello at National Night Out this year. Thanks to those of you who sent me photos and stories from your neighborhood gathering -- it feels really nice to be able to be in community and visit outside in-person with neighbors again this year!
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe as we deal with a historic drought and poor air quality due to wildfires in Canada. I have asthma myself, so I know how tough the last few weeks have been for many folks with respiratory conditions and other health issues. Please remember to stay safe by staying inside as much as possible when the air quality is bad and checking in on your elderly and vulnerable neighbors. You can also help by avoiding activities that diminish our air quality further like backyard fires.
As we continue to face drought conditions, the City of Minneapolis has implemented even-odd watering, meaning that people who live on the even side of the street can water their lawns on calendar days that are even numbers and those who live on the odd side of the street can water on odd-numbered days. A daytime watering ban is in effect every day between noon and 6 p.m. The city is also asking residents to reduce water use at home. As a reminder, regular water restrictions - including a watering ban from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - are in effect in Richfield. Some water conservation tips are available here.
The severe weather and natural disasters we’ve experienced this summer underscore the real threats of climate change to our health, safety, and survival, and drives home the urgency of addressing the climate crisis. I’ll continue to join other leaders at the state, federal, and local level and advocates in our community to push to accelerate the transition to clean energy, prioritize environmental justice, and invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and communities.
The Delta variant is spreading rapidly across the U.S. and here in Minnesota. If you’re eligible to get vaccinated but haven’t done it yet, now is the time. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and effective, and everybody who gets one helps protect our communities and ensure kids can safely return to school this fall. As an added bonus, Minnesotans who get their first shot between July 30 and August 15 will receive $100. If you’re interested, you can find more information and claim your Visa gift card at mn.gov/covid19/100.
And please mask up. The CDC recommends wearing masks in schools and indoors in counties with substantial rates of virus transmission, regardless of your vaccination status. According to the agency’s guidelines, people should return to wearing masks in more than half of the counties in Minnesota, including Hennepin County and every county in the metro area. Minneapolis is encouraging all residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces, and masks are once again required in city and county facilities. Please do what you can to protect yourself and others at this critical moment.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, or if I can be of assistance. You can reach me via email at email@example.com or by phone at (651) 296-4200.