2013 was a big year in the Legislature.
We made big investments in our children’s education to help close the achievement gap and build America’s best workforce. We passed a historic marriage equality bill so every Minnesotan can marry the person they love. And we took serious steps to ensure economic justice for all people, like passing ‘Ban the Box’ and enacting a Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.
Our agenda for 2014 is just as big.
We need to fully fund all-day kindergarten – and all grades – so our children can get the education they need to live their dreams. Those schools must be safe; we must pass the Safe Schools Act to give our teachers the tools they need to fight bullying.
We need to follow up on the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights by passing the Automatic Mediation for All Foreclosure Victims Bill.
The city, county and state need to work together to attract businesses and manufacturing to the north side of Minneapolis that will bring jobs and wealth to the community so that we will see real progress for all members of our community and not just a small few. It is critical that we reduce high unemployment in communities of color by closing the opportunity gap in education and job training.
Now that we’ve Banned the Box, we need full and automatic restoration of voting rights, so those who’ve served their time can vote as soon as they’re free - which is why I’m sponsoring a bill in this next legislative session to do just that.
We need to make sure that the dollars being poured into transportation land here – and meet all our communities’ needs.
We need to pass a strong bonding bill to re-invigorate Nicollet Mall, so that our downtown can keep some of the state’s biggest economics engines in our district. We need to fund the Waterworks Park in Mill District, support smart density and growth downtown and in North Loop, preserve our green spaces, and encourage green building.
Minnesota’s strength is the strength of our communities – all our communities, working together toward a common goal. I look forward to joining you in that effort this year.