As the end of the year approaches, legislators are busy preparing for the 2022 legislative session. My colleagues and I are connecting with Minnesotans as we draft bills and start to discuss funding that meets the needs of our communities. If you have thoughts or input to share, I’d invite you to join me along with Sen. Torres Ray and Rep. Davnie tomorrow at a virtual town hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. via Facebook Live. We want to hear from you! To get to as many questions as we can, we are collecting them in advance - so please reply to this email with your question.
Standing Up for Amazon Warehouse Workers
If you see a package from Amazon this holiday season, I hope you’ll take a minute to think about the people who prepared it. At Amazon warehouses across the state, Minnesotans are forced to work at a frantic pace under constant surveillance. Workers who can’t meet lofty quotas - which Amazon changes frequently and often doesn’t disclose - are disciplined. They’re frequently fired and replaced by new employees. This creates a culture of fear and takes an enormous toll on workers.
Last week, the National Employment Law Program (NELP) released a report they prepared with assistance from the Awood Center. According to the report, which I encourage you to read:
This is unacceptable. When legislators return to the Capitol, we’re going to take a closer look at the human cost of Amazon’s practices. The Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing so current and former Amazon employees can share their experiences and concerns. Based on their testimony and stories they’ve told already, I will introduce legislation to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of Minnesota’s warehouse workers. Please stay tuned or read my statement for more details.
I joined several Amazon warehouse workers and advocates at a press conference yesterday. You can watch it here.
Advocating for Our Priorities
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) recently released an economic forecast that projects a positive balance of $7.7 billion. This is good news for Minnesota because it indicates our economy is recovering. However, many people in Minnesota are still struggling and unable to truly thrive. The new forecast tells us our state has the resources to invest in things that will improve Minnesotans’ lives, including a world-class education for every student, safe; family-sustaining jobs; affordable, high-quality child care, health care, and housing; and initiatives to ensure our communities and small businesses can continue to recover from impacts of the pandemic.
As we come back into session next year, we will continue listening to the voices of Minnesotans to ensure we're investing in meeting the needs of everyone in our community. I look forward to advocating for these critical investments when legislators return to the Capitol next month.
Making Progress on Redistricting
The House Redistricting Committee, which I’m a member of, voted our legislative and congressional maps out of committee last week! We worked hard to make sure the maps drawn by the House reflect the diversity of our state and the input we received from Minnesotans, as well as population changes that have occurred over the last 10 years. I believe we put forth a good proposal, and I will continue advocating for fairness and transparency as the redistricting process continues. You can view the congressional map the House committee approved here and our proposed legislative map here.
Connecting with Minnesotans
In addition to working on the issues above, I’ve spent time connecting with people in our community and across the state.
Last Wednesday, I toured the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49 training facility in Hinckley. It was great to learn more about how the 49ers are training people for good-paying, family-sustaining jobs - and to check out some of the equipment!
I also attended the City of Richfield’s annual legislative breakfast last week. I appreciated the opportunity to touch base with local leaders and to discuss issues that impact Richfield residents.
I hope to see you tomorrow at the town hall! If you’re unable to join us, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (651) 296-4200. I’m always happy to hear from constituents!