Election Day is today! I’m exercising my right to vote, and I hope you do too. There are several important items on the ballot, including city council and school board races.
You can use the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Polling Place Finder to find out if elections are being held in your area. Please take a few minutes to learn what’s on the ballot, locate your polling place, and check your registration status. If you’re not registered to vote, you can do so at your polling place.
At the Capitol
Climate Action Caucus Community Conversations
The Climate Action Caucus recently kicked off a series of community events with a conversation about transportation! As Chair of this new caucus, one of my goals is bringing people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise together. We’re holding these public hearings so Minnesotans can join legislators and experts at the table and be part of creating a bold plan to combat the climate crisis.
The next community conversation is dedicated to housing. You can find more information and RSVP here.
Clean Car Standards
Governor Walz recently announced that Minnesota will be the first Midwestern state to adopt clean car standards! That means Minnesotans will have more options when looking for a car. Manufacturers will produce and sell vehicles that emit lower levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants and vehicles with ultra-low or no tailpipe emissions, including electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Clean car standards will save people money at the pump, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
More information about clean car standards is available here and at mn.gov/cleancars.
Preventing Youth Tobacco Use
Tobacco companies have successfully used predatory marketing campaigns, child-friendly flavors, and misinformation to attract kids and young adults. The number of young Minnesotans using e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, but many of them aren’t aware of the health risks.
Last week I was part of a bicameral press conference on the issue of youth vaping. I’m so pleased that Senate Republicans are joining our fight to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Minnetonka and Plymouth were early adopters of Tobacco 21. It’s time to make the change statewide!
At Minnetonka High School, the They Lied, We Know campaign empowers teens to educate other students. It underscores the need to expand educational programs throughout the state.
My House DFL colleagues and I also held a press conference to introduce a new comprehensive plan to protect kids and young adults. In addition to raising the tobacco sales age, our plan calls for halting sales of flavored products that are used to target young people and people of color, launching a statewide campaign to educate Minnesotans about this issue, and reducing the availability of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. A fact sheet with more details is available here.
Legislative Mini Session
While the Legislature doesn’t reconvene until February, my colleagues and I are busy preparing. During the interim, we gather input from as many Minnesotans as possible, particularly people and communities who aren’t able to travel to the Capitol. A few weeks ago we held a three-day mini session in southeastern Minnesota. We heard testimony from Minnesotans, held public committee hearings, and attended informational tours and presentations.
I attended two public hearings in Rochester on the first day of mini session. The first was about the great work that Rochester is doing around sustainability, and the second was dedicated to addressing the rising cost of prescription drugs.
The next day I toured the Upper Mississippi River aboard the Cal Fremling, which Winona State University uses as a “floating classroom.” River scientists joined us to discuss climate change, invasive species, and other long-term threats to the health of the Mississippi.
In Our Community
I’ve enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new people at the great events that have taken place over the past few weeks.
I was honored to attend the official ribbon cutting for the opening of the Rockford Road Bridge in Plymouth. What a great example of the power of partnership amongst all levels of government!
The Hopkins School District’s One Voice Coalition is doing great work. At this roundtable, students talked about how vaping has impacted their friends and classmates and shared their experiences with Governor Walz and the Commissioners of Education and Health.
As part of a Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance town hall, I heard stories from people with brain injuries and caretakers. It was an enlightening experience.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with the Hopkins High School Young Democrats Club. What an enthusiastic group of students!
High School Page Program
Working with young people is one of my favorite parts of serving our community! If you know any high school juniors who are interested in state government, please encourage them to apply for the House High School Page Program. It’s a great opportunity for students to see government in action and participate in a wide variety of activities, including:
- Individual meetings with state representatives
- A mock committee hearing designed to develop leadership skills and inspire students to think critically about issues confronting our state
- Assisting members and staff during House floor sessions
- Meetings with constitutional officers, judges and court officers, lobbyists, and members of the media
Applications are due by Thursday, November 21. More information is available here.
As always, please feel free to share your questions and feedback. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-9934.