There are many factors leading to the Minneapolis teachers strike, among them are the desire for more mental health services for students, and the need to fund English Language Learner (ELL) and Special Education programs - all of which have corresponding legislation in the Minnesota House which I am either a co-author of or fully support.
Supporting our teachers at Henry High School. I am who I am because of these educators!
It’s incredibly important our teachers are given the resources they need to support our students, and whether it’s on the picket line or in the committee room, I’m committed to delivering on the tools to help our students thrive.
In addition to the resources our schools need, it’s also important all of our students in Minnesota receive a well-rounded education. Recent events involving acts of hate directed toward students of color are in the spotlight. Last month, racist taunts were directed at the Cooper High School girls’ basketball team and the St. Louis Park Boys’ Hockey Team. A racist video targeting a student at Prior Lake High School surfaced in December. To that end, I’ve co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Cedrick Frazier to require ethnic studies coursework in K-12 public schools.
More than a third of students in Minnesota schools are students of color, but Minnesota classrooms have not kept pace with the growing diversity of our student population. It’s time to put ethnic studies into our curriculum to help better build a more accepting and understanding Minnesota.
Standing with Ukraine
Many of us have spent the past few weeks watching the devastating footage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. My heart goes out to the families fleeing their homes, the brave Ukrainians defending it, and our 17,000 Ukrainian-American neighbors in Minnesota who are watching their homeland be torn apart. This week, my Minneapolis colleague Rep. Sydney Jordan introduced bipartisan legislation, supported by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, to divest Minnesota’s state pension fund from Russia and codify Governor Walz’s Executive Order barring Minnesota from contracting with Russian companies into law.
This is the least we can do to show Minnesota stands with the people of Ukraine and against the tyranny of the Russian government. You can read more about this legislation here.
Safe and Stable Shelters for Youth
Minnesota faced a housing crisis well before COVID-19, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the housing insecurities faced by many in our community. My bill, HF 4188, funds a new facility for Avenues for Youth, a shelter in north Minneapolis that supports youth ages 16-24 in Hennepin County.
Whether a young person needs a safe and stable place to stay for just one night, or a year and a half, Avenues empowers youth to find their path out of homelessness. Avenues does this by providing a stable home, building trusting relationships, and navigating the youth’s education, career, health and wellness and housing goals so they can move on and out into stable housing and a career path.
My bill appropriates $6 million to Avenues to acquire property, design, and build a new trauma centered building to better serve the hundreds of youth coming in the door each year.
If you have any questions about the legislation I’m authoring or supporting, please feel free to reach out. I always appreciate hearing from you!