Issues

Living Wages and Union Rights

  • 25% of District 65A residents live in poverty. As a step toward a guaranteed living wage for all workers, State officials should support legislation to raise the minimum wage in Saint Paul to $15/hr., challenging state laws limiting local government flexibility to address higher costs of living. Provide subsidies as needed to workers in small businesses who cannot afford $15/hr.

  • Support unionization efforts by low-wage workers, starting with Walmart, Target, Wells Fargo, Eco-lab and other corporations receiving taxpayer benefits. Receiving tax preferences and limitations on liability to do business in the great state of Minnesota is a privilege, not a right. 

Affordable Housing

  • District 65A has fallen to predatory lending practices by banks. It also contains the highest percentages of renters (60%) primarily in the Frogtown and Saint Anthony-Aurora neighborhoods. As State Representative, I will reinstitute neighborhood revitalization loans at a rate of 2 percent. I will introduce legislation that will give tax credits to landlords, who stabilize rents for a period of 2 years or more. I will also create an initiative providing subsidies to Contract For Deed loan administration programs.

  • Legislation should be transformative and I will work with legislators to ensure citizens in this district have sustainable and affordable housing, that doesn't exceed 25% of their income.

Jobs & Economic Development

  • As State Representative, I will work with the Small Business Administration to create legislation that will support the growth of small businesses in district 65A. I plan to work with legislators and business officials to identify opportunities to recruit employers into our community.  We need to establish an economy that revitalizes our communities, protects the right of workers to join unions, and expands economic prosperity

  • Redirect city development funds to create living-wage union jobs, For Minnesota's poor and working families providing vital social and employment services closing economic disparities.

Education

  • The disparities in our current education system impact urban school districts disproportionately. 1 in 5 children receive reduced priced school lunches. The direct correlation between poverty coupled with the inability to learn, can no longer be negated. The "One size fits all" curriculum currently in place, leaves children ill prepared when entering the job market. In addition, a disproportionate amount of children of color are being labelled "Special Needs", or "Behaviorally Challenged". I will work with legislators and school districts to close the achievement gap, ensuring success for our children. 

  • I will work with educators and legislators to introduce legislation to modify current curriculums. I will also bring forth a bill that would shift K-12 Financing from property taxes, to a graduated state tax.

Environment

  • The recycling rate has been flat at roughly 40 percent. The first step is to boost recycling goals, which haven't been updated for two decades. We ought to be looking at increasing composting and recycling. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found that nearly a third of Minnesotans' trash was food waste. As your districts representative I will enact legislation implementing curbside composting. This will create green jobs, reduce waste, stimulate the economy. In addition, I also plan to bring forth a bill that would require the labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMO'S) sold in grocery stores, and retail outlets.


The Committee to Elect Lena Buggs
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