"The right to vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy." —Representative John Lewis The right to vote has been a battle for Native Americans. As a group the voter turnout for Native Americans is the lowest in the country. I would like to see improved ease of voter registration, reservation polling locations, and use of tribal IDs for elections.
The COVID-19 has shown us that restricting travel and industry has resulted in drastic reduction of air pollution around the world. I believe we need to be caretakers of our environment. We need to examine the things we use such as oil, gas, and coal as well as the way those things impact the environment. Although weaning ourselves from these parts of our economy cannot be done quickly, moving to greener technology is a good investment both economically and environmentally.
The COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of heath care workers and aides, grocery store cashiers and stockers, janitors and many others. These jobs are often low paid positions and offer little job security and few benefits. I hope that this new realization will accelerate the goal of a living wage for everyone. A good living wage increases productivity and loyalty and as a result makes businesses more successful.
"In the Twin Cities, the issue is really getting affordable day care. Outside the Twin Cities the issue is getting any kind of day care." - Marni Werner, Center for Rural Policy and Development Even if you are offered a good paying job in rural Minnesota, you cannot accept it if you can't find good, reliable childcare. This is a major barrier to the well-being of families and communities and often forces people to move where childcare can be found. How can we promote industry to come to our rural area if good childcare is not available for its workers? One way to solve part of this problem is fully funding Pre-K education in all our public schools. I support a significant increase in our investment for early learning opportunities.
High Quality Education
As we have self-isolated during COVID-19, those who have stayed at home and tried to teach their children now know and understand the talent, patience and hard work involved in the art of teaching. Public education, affordable college, and skills training are critical to empowering our young people to achieve and succeed. It is the responsibility of the State to partner with our local communities to make sure that education is a top priority. Attempting to shore up education through band-aid type measures cannot last. Students and teachers require permanent solutions. The social and economic health of our communities is dependent on success of our students.
The advantage of "health care for all" is that everyone is covered for everything from birth to death. There are no co-pays, deductibles, and the only questions you are asked are those related to your health. Who is going to pay for it? We all will by not paying insurance premiums, but rather paying in like we do to medicare and social security. It may, or may not, cost a bit more, but even in the worst of conditions, like the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone will be taken care of.
Again, during this pandemic we have seen the need for the movement of food, disinfecting products, and yes, toilet paper. We have been in dire need shipments of protective gear needed by medical personnel, first responders, and finally to all citizens. This is all facilitated by well maintained roads. State fuel tax revenue and Federal fuel tax revenue is going to be way down because of the pandemic. Motor vehicle sales are down so the revenue from the motor vehicle sales tax is going to be much less than anticipated. The state needs a strong capital bonding bill that spreads out the cost of construction and repairs over twenty years.