Climate Change Has a Wide-Ranging Impact
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report last year that said we have until 2030 to get greenhouse gas emissions under control (meaning basically cut in half) if we want to have a chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The good news is that we actually have the solutions and the knowhow to do this. St. Louis Park, spurred on by its youth, has the best city Climate Action Plan in the state.
Now, we have to effectively implement it and make sure climate action is a driving factor in everything we do. Addressing climate change is also a chance to grow economic opportunities in SLP. And we need to think and plan creatively and aggressively to ensure that we can put solutions in place that address equity and ensure that low-income residents’ needs are in the forefront -- in areas like affordable housing, renewable energy, local food, and a living streets policy.
In October 2015 I was connected to the Roots and Shoots environmental club at the High School. I've mentored the group for the past 3 1/2 years as they pushed the City Council and recently, the School Board to adopt aggressive climate goals. The moral clarity they bring to issues -- especially climate change, but many others -- is so needed in these times when the country is so divided. One of the students I've worked with says "it's not a Republican future or a Democrat future, it's just our future."
I have seen first hand how powerful young people are. Youth who see that their voices matter go forward in life with a confidence that they can make change, and a willingness to get involved in the civic life of their community.
I'm excited to build on my experiences and look for other creative ways to involve youth in city government.
Community & Diversity
The choices we make at the local level have a high impact on the quality of our daily lives. I want to build on the strong sense of community in St. Louis Park.
A major strength of our community is its diversity. I believe in continued strong support for public schools, community gathering places, public safety, access to healthy food and other community programs.
Additionally, as we transition to a clean energy economy, we must center the needs of lower-income people, people of color and indigenous people, including here in SLP! These are the people that are typically being disproportionately impacted by climate change. Re-imagining our society without fossil fuels and considering what investments to make is a tremendous opportunity to do things the right way, and continue to improve the affordability and livability of our community.
Here are a few issues I’ve been talking with residents about and that I’m excited to tackle:
Stable housing, with affordable living options for every income level, from seniors to empty nesters to young families.
Safe streets, with appropriate use of stop signs, lower speed limits, flashing signals at crosswalks, and in the longer term, smart street design.
Improving stormwater management to prevent flooding; addressing the local effects of a changing climate.
Making it easy for residents to reach and take advantage of the new light rail.
I’m committed to looking for solutions that encourage St. Louis Park’s continued diversity, strong sense of community and character. Public gathering spaces, health and safety, and local business growth are all important opportunities to support our vibrant community.