If I earn the honor of serving as your Representative, I will be a progressive fighter for all communities within District 62A.
We deserve an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged and the powerful. The American Dream should be accessible to anyone who works hard and plays by the rules. I will continue Representative Karen Clark’s efforts to assure that everyone has equal access to jobs that pay living wages and provide sick leave and other benefits.
I was an early advocate in the Somali community for LGBTQ rights, and utilized my status within my immigrant community to fight the hateful constitutional amendment that would have restricted hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans from having the opportunity to marry the person they love.
If elected, I will sponsor legislation that seeks to allow driver’s licenses for all, and fight back against conservative attempts to roll back women’s reproductive freedom. I will also build coalitions to push for equal opportunities for our culturally-specific child care, homecare and transportation providers.
While our system of same-day registration and early voting are among the best in the US, we need to work towards electoral systems of Oregon, where voter registration is automatic, and California, where registration changes can be performed online. We also need to allow Minnesotans that served their time in prison to restore their right to vote, and increase the accessibility of voting by mail.
Minnesotans have a right to a clean, healthy environment. Disasters resulting from conservative mismanagement, such as the dirty water in Flint, Michigan, should never happen in Minnesota – but it takes intelligent policy-making, and dedicated action to make sure this is the case.
I also believe that our American Indian Tribes deserve the sovereignty rights they’ve fought numerous times to maintain – and we should respect their efforts to keep their Tribal lands clean from any pipelines and the potential damage arising from such projects.
We have a unique opportunity to improve our environment, while enhancing the economic prospects of our District’s residents, by pushing for greater Clean Energy funding. In addition, the population density of 62A lends itself to better public transportation infrastructure – buses and trains that run more often, and to more places – and I will fight to assure these vital improvements are a priority in our legislature.
Youth and Education
We need to assure that our youth have access to a high-quality education, starting with early child care, youth services, recreation, and college for all – including our DACA Dreamers.
While efforts have been made to remedy this issue, our public school students lack access to counselors at the needed rate. This needs to change.
Currently, Minnesota’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a model for most of the United States, as our rate of uninsured is one of the lowest in the country. However, many of us still fear that a single accident or emergency will greatly alter our financial situation for decades. Nobody should be relegated to crowdfunding to cover medical bills – which is why I support looking to State Senator John Marty’s bill advocating a Medicare for All plan in Minnesota.
We also need to work towards a system where our communities experiencing disparities in health coverage can choose the quality health care they need, including mental health and drug treatment.
Housing and Neighborhoods
While much of Minneapolis is prospering, not everyone is benefitting from the modern economy, which rewards education and technical adroitness more than ever before. For those who lack access to jobs that require expensive post-secondary education, meeting the monthly rent bill can be a challenging experience. This is why I worked with Metropolitan Inter-Faith Coalition for Affordable Housing (MICAH), which recognized me with a community award, to enhance opportunities for everyone to live in this fine city, regardless of a person’s income.
There are ways of balancing the need for new multi-family construction with the assurance that such construction will not be restricted to upper-income individuals – I will look to the work of State Senator Jeff Hayden and St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter as a model for my efforts on this critical issue.
We also deserve safe neighborhoods, and a deeper look at restorative justice as an addition to community policing and enhancing our local networks performing neighborhood watch duties.
Representative Karen Clark (DFL-62A)
Many more to come!