I am fighting for our low income individuals, veterans, working class, aging population, LGBTQI+, refugee, and immigrant families as I prioritize our education, well-being, environment, economy, and infrastructure.
Our state ranks nationally for a wonderful education system. But when you disaggregate the data, our children of color have a huge achievement gap, one of the worse in the country compared to their white peers. We should be proud that this is a great place to live and learn. But we also should fight hard to ensure all children can achieve their dreams and reach their highest potential, regardless of race, class or background.
As a State Representative, I have dedicate myself to work hardest for our children, who often don’t have a voice because they can’t vote, or because they are too hungry, too poor, or simply don’t have equal opportunities. I have fought for ELL funding, more teachers of color, better support system for our educators and staff. I look forward to continuing to work with all sectors to help improve our education system to ensure our children, who are our future, have a world class education.
Our most sacred trust and sense of self is the ability to sleep safe at night and know that our community does not face daily violence from any one particular faction of society. I have worked on legislation to protect our neighborhood, undocumented neighbors, LGBTQI+ youth and refugee immigrant families. We cannot be well in our hearts, our minds and bodies if we are stressed, bothered and threatened by the fact that our own community is not safe or welcoming. Wellness and safety goes beyond the individual, and it takes the whole village to make sure that all parties have a healthy dialogue in keeping watch on all our neighbors. This is why social justice is so important to me.
The East Side is lucky to have such great connection to nature. We have beautiful Mounds Park, Pig’s Eye Park and Battle Creek. We are right next door to and/or are a part of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary as well as the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary. Saint Paul is a city that is very much founded on--and is great because of--bodies of water. From the streams of Swede Hollow, which gave us breweries and immigrant havens to the cliffs of Dayton’s Bluff, we are the great capital city because of the waterways which cruise through our city as the blood in our veins.
We owe it to all our ancestors and our future generations to leave this beautiful land better than we found it. We have no choice, because global warming is real. And if we believe in self-preservation, we must do our best to cut back emissions, recycle more, and write stronger policies to breathe life back into our planet, which we have abused for over two hundred years since the Industrial Revolution.
I have been a champion fighting to clean up our polluted Pig's Eye Lake, more testing to clean Battle Creek, and ensuring everyone is included in the conversation. I am a proud found member of the new MN House Climate Action Caucus and co-author of several environmental legislation.
As we must be careful to preserve and improve nature around us, we also have the great responsibility to maintain and improve our human-made infrastructure such as roads, rails, transit, bridges, parks, wastewater plants, drinking water, schools and government buildings. In the 21st Century, we are not only competing with near by states, but with entire countries, such as Japan and China, on issues of commerce, quality of life and transportation. Globalism has made us more interdependent and more competitive for goods, services, and people.
To attract businesses and entrepreneurs we need a solid infrastructure. For example a quality transit and road system is needed to get employees and customers to their shops. (Of course this becomes an equity issue as well -- when those that need public transit the most have the least amount of access to it.) As your state representative, I will fight hard to ensure we maintain a world class infrastructure to be competitive on the world stage.
Our world is changing fast, and the economy is adapting at a speed in which lawmakers have to be creative about tracking trends, laws and policies to make us more competitive. Make no mistake, there must be a strong and real partnership between the public sector and the private sector for all of us to thrive. As the government stepped back from making rockets and sending people into space, great thinkers and entrepreneurs like Elon Musk with SpaceX stepped up to fill the void, and our next generation of people in space will be private citizens and they will be launched from rocket pads of private companies. There are unconventional businesses that have grown to change entire market shares such as Air BNB, Uber and Lyft, nudging away traditional services like cabs and hotels.
As the world changes and the economy adapts, we need brave policymakers who can adapt rules to the game so our businesses and constituents can have an edge in the world economy. I will work hard with all partners across many sectors and disciplines to think about future innovation in our business policies and how to cut red tape. We can only advance if we adapt. As your state representative, I work hard with local, regional and state nonprofits and especially workforce investment boards to ensure that all voices are heard and that we move forward together. Only in partnerships can we walk into a brighter economic future together. I have been proud to chief author several legislation to fund workforce programs for our youth and working class Eastsiders.