There are a lot of important issues facing us all, and below you will find how I view the issues I hear about the most from constituents. Most importantly, I want to hear what’s on your mind and bring it with me to St. Paul to improve our state and our community.
You can connect with me via cell at (612) 600-5778 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a professor at Century College, Education Minnesota member, and as a Mounds View Public Schools parent, I am no stranger to the challenges facing our education system in Minnesota. The pandemic has exacerbated preexisting inequities, including the widening of the opportunity gap. The state hasn’t funded education at a rate to keep up with inflation. I believe that we need to fully fund public education, special education, and post-secondary options to improve outcomes, reduce tuition rates, and create a more equitable education system. We also need to do a better job supporting our teachers and paraprofessional staff as they do the amazing work of educating our children. I’m in the process of crafting legislation to do just that and plan to introduce it this session.
I believe that health care is a human right. Everyone should have access to health care regardless of their circumstances. I support a woman’s right to make their own health care decisions. I also support the Minnesota Health plan to ensure every single Minnesotan has accessible and affordable health care. I have worked to support funding for the disability community as well as seniors who are subject to the awful practice of the “spend down.” The more we do to help people get their health care needs met upfront, the more money the state and our communities will save in the future.
Gun Violence Prevention
I support common-sense gun violence prevention measures such as universal background checks (legislation which I’ve authored) and red flag laws to put the safety of our kids and communities first. I was proud to be a Protect Minnesota Orange Star candidate and a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate in 2020. This session, I am authoring legislation to allow post-secondary institutions to restrict conceal and carry permits on their campuses.
Jobs, Labor, and Economic Development
I am a proud supporter and member of organized labor. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I coauthored successful bipartisan legislation to establish emergency grants for our small businesses. I oppose “right to work” laws and have fought against attempts to strip the powers of local municipalities to set their own labor standards. Currently, I am leading the charge to close a coverage gap for first responders who had workers compensation claims while the legislature wasn’t in session.
This session, I’m offering a package of bills to address the shortfalls we’re facing in mental health supports for young people. Specifically, creating a mental health urgency room for those in a mental health crisis, providing student loan relief for mental health professionals and covering the costs of supervised training in the final and expensive stage of licensure to remove barriers of entry to the profession, and moving towards full-service community schools with mental health professionals on site.
We are what we invest. With a budget surplus of historic proportions, it should be used to help the middle class and those who are struggling to get by. Every year I’ve been in the Legislature, I have been proud to offer a middle class tax cut.
Elections and Voting
Minnesota led the nation in voter turnout in 2020. And let’s be clear, this is no coincidence. It’s because we have the best election system in the country. Instead of trying to restrict voting access as some states have, we should be making it as easy as possible to allow every eligible voter to cast their ballot and participate in our democracy. This includes rejecting voter ID, just as Minnesota voters did in 2012, and enacting automatic voter registration and ranked choice voting. Politicians shouldn’t have the power to pick who their voters are to create gerrymandered districts. The Legislature has also consistently failed, decade after decade to draw the maps and every time, they eventually end up kicking the can to the courts. It’s why I’ve been a lead proponent for establishing a nonpartisan redistricting commission to oversee the redistricting process.
I was proud and honored to cosponsor marriage equality in 2013 and I have been a valiant defender of trans rights. I have also authored legislation to ban conversion therapy and establish a gubernatorial council on LGBTQIA+ Minnesotans.
Environment and Climate Change
The science of climate change is indisputable. We need to be doing everything in our power to reverse the course on the environmentally damaging practices and carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. In 2019, I was among the founding members of the Senate Clean Energy & Climate Caucus. In the 2020 session, I cosponsored the ban on the cancerous chemical TCE and this past session, I authored legislation to establish a state forest carbon sequestration goal and provide funding to plant 1 million trees to accomplish that goal. Currently, I’m pushing legislation to require the state to assess every action we take and every dollar we spend through a climate action lens. As a fisherman, I also understand the need for pristine waters which is why I have repeatedly called for a statewide water plan to secure clean and plentiful water for generations to come.
Infrastructure and Transportation
In the 2019 session my bill, Mitchell’s Law, inspired by a constituent, was signed into law to allow driver’s license applicants to list up to three emergency contacts on their driver’s licenses. I have also secured state dollars to fund projects within our district, including the Roseville Oval, the Rice Street bridge over I-694, installation and repair of railroad safety devices in Little Canada and Shoreview, and the Lexington Avenue and Highway 96 water mains in Arden Hills. This session, I am pushing for funding for a new firehouse for the Lake Johanna Fire Department and funding for pedestrian and bike trails at Mounds View High School.
Police and Criminal Justice Reform
Police brutality has disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, and people of color and our criminal justice and law enforcement systems need structural reforms to address these injustices. The police reform packages signed into law in 2020 and 2021 were important first steps, but shouldn’t be the last. Officers can’t be a one size fits all solution for every problem we encounter and they need to be prepared with appropriate training for the unique needs of each community. I also support banning no-knock warrants with the exception of extreme circumstances and the responsible legalization of adult-use cannabis with the goal of reducing racial disparities in our criminal justice system.