As we enter the sweltering month of July, I hope you are able to stay cool, relax, and enjoy all the lakes, bike paths, playgrounds, and ice cream that our great neighborhoods have to offer. With the session over, I’m not cooped up in the Capitol anymore and have had the great pleasure of seeing many of you out and about and I look forward to more opportunities to connect in the coming months.
June is usually one of my favorite months but I’ll admit that this June has included both natural and manmade hazards that are unsettling and threatening to clean air and a healthy environment, and to an inclusive, diverse, and equitable future. Days of hazy, smoky days with air quality that has forced us inside have disrupted summer activities and highlighted the rapidly increasing impacts of climate change. For me, it has reinforced the work we are doing at all levels of government and in our community to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect communities from the ongoing impacts of a rising climate. And in the days and months ahead, please take care to keep track of the Air Quality Index (AQI) and follow recommendations to protect yourself and your families from the wildfire smoke this summer.
Along with the natural hazards from Canadian wildfires, the Supreme Court has issued opinions striking down Affirmative Action in higher education, limiting LGBTQIA+ anti-discrimination protections, and blocking student loan forgiveness that will harm the well-being of our communities. While I will save my legal critique for another day, I want to acknowledge the pain, uncertainty, and damage that each of these decisions will have on our community and our country. And while the Supreme Court has, with these decisions, created legal obstacles to the efforts to pursue equity and eliminate discrimination, it is our work to ensure we use the tools of policy, organizing, and political change to build a democracy where every person is respected, protected, and has the opportunity to thrive.
As we look ahead to this summer and fall, I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you as we continue our work together in our community and at the Capitol.
At Twin Cities Pride!
Thanks to everyone who attended our town halls this month!
Community Events in July
This month, our community is enjoying all that Minnesota summers have to offer. Keep your eye out for these events and if you have events you’d like me to attend, or to share with our community -- please send them to Missi.Smith@house.mn.gov.
NENA Great Kickball Tournament & Fundraiser on July 15th at Keewaydin Park. More information here.
HPDL Picnic in the Park on July 27th at Pearl Park. More information here.
And save the date for National Night Out on August 1st this year. If you’re having a gathering on your block, let us know about it and I’d love to try to stop by!
New Laws in Effect July 1
Starting this Sunday, there are several new laws taking effect. New laws include:
Increases in funding for agriculture, education, renewable energy, public safety, and elections
The Voting Operations, Technology, and Election Resources (VOTER) fund to support local elections administration.
Minnesota joins the National Popular Vote Compact
Free school breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students
Protecting healthcare workers against violence
Limits on no-knock warrants
Free college tuition for income-eligible students
To read more from nonpartisan House Public Information and House Research about the new laws, click here and here.
Connecting the Community to the Capitol
With the goal of deepening our understanding on key issues, this summer, I plan to do a deep dive every month into different areas of policy that impact our communities and our state. Once a month, I’ll pick an interesting topic and talk to experts, legislative colleagues, and members of our community to provide more understanding and perspective on an issue. These will be conversations and interviews, filmed and posted to Facebook, as well as recommended articles, podcasts and books to explore the topic further.
This month, we’re going to dig deeper into the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) that we passed this session. I’m excited to sit down with my legislative colleagues who authored and championed the bill to discuss the bill that incorporates federal ICWA procedures and requirements for voluntary and involuntary child placement and permanency proceedings and intends to protect Indigenous children and families from cycles of harm and trauma.”
Stay in Touch
Thank you for your time, energy, and all you do to make our community a great place for everyone.
Please reach out and let us know about events and meetings you’d like me to attend. And always reach out to me with your input and ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or you are always welcome to call me at the Capitol at 651-296-4200 and follow my Facebook page for updates.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be your State Representative. I'm very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year and look forward to the work we have ahead of us. Together we can create a stronger, brighter future for all Minnesotans!