What I care about.
Ward 1 is an essential part of the city, as it has been the starting point for many people from various immigrant and refugee populations. Increasing affordable housing, homeownership legislation, and stable rents are three ways in which we can provide financial support for those in the area. This not only helps the BIPOC communities already living there; it also allows them to stay with their friends, families, and neighbors. We should prioritize providing resources and assistance to BIPOC neighbors, they bring so much richness and diversity to the tapestry of our city.
Equity in education is a major issue facing the Ward 1 school system today. The achievement gap between the highest and lowest performing schools presents a tremendous challenge to our community, as well as to our entire society. Low-income students at Ward 1 schools are particularly disadvantaged due to underfunded resources and lack of qualified teaching staff. To make matters worse, minorities, immigrants, and refugees have also been uniquely impacted by this great disparity, which has led them to seek education outside of their neighborhoods. We must do all we can to support public schools in order to help these populations gain access to quality educational opportunities. This includes better funding for teachers, support staff, and social/emotional/mental health programs within the K-12 elementary schools so that all students can get the assistance they need. Ensuring equity in education is therefore essential not only for our ward but also for all communities across St. Paul
Economic Development plays a crucial role in breaking cycles of generational poverty, creating stability, and fostering financial security. To promote economic strength, job opportunities need to provide livable wages that sustain the neighborhood. By supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs and the organizations which help them get off the ground, University Avenue was able to refashion empty storefronts into businesses that thrive and bolster the economy of the area. Similarly, economic development is dependent upon similar initiatives offering pathways for individuals with diverse backgrounds to engage positively and meaningfully in their local economy.
Public safety is of paramount importance, especially when it comes to keeping our families and loved ones safe. Providing safety in schools, homes, and public areas is crucial not just to reducing crime but also to community engagement and bonding. Regarding infrastructure, cities need to find the right balance between providing ongoing maintenance and sustaining the livelihoods of its residents. The Reconnect Rondo project is positive steps in this direction; providing safe access for residents as well as beautifying parks and open spaces for families to enjoy. Additionally, it is important that streets receive necessary upkeep regularly so that there are fewer hazards like potholes or sliding due to snow buildup which can be very dangerous in extreme weather. Public safety can be ensured if we all work together to ensure the safety of our communities.