Sunday, February 23, 2020
I hope that after reading this you're planning to get out an enjoy the nice(er) weather!
The Climate Action Caucus that I'm a member of is doing its part to ensure we protect the outdoors so generations that come after us can have clean air and water and enjoy our state's natural beauty. This week we announced one-time investments that will enable every Minnesotan to participate directly in addressing the climate crisis. The plan addresses energy efficiency, solar energy, transportation, local government projects, and environment projects. Public schools, homeowners, local governments, and nursing homes will all benefit, and our environment will benefit.
Every little thing we do counts. Local jurisdictions like St. Louis Park have seen success lowering plastic straw use by having businesses provide them only upon request - I'm a proud co-author on a bill that would bring that measure statewide. My hope is that Minnesotans will begin thinking about how their actions and consumption will permanently impact our environment.
Consumer ProtectionI am proud to chief author a consumer protection bill that will defend against debt collectors who exploit the fear of people who are most vulnerable. This bill will create protections against debt collection that targets hard working Minnesotans, the elderly, limited English proficiency populations and newer Americans who are not used to our systems and don't fully know their rights. The bill would protect against unjust and aggressive shakedowns of those who have the least and need help the most by requiring debt collectors to more fairly communicate with people so they know their rights and are prepared to communicate directly on settling their financial matters.
This week, I also worked on legislation with my colleagues to:
If you watch for the Census in the mail and fill it out and return it when you receive it, then you do not need to answer the door to a stranger. By law, information they collect cannot be shared with anyone, including landlords, social workers, law enforcement, or employers.
The U.S. Census Bureau still needs to fill temporary positions to conduct the census. These jobs provide flexible hours and competitive wages; in Ramsey and Washington County, census takers can earn $22 per hour. More information about working for the Census is available here.
Have a great second half to your weekend and if you have any comments or questions don't hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4201.
Rep. Jay Xiong
Sunday, February 16, 2020
The 2020 legislative session started, so I wanted to give a brief update on the issues I've been focused on for our community, including environmental sustainability, jobs, education, immigration, and election access. I will also continue our work to pass some bills you may remember from last year: common sense gun violence prevention, emergency access to insulin, and Logan's Law to allow same-sex couples to become the rightful parents of their child.
Environmental JusticeThe Minnesota Department of Health recently released a new map of lead exposure in Minnesota, showing neighborhoods throughout the state that have a higher risk of lead exposure, and the East Side is one area that has elevated lead levels. This is unacceptable, and it's indicative of our need to elevate and prioritize the health of communities that have been disproportionately impacted by corporate pollution and climate change.
I also introduced legislation this week to address PFAS - industrial chemicals that can have long-term health consequences. This has been a concern for our community since foam containing PFAS was found in Battle Creek. And I know many of you who worked hard on this issue. If passed, my legislation would provide funding to test the deer population, and develop protocols for alerting the public when PFAS are detected. We need to start holding polluters of our environment accountable.
InfrastructureThe 10,000 commuters who cross the Kellogg Bridge every day rely on it to live their lives. It connects the Eastside with the rest of the St. Paul community. Our state received a “C” grade on our last Infrastructure Report Card, and this bridge is the perfect example of investments our state needs to make in our roads, bridges, and sidewalks to keep our communities safe. As I did last year, I’m going to continue to fight for strong infrastructure funding, including in the Kellogg Bridge.
Youth JobsI am also introducing legislation that would provide workforce development funding for the St. Paul Boys and Girls Club to replace funding that was cut during the 2019 legislative session. We need to ensure our youth are ready for the real world and have the skills to thrive especially in our city where many do not have access to resources and opportunities. These small steps make all the difference.
Addressing Education Disparities During the interim, I have been visiting schools in our district to hear from teachers, students, parents and administrators about the education challenges and opportunities we face, and I look forward to tackling the issues this session. We must to continue to address disparities in education for our children. Last Monday, my colleagues Rep. Rena Moran and Rep. Ruth Richardson held a community listening session on addressing educational disparities. This Monday, our DFL caucus introduced legislation to fund pre-K. But more work needs to be done. I look forward to hearing from many of you this session on addressing educational outcomes for our students.
Immigration Rights No one is illegal. This week, I introduced legislation, similar to ordinance in NYC, that would protect our undocumented brothers and sisters from discriminating practices. We cannot tolerate language of hate, and we must not allow those in power to use the power of language to denigrate and dehumanize a community. As a policymaker, it is my duty to defend the dignity of all people who live in our state.
Immigration is what gives us strength and that is what has brought our great values together to make us the America we know today. And I will not stand by and let people further humiliate people who are undocumented. They deserve to be here just as you and I do, just as your ancestors and my ancestors made the trek here. The reasons for immigration have always been the same: fleeing war, economic turmoil, famine, religious persecution, cultural and ethnic genocide, political persecution, gang warfare and internal political violence and strife.
We need to accept that when we facilitate trade and war, we also facilitate the movement of peoples. No One is Illegal. Everyone is here to make their best life and improve their chances for attaining the American dream. We are strong because we are a melting pot of ideals, culture and people.
ElectionsI am also continuing to work on several bills that will increase language access for voters to:
We want to hear from you!Take our quick survey and share your feedback about Saint Paul’s snow emergency communications. Survey will be open until Monday, February 17 here.
As always, let me know if you have comments or questions about the upcoming session, or if there's something you want me to work on! Reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-4201.
Rep. Jay Xiong
Friday, February 07, 2020MAP Caucus Response to Trump Threat to Deport Refugees
St. Paul, Minn. – Minnesota's Asian Pacific Caucus released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration negotiating with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on an agreement to allow the deportation of long-time Hmong and Lao residents of the U.S. back to their country of birth. Over 4,500 Lao and Hmong Americans have an order of removal.
“Our caucus includes immigrants and refugees – we consider any deportation of Southeast Asians to be a personal betrayal of our values and our duty as Americans. The Trump Administration has opened the door to breaking apart our communities by threatening to send refugees back to a place they have never called home. We welcome any Minnesotan who has concerns and questions to reach out to our offices – we stand with you and we are here to help stop these immoral deportations.”
The Southeast Asian community has been in Minnesota for more than 40 years. Many have built their livelihoods here and call Minnesota their home. Many have been raised in Minnesota and never spoke the language Lao. Southeast Asian Americans are the largest refugee population ever resettled in the United States. Many are in the United States because they allied with the US during the Vietnam War or because of US involvement in Laos and Cambodia.
“We are aware that there are a lot of fears and a lot of questions to be answered,” added MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang. “Our office is working rigorously with our congressional offices and looking at ways we can legislatively support our communities from being forcibly deported.”
The MAP Caucus members can be reached at:
MAP Caucus Chair Samantha Vang (DFL - Brooklyn Park)
Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-3709
MAP Caucus Vice Chair Kaohly Her (DFL- St. Paul)
Rep.email@example.com or 651-296-8799
Assistant Majority Leader Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis)
Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4262
Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL - Maplewood)
Rep.email@example.com or 651-296-7807
Rep. Jay Xiong (DFL- St. Paul)
Rep.firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4201
Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL - St. Paul)
email@example.com or 651-296-5285