Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Many of you may have heard that the state ordered the Water Gremlin manufacturing plant in White Bear Township to temporarily shut down because of it's reckless disregard for the health of its employees and the lead poisoning they caused families. Here is the Department of Health press release.
The Department of Health and the Department of Labor and Industry asked a Ramsey County District Court judge to require Water Gremlin to halt all lead production operations unless and until it can demonstrate it has implemented measures to prevent the lead poisoning of workers and their children by preventing lead dust from being transmitted off site by its employees to their vehicles and homes
MDH and St. Paul - Ramsey County Public Health are working with employees and their families to ensure all at-risk workers and family members are tested, and that contaminated houses and vehicles are cleaned.
They are also providing employees with information on what is happening with the plant, where to get help with employment as needed, and where to get more information about lead and health impacts.
There are resources available for employees at:
Vadnais Heights Sports Center
1490 County Rd E
Vadnais Heights, MN 55110
There will be people on site ready to help at any time. If you can't make it to Vadnais Heights, I will gladly help you reach out to the Department of Health or Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.
Rep. Jay Xiong
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Good morning from St. Paul, our city that is finally getting the national recognition it deserves.
Quick correction before I get to the rest of the update, last week's email referenced the town Northern Metals is moving to. It is going to Becker, not Baxter, Minnesota.
Indigenous Peoples' DayThank you to the American Indian Magnet School for hosting Monday's Indigenous Peoples' Day parade to celebrate and honor the Native communities as the first inhabitants of the Americas and to urge Minnesotans to re-think history.
On Monday, my colleagues and I sent a letter to the Historical Society in support of changing the name of Fort Snelling to include the place name - Bdote. It is important that as a state, we acknowledge and embrace the historic significance at the site we call Fort Snelling, located on sacred lands of those who lived there long before settlers arrived and before this land was renamed Minnesota by its colonizers. By including “Bdote” in the name of the site, the state’s historical society rightfully recognizes the significance of the multiple histories at that place that is inclusive of more Minnesotans.
Climate Caucus MeetingAs a proud member of the new Climate Action Caucus, I want to invite you to a public meeting focused on climate and transportation. This will be an opportunity to hear from transportation experts on climate and start a much-needed discussion on future policy.
I also want to extend an invitation to join me for the BlueGreen Alliance's Solidarity for Climate Action event on October 22.
Ever-Green EnergyThis week, I toured 67B's Ever-Green Energy with some of the Climate Action Caucus members to learn about how they turn wood waste into energy. They use Emerald Ash Borer (an invasive species) related wood waste from the metro area to use as fuel to generate steam for heating, cooling, and energy. Sitting on the Pig's Eye dump site, the plant is a promising example of environmental stewardship (and I was assured they are within environmental regulations concerning the Pig's Eye site).
HBCU Event This week, I had the chance to join Eastsider JoAnn Clark, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, and SPPS Superintendent Joe Gothard to send off 200 students and parents for the 15th annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Tour. As a former student of the Saint Paul Public Schools, I know we don't always have all the resources we need or want, but we were always encouraged by the passion of our staff and teachers, who organized another awesome annual event to support our next generation of leaders.
I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Vikes or Lions tomorrow? Send me your predictions!
Rep. Jay Xiong
Friday, October 11, 2019
I think it's clear the big news in politics yesterday was the St. Paul Be Heard on Cannabis conversation.
For those of you who went, thank you for sharing your perspective, ideas, and thoughts. Your feedback is critical in helping us draft cannabis legislation that will improve the lives of Minnesotans.
Minnesota’s current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good. By creating a regulatory framework, we can address the harms caused by cannabis and establish a more sensible set of laws to improve our health care & criminal justice systems.
These conversations are all about learning from experts, addressing local concerns, studying the experiences of other states, and, most importantly, hearing the views of Minnesotans directly about what their goals and concerns are. I hope you'll continue to reach out to me to share your thoughts on legalizing cannabis for adult use.
Northern MetalsI've been hearing quite a few questions and concerns about Northern Metals, the company which polluted and damaged the health and wellbeing of countless residents in Minneapolis. Though they recently shut down and are moving to Baxter, I wanted to address questions that materials from the new site would be dumped in St. Paul. I have worked with the St. Paul Port Authority and the MPCA and have been assured that Northern Metals is not shredding metal in Saint Paul. The Saint Paul Sites are used to sort and transfer metals to other sites or companies for processing and have been doing so at these locations since the 1990’s.
I'll continue to work on this to ensure the East Side doesn't face consequences from corporate greed and disregard for community health.
Mini SessionFinally, I wanted to give a quick update on our mini-session.
We're not officially back in session until February, but we wanted to use our time off to bring the work we do at the Capitol to people who don't normally have the chance to come to St. Paul to advocate for their priorities or their community. In an effort to make the legislature more accessible and responsive to Minnesotans, we headed to Rochester, Winona and surrounding communities to hold hearings, learn about local projects, and host round table conversations.
Mayo Clinic experts offered valuable insights into the state of health care, local educators helped us understand challenges and opportunities in both K-12 and Higher Education, and tours of infrastructure projects will help us address our state's most critical infrastructure needs.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
Rep. Jay Xiong