Forging Opportunity Out of the Challenges We Face
Amid these challenging times, our critical work to build pathways for all of us to succeed must continue. This means working to ensure no one is left behind as we endure the ongoing public health and economic crisis, a national reckoning on race and racism, and a political climate as divisive as ever.
Whether it’s responding to the COVID crisis, raising the minimum wage, ensuring access to safe & affordable housing, starting every child born in our city with $50 in a college savings account, eliminating late fines in libraries, addressing food insecurities, or launching a guaranteed income pilot program, our bold vision for a city that truly works for all of us is even more urgent and vital today than it was four years ago.
Together, we will continue – and win – this fight to build a bright future for our children and grandchildren. I’m humbled to be your teammate in realizing this vision.
Responding to the many needs of our community
Adapting to the public health an economic crisis
Our community has been all hands on deck responding to the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis. From adapting city services, to providing more than $4 million to families and small businesses through our Saint Paul Bridge Fund, we continue to respond to the many needs of our community.
Investing in our Community-First Public Safety Plan
Our Community First Public Safety Framework seeks to transcend crime response to build a compelling crime reduction strategy for Saint Paul – informed by deep public engagement and published academic research – that identifies and addresses root causes of neighborhood safety concerns. Our investments include efforts that enhance the capacity of our public safety systems, improve community connectivity and supports, and design our public spaces for safety.
Launching our Guaranteed Income Pilot Program
Too many in our community struggle to make ends meet. That’s why we launched the People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot Program to provide up to 150 low-income families with $500 for 18 months. Our city will never stop finding bold new ways to care for our neighbors – especially through this pandemic.
Responding to the housing crisis and needs of those experiencing unsheltered homelessness
Access to safe, stable and affordable housing is a basic human need, and should be considered a right – especially in a global pandemic. Yet, the Federal Government’s slow response at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the housing crisis all across our nation, including in Saint Paul.
Together, we have gone all-in to meet these challenges: We launched a $10 million Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build new units and rehabilitate existing ones. We launched a Families First Housing Pilot to help families with school-aged children pay the rent. And we worked with the City Council to win a strong S.A.F.E. Housing Tenant Protections Ordinance to provide added stability for renters in our community.
As social distancing guidelines limited shelter capacity and caused a ten-fold increase in our unsheltered population, we repurposed city buildings as emergency shelters while coordinating with public, private and nonprofit partners to identify and resource permanent strategies and solutions.
Addressing our housing crisis will require a portfolio of short and long term strategies centered around the urgent need for more housing for Saint Paul residents of all incomes.
Growing our community wealth
Our new Office of Financial Empowerment is working to address the underlying causes of financial instability in our community by focusing on community wealth building efforts. This work includes coordinating financial education and wealth-building and implementing our fair housing policy agenda which will support support protections to address the threat of housing discrimination against low-income renters, residents on public subsidies, and returning residents.
Starting every child born in Saint Paul with a college savings account
On January 1, 2020, we launched CollegeBound Saint Paul, a new citywide program that will place $50 in a college savings account for every child born in Saint Paul.
Adapting to the harmful effects of climate change
We developed our Climate Action & Resilience Plan to ensure we’re building a sustainable and resilient city for our children and grandchildren.
Keeping families safe and together
To keep families in our community safe and together, we invested in an immigrant legal defense fund and created a new immigrant support services position in our City Attorney’s Office.
Raising the minimum wage
We raised the minimum wage in our city to ensure everyone can access the prosperity our city has to offer.
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