Livetweet: House Capital Finance (Feb. 10)

By McKenzie Kemper, Freelance Journalist-in-Training

House Legacy Finance Committee met today to discuss funding for BIPOC communities in Capital Finance. Follow the linked tweets below to read about the committee’s discussion. House Legacy Finance Committee will be meeting at 8:30 am today.— UpTake MN Coverage (@uptakemn) February 10, 2021

Committee Summary: House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee

The House public safety committee met to discuss a task force report regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, which looked at root causes to violence against Indigenous women and girls and set forth mandates for the Legislature to address the crisis. The committee also forwarded Rep. Sandra Feist’s bill, HF 321, to speed up the U-visa process for immigrants who are victims of crimes.

House Preventative Health Policy Division takes on Climate Change

For its second meeting, the Minnesota House of Representative’s new Preventive Health Policy Division took aim at climate change as a factor in healthy lives. This was after the first meeting held earlier in January focused on the vaccine rollout. 

Chaired by Rep. Mike Freiberg (D- 45B), the meeting focused on experts sharing knowledge about not only the impact of climate change on health and wellness of Minnesotans, but also ways that climate change has exacerbated racial disparities in health. 

The meeting took place on the day that President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to combat climate change, seeking to put the breaks on oil and natural gas leases on public lands, and other executive actions aimed at reducing emissions and reach benchmarks outlined by the Paris climate accord. 

Joining the members of the Preventative Health Policy Division were members of the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division, chaired by Rep. Jean Wagenius (D- 63B). 

Among the speakers was Kristin Raab, director of the Minnesota Climate and Health program at the Minnesota Department of Health, who called climate change “the great amplifier,” in that it was quickly worsening issues such as extreme rain events, increases in asthma, heat waves, etc. 

Dr. Nyasha Spears, a family Physician in Duluth, echoed that sentiment.” Over last 20 years, I have observed changes that should be recognized as harbingers of what is to come,” she said. “They are the canaries in the coal mine.” Spears added she has seen more tick-born illnesses, allergies, and other climate-impacted illnesses in her practice. “We don’t want to wait for Dengue Fever or Malaria to march North to act,” she said. 

Teddie Potter  Director of Planetary Health at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing, meanwhile, spoke of ways that climate change issues far away across the globe impact us here in Minnesota. “Hurricane Maria shows our interdependence,” she said.

Minnesota House of Reps aims to tackle homelessness

The House Preventing Homelessness Division held its first meeting Wednesday with DFL and GOP members from throughout the state, chaired by Rep. Aisha Gomez, DFL-Minneapolis. The committee aims to center voices of people experiencing homelessness as policies are crafted. Future meetings will revolve around encampment strategy response and the emergency shelter system.

Mental Health in 2021

By: Amy Marschall, PsyD

We are less than three weeks into 2021, and WOW. Although the new year did not automatically re-set or end anything that was happening in 2020, December seemed filled with hope that January would be better. On January 6, I finished a session and checked Twitter to see that “Civil War” was trending. My first thought was that it had something to do with Captain America, but instead this was in reference to Trump supporters rioting and attacking the Capitol, causing lockdown protocol that has not been necessary since September 11, 2001. In the days since, social media posts have alleged that more violent riots are to come, causing Twitter to permanently ban Donald Trump from their platform.

Radical News Radio Hour: Line 3 & Looking Forward to the Legislative Session

On today’s episode of the Radical News Radio Hour we’re talking about the Line 3 Pipeline. We’ll also open up a conversation that will continue in future episodes and wrap up in January around how local organizations and movements are activating and organizing around the upcoming session. Our first interview will be with Education Minnesota President Denise Specht.

Shopping Local: Holiday Guide

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on Twin Cities-area businesses. Local businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, and BIPOC-owned businesses have often been hit hardest. Here’s a list of local businesses you can support in the Twin Cities.