Release: Minnesota Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus discusses legislative response to the murder of George Floyd
Tuesday, June 02, 2020St. Paul, Minnesota — Today, the Minnesota Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus discussed legislative responses to the murder of George Floyd. The POCI Caucus intends to make police and criminal justice reform a top priority of the likely June special session and into the future.
“George Floyd’s death was due to a horrifying lack of humanity, and Minnesotans are far too familiar with the pain and trauma resulting from violence at the hands of law enforcement. This simply cannot be how policing works in our state,” said Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL – Saint Paul), chair of the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division. “I’m grateful to partner with a strong group of legislators – with my colleagues of color and those from Indigenous communities leading the way – who are committed to equity, justice, and accountability so Black Minnesotans can live with the inherent dignity every human being deserves.”
“For too long, people in my community have been told they will have to wait for the systemic changes necessary to ensure people of color can don’t have to live in fear of law enforcement,” said Rep. Rena Moran (DFL – Saint Paul), chair of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus. “They are tired of waiting for reform, tired of waiting for accountability, and tired of waiting for justice. George Floyd should be alive, and it’s time for all hands to come on deck and fundamentally change how police interact with Black men and boys.”
"The struggle for justice is not about black versus white, minority versus majority, or liberal versus conservative,” said Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL - Minneapolis). “It is about right versus wrong and we all should be on the right side of this."
“For too long we have failed or ignored those who are suffering and have asked for our action,” said Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL - Minneapolis). “Institutional racism and injustice exist throughout our society, our economy and our laws, from our criminal justice system to our educational system to our housing to our public health. Now is the time to act.”
“While George Floyd’s killing was at the hands of four police individual police officers, structural racism and implicit bias have prevailed for generations, causing a great deal of trauma in our communities of color,” said Rep. Fue Lee (DFL – Minneapolis). “These proposals are the first step in addressing this trauma, and we will work together to make systemic changes so this violence stops happening in our communities.”
“For too long the voices and experiences of the Black community have been ignored,” said Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL - Mendota Heights). “Those closest to the pain must have their voices uplifted, their experiences amplified, and must be leading the change that our voices have been crying out for centuries.”
Legislation under consideration includes the following:
Reform the investigation and prosecution of officer-involved deaths and wrongful actions
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Mary Kunesh-Podein (41B), Fue Lee (59A), Alice Mann (56B), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), Samantha Vang (40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Sens. Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Jeff Hayden (62), Bobby Joe Champion (59), and Patricia Torres Ray (63).
Legislative Update- July 14, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Today, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a $100 million housing assistance program, the amount the House fought in the legislature, to help prevent evictions, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. The pandemic has hit families across the state hard. We hope this program will bring some relief to Minnesotans across the state who are struggling to afford their bills because of the pandemic. Applications are due by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. If you or anyone you know may need assistance, please apply here.
Additional funds may become available and may be awarded through either this application process or subsequent rounds.
Special Session 2.0The legislature gaveled in yesterday for our second special session of the year. The House DFL remains committed to completing unfinished business from the regular session — including responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and safeguarding the health and well-being of Minnesotans, enacting meaningful legislation on racial justice and police accountability, passing a robust jobs & local projects or “bonding” bill that benefits our entire state, and rebuilding our Twin Cities communities that suffered property damage during civil unrest by passing the PROMISE Act.
Senate Republicans had no problems walking away from the work last month during our first special session. Unsurprisingly, they have adjourned temporarily until next Monday, but the House is meeting tonight, and we plan to continue our work around the clock until the Senate is ready to join us.
House Resolution Declaring Racism a Public Health CrisisA House committee today advanced a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, with a final vote on the House floor likely to occur Monday, July 20. The resolution states that racism is embedded in the foundation of America, beginning with chattel slavery in 1619, and that much of the Black experience in America has been endured under slavery and Jim Crow, which created preferential opportunities for white people while subjecting people of color to hardships and disadvantages in every area of life. Click here to download a copy.
Last UpdateThis is my last update until after the election. Whether running or not, legislators cannot use state resources for unsolicited communications during an election period because it might create an unfair advantage. I’m still available to meet via telephone, help with state-level problems, and discuss issues important to our community. Feel free to give my office a call at 651-296-4201 or email me anytime at email@example.com.