Saturday, March 16, 2019Neighbors,
Thanks for taking a minute off from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to check out a quick update from the Capitol from your state legislator.
I testified in the Legacy Committee on Wednesday about my legislation to provide funding to the Hmong Museum in St. Paul. The money would go towards Hmong heritage programs to provide classes, exhibits, presentations, and outreach about Hmong history and cultural heritage. As a member of the MN Asian Pacific Caucus and the son of Hmong veterans and refugees, I have been building support and awareness around our underrepresented and misunderstood community.
The Hmong Museum is the first and only Hmong museum in the nation. Its mission is to recognize and document the arts, history, personal and family histories, and current issues facing Hmong people in Minnesota.
This week I introduced and spoke on behalf of the “People’s Bill,” which is comprehensive cannabis legalization bill. Speakers, activists and health care professionals spoke on behalf of legalization to benefit public safety, public health, economic development, and social and criminal justice initiatives. Polling shows that Minnesotans are ready for full legalization. It’s the right thing to do.
We have seen a failed century of drug prohibition on a substance that is not shown to be more dangerous than any other product you buy off the counter at a grocery store, drug store or liquor store. We have seen a failed century of drug wars and policies that have not been equally enforced across this country, more heavy-handed in poorer, darker communities.
For a hundred years, we have watched as law enforcement and policymakers enforced certain laws regarding certain drugs in certain communities, while turning a blind eye to certain other drugs and lax enforcement of other communities. The time for this racialized oppressive system of enforcement to end is now. It is this year in the Minnesota House, in our great State of Minnesota.
I want to thank the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows for joining me on Thursday as I shared with my colleagues in the Economic Development Committee how this program impacts underserved communities. I’ve authored H.F. 650 to keep at-risk students in school and on a pathway to graduation so that they’re prepared to join the workforce.
AmeriCorps alumni have become the teachers, counselors, and educators that our communities desperately need. Thank you for joining me, and for helping me advocate for this critical program.
Equity in Workforce Development
I want to thank my colleague Hodan Hassan for leading on H.F. 985, a bill which would appropriate money to the east African community economic development pilot grant program. The grant would go to Youthprise, which would give grants through a competitive process to community organizations to provide economic development services designed to enhance long-term economic self-sufficiency in communities with concentrated east African populations, such as the Twin Cities, Faribault, Rochester, St. Cloud, Moorhead, and Willmar. I’m a proud co-author of the bill.
Don’t forget to sign up for a 1:1 with me! I’d love to hear from you and catch up on what I’ve been doing at the legislature. Please RSVP via: https://goo.gl/forms/rHHEQ0bP60VbrUgX2
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4201, and feel free to stop by my office if you’re ever near the Capitol. Have a great rest of your weekend.