Climate and Environment
We must move beyond dirty energy and tackle the serious threat of climate change. Minnesota can achieve 85% renewable energy by 2035. We need to expand the use of electric cars, promote walking and biking with complete streets, and invest in transit. We should oppose projects like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, which will disproportionately impact indigenous communities in Minnesota. We must protect special places like the Boundary Waters from damaging mining practices.
Elections and Voting Rights
One of our core values as Minnesotans is civic engagement, but declining voter participation means we can’t take our democracy for granted. We must expand early voting and voting by mail, register voters automatically, and restore voting rights to those who have served their time.
Equity and Opportunity
Minnesota can be a place for every child to grow up with the opportunity to thrive. But shameful opportunity gaps persist by race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity for too many fellow Minnesotans.
Economic insecurity hits marginalized groups hardest. The U.S. is the only high-income country that doesn’t require paid family and medical leave, or earned sick and safe time. We must extend these protections to Minnesota’s families, as well as fully fund access to affordable child care for all Minnesotans. As affordable housing becomes more scarce, we must ensure all Minnesotans have access to an affordable place to live.
We must stand up against prejudice in all its forms, from dismantling the impacts of racism, to speaking out against Islamophobia, to ending LGBTQ discrimination. We must provide driver’s licenses and health care access to our aspiring citizen neighbors. To ensure gender equality under the law, we should also put an Equal Rights Amendment on the Minnesota ballot for the 2018 election
I believe in single-payer universal health care to ensure accessible, high-quality health care for all. An important first step would be Governor Dayton’s proposal to allow any Minnesotan to buy into MinnesotaCare. We should pass a Safe Patient Standard for hospitals and clinics. We must protect access to safe, legal abortion and protect funding for vital women’s health centers like Planned Parenthood.
Unions are central to making sure the economy works well for all Minnesotans. We must stand up for collective bargaining, help workers have a predictable work schedule, protect them from wage theft, and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide over time so no one working full time is living in poverty.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system is broken. We need urgent reform that stops mass incarceration, and eliminates the profit incentive for incarceration by closing private prisons. Even though black and white Minnesotans use drugs at a similar rate, Black Minneapolitans are nearly 9 times more likely to be arrested for low-level drug offenses. We should treat drug addiction as a public health issue. We need to improve police training and accountability, and standardize the use of body cameras. We must enact common sense gun safety reform like universal background checks.
We must ensure that all children, especially the most vulnerable, have access to an excellent education that prepares them to succeed. This starts early, by funding access to high-quality early childhood education for all Minnesotans. Teachers are the most important part of a child’s success, and we need to ensure we are supporting them with good pay, mentoring and development, as well as recruiting and preparing well-qualified, diverse new teachers.
We must confront skyrocketing student debt by providing opportunities to refinance student loans at a lower rate. We should offer free community college and debt-free public four-year college.