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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL)

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Vaccine Progress, Voting Legislation, and More

Monday, January 25, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

With the inauguration of Presidents Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and the Congress under Democrat control for the next two years we have an opportunity to make progress for our state and the entire nation. But we must continue to push and hold all elected officials accountable to our collective obligation to improve the material conditions for working people in our country. At the Legislature I will continue this fight as our state is home to some of the greatest wealth disparities in the nation. 

Virtual Town Hall – Wednesday, January 27 at 6 p.m. 

Sen. Omar Fateh, Rep. Hodan Hassan, and I are holding a virtual town hall on Wednesday, January 27 at 6 p.m. We hope you’ll join us to discuss your ideas and priorities for the legislative session. The town hall will be held on Zoom, and streamed on my Facebook page. If you would like to participate in the Zoom portion, click here to RSVP.


Preventing Homelessness Meeting

Last week, we held our second Preventing Homelessness Division meeting. We heard from people who have experienced homelessness in our state. Throughout this session we will continue to center the voices of people who have direct experience around homelessness. I encourage you to watch their valuable testimony here.

Vaccine Pilot Program Launches

Last week, Minnesota announced an important next step in the process of delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to certain priority groups. A pilot program will establish new vaccination sites throughout the state, and individuals who are 65 years or older, as well as school staff and child care workers (who have been notified by their employer that they’re eligible), will now be able to make appointments to receive the vaccine. If you are a school staff member or child care worker you will schedule an appointment through your employer.

If you fall into these groups, initial appointments are now full as they were extremely limited. You can book appointments online here, or by phone at 612-426-7230 or toll free at 833-431-2053. New appointments won’t be available until tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26 at 12 pm. If you encounter additional problems or need help navigating this process, please contact me.

The pilot sites are located in Andover, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Thief River Falls.


House DFL Introduces Democracy for the People act

Last week the House DFL introduced legislation that will defend and strengthen our democracy. The bill has several measures that will ensure all Minnesotans can participate in our democracy without interference. Here are the main provisions of the bill:

  • Prohibits intimidating and harassing voters or elections officials and using deceptive practices to disenfranchise voters.
  • Gives state and local elections officials access to the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure.
  • Establishes automatic voter registration, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and restores the right to vote for Minnesotans who are on probation or parole.
  • Strengthens absentee voting by creating a permanent absentee ballot list, establishing ballot drop box and return sites, removing the witness requirement, and ensuring voting instructions for absentee ballots are provided in multiple languages.
  • Closes dark money loopholes, while making outside groups that spend large amounts of money disclose their three largest donors. The disclosure process for online and digital advertising will be modified as well.
  • Modernizes the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program, replacing it with Democracy Dollars coupons that are available to all registered Minnesota voters.
  • Empowers voters and small donors with a small donor public financing match program for candidates and the creation of small donor committees for grassroots efforts.
  • Improves Minnesota’s redistricting process by setting fair criteria for lawmakers to follow when drawing and evaluating maps. It also creates a public process to solicit Minnesotans’ input, make redistricting data available to the public, and provides advance notice of maps and hearings.

Democracy 2

Legislative Priorities for the House DFL

Two weeks ago, we rolled out the House DFL’s initial legislative priorities for this year’s session, with a focus on getting Minnesota through this pandemic and ensuring that we have the resources necessary to bounce back. While protecting and investing in economic security, worker protections, education, child care, and health and human services are crucial components for Minnesotans, we’re diligently working within all policy areas to build a better state.

Session Priorities v3

Keep In Touch

As always, feel free to reach out with any feedback or questions you have for me! I always appreciate working in partnership with you. You can also follow me on my Facebook page. Everything is moving quickly right now so be sure to stay connected.

In solidarity,

Aisha Gomez