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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Last Week’s Housing Town Hall

Thank you to all our neighbors for taking the time out of their evening to attend the Senate District 59 Housing Town Hall Meeting on August 17. It was great to see such a wonderful turn out from our community.

Join me at the State Fair!

Every year, State Fair visitors are invited to weigh in on political topics and meet with legislators at the House of Representatives’ booth in the Education Building. If you have plans to be at the fair tomorrow Friday, August 25th, you can find me staffing the booth from 10 a.m. – Noon.

You can even record your visit on social media with a photo standing behind a replica of the House speaker’s desk and the Abraham Lincoln portrait.

The annual House opinion poll which draws the attention of around 10,000 participants and will, once again, be available. Fairgoers can let their opinions be known on a number of issues, including penalties for protesters on a freeway, recreational marijuana use, carrying a firearm without a permit, a gas-tax increase and sports gambling.

Poll results should be available on the House website Sept. 5, the day after the fair closes.

The House of Representatives exhibit is located in the Education Building on Cosgrove Street, just north of Dan Patch Avenue and the Snelling Avenue fair entrance.

MPCA Seeks Public Input on Where to Locate New Air Quality Sensors

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency received a grant of $700,000 for “Using new technology to understand urban air quality,” an air pollution project in St. Paul and Minneapolis. With these funds, they are installing 50 state-of-the-art air monitors in key areas to drill down on the levels and types of air pollutants.
The two-year project will operate a network of sensors to monitor fine particles, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide in each of the 38 ZIP codes in the two cities.

The MPCA and the two cities have scheduled a series of open houses to talk about the project and seek the public’s input on where to locate the sensors. The open houses are:

  • Aug. 31, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Merriam Park Public Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
  • Sept. 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Powderhorn Park Rec Center, 3500 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis
  • Sept. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Audubon Park Rec Center, 1320 29 Ave. NE, Minneapolis
  • Sept. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Farview Park Rec Center, 621 29th Ave. N., Minneapolis

The MPCA plans to begin placing the sensors in January 2018. For more information, visit the project website.

Your Opportunity to Serve as a DEED Grant Reviewer

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is seeking individuals to participate as volunteers in its grant-review process for workforce and economic development competitive grant programs (listed below). Reviewers evaluate proposals and make funding recommendations for non-profit organizations to address economic disparities in Minnesota. The anticipated time commitment is 25 total hours over a 4 week period.

Last year, 86 reviewers recommended $8.39 million in equity grants to 87 non-profit organizations! We hope you consider this opportunity to be involved in this year’s grant-review and policy-making processes.

More details on requirements can be found on the application:

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on August 29.

Pathways to Prosperity Competitive Grant Program
$12,286,000 for job training and placement of low-wage and low-skill adults who have multiple barriers to employment obtain credentials and skills that prepare them for jobs in growing fields such as health care and manufacturing. Support Services Competitive Grant Program $750,000 to provide grants to organizations that provide support services for individuals. This includes job training, employment preparation, internships, job assistance to fathers, financial literacy, academic and behavioral interventions for low-performing students, and youth intervention. Grants must focus on low-income communities, young adults from families with a history of intergenerational poverty, and communities of color.

Southeast Asian Economic Relief Competitive Grant Program
$500,000 for grants to organizations providing services to relieve economic disparities in the Southeast Asian community through workforce recruitment, development, job creation, and assistance of smaller organizations to increase capacity, and outreach.

Capacity Building Grant Program
$500,000 for a nonprofit to administer a capacity-building program to subgrantees. The selected organization shall provide financial assistance in the form of subgrants and technical assistance to small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations offering, or seeking to offer, workforce or economic development programming that addresses economic disparities in underserved cultural communities.

Women in High Wage, High Demand, Nontraditional Jobs Grant Program
$500,000 in grants for eligible organizations for programs that encourage and assist women to enter high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional occupations including, but not limited to those in the skilled trades, and STEM occupations. Priority is given to programs that encourage and assist women of color to enter high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional occupations and STEM occupations.

Business Development Competitive Grant Program
$1,425,000 for a grants to non-profit organizations to provide business development assistance and services to a variety of businesses and entrepreneurs.

Thank you for your consideration.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. If you would like to send me a message or set up a meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at I look forward to hearing from you!