My Priorities for Our Community
fully funded Public schools
During my work with the North Side Schools Collective and advocating for Public Schools here in Minneapolis, what I learned was that a lot of administrators worked really hard to provide their students with the best education possible. Often, the biggest challenge to providing a quality education in Public Schools is the shortage of money in the General Fund. Continued changes in the budget and demands from competing departments don’t adequately provide Public Schools the funding that they need. The Legacy Fund is a dedicated fund for the Arts, Culture and water, yet we’ve failed to fully invest in our children.
I am a product of public schools and a lifelong fighter for education. As your State Representative I am committed to:
Fighting for a Dedicated Education fund to ensure that all Public Schools are fully funded.
Reevaluating the process of funding Special Education and to ensure that Special Education and English as a Second Language programs are fully funded.
A positive and inclusive school climate helps students stay engaged in their learning and fulfill their academic potential. I support Minnesota’s Safe and Supportive Schools Act but will advocate for increased funding to ensure every student has a safe, supportive and welcoming school environment. Currently, Minnesota ranks near the bottom, nationwide, for our ratio of students to counselors and school nurses. Schools are incapable of providing much needed services given the state’s 792:1 student-to-counselor and 1700:1 student-to-school nurse ratios. Closing gaps requires our system of public education to provide not only rigorous and relevant college and career ready academic programs, but a holistic education that serves the needs of the whole child.
Criminal Justice reform
Over and over again, we hear that being Black, Brown, and being other Persons of Color or poor shouldn’t be against the law, but for thousands of Minnesotans it’s a reality. Recently I got a front row seat at a felony stop in which both occupants of the car were complying with Minneapolis Police Officers instructions. I watched as the Officers gave conflicting instructions to the male occupant who was very compliant even though the Officers continued to threaten to shoot him. Needless to say, the Officers took the male down hard to the ground in an alley that had broken glass everywhere, even though they were less than 3 feet away from a grassy area. One Officer hit the suspect in the head with his knee as the suspect already lay on the ground. The Officer mashed his knee into the suspects head and across the back of his neck with his full weight even though the suspect was not resisting. There has to be a better way. As a former police officer and soldier this was a hard pill for me to swallow.
Here’s my plan for how I can, as your State Representative, affect changes in criminal justice reform:
Criminal Procedures with the state's licensing board must be addressed at the state level. Black, Brown, other Persons of Color and poor suspects are continually ill-treated because the statute allows it. This mistreatment in many cases escalates the situation and over the years has often ended with people dead at the hands of the police.
- Additionally, I would like to look at how probation and parole sentences are applied across the state. Often, Black, Brown, other Persons of Color and poor persons receive significantly longer sentences than state averages.
- I will fight to streamline the Pardon process so that everyone has equal access to becoming productive citizens in their community.