As we close out the first six months of my second term, I want to share an update on the work we’ve been doing to fight for the 5th District.
We began our term in the midst of crisis. Our communities are still reeling from a pandemic that has shuttered countless business, put many out of work, and taken hundreds of thousands of lives — including my own family members. Here in Minnesota, we inspired the nation to reckon with centuries of systemic racism and are reimagining a public safety system that truly protects all of us. On top of that, we faced a crisis in our democracy, with a violent attack on our Capitol the day we certified the results of the 2020 election.
But we have not let that deter us. This Congress, we passed the American Rescue Plan, which will provide nearly $2 trillion in relief to our nation — including nearly $8 billion in funding for Minnesota. And as we speak, we are in the process of negotiating a bold infrastructure package that invests directly in Minnesota, including our K-12 schools, roads and bridges, mass transit, childcare, and climate mitigation.
This week, the House is expected to pass a bill that includes the transportation priorities I have been fighting for, including over $32 million in transportation funds for our district, $5 million for the Metro F line from Downtown Minneapolis to Fridley, $4.5 million for the Metro E line between the University of Minnesota and Edina and $3 million for the Cedar-Seward pedestrian bridge at I-94. We also advanced funding for over $20 million for the METRO Blue Line Extension Light Rail Transit project, which will extend the existing Blue Line LRT from Target Field Station northwest to Brooklyn Park and connect underserved communities along the way.
We’ve fought to make sure Minnesotan workers are at the center of these investments. Along with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, I have been advocating that the Twin Cities get the resources needed to recover and rebuild from the fallout of the pandemic and the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd. As a result, we’ve been able to advance funding for the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) Food Incubator to help to address the serious food desert issues on the Northside and recent retail closures as a result of the pandemic. I am also fighting for investments to be made in a new park and community center in North Minneapolis, training and apprenticeship programs for renewable energy jobs in the 5th district, and strong investments in housing and community that aim to address racial and economic disparities. You can read more about our Community Project Funding requests here.
As your representative, I heard your voices and fought to put them in action. I introduced major bills to end federal subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry, stop the over-policing of students in K-12 schools, cancel rent and mortgage payments through the duration of the pandemic, and a bold package of police accountability legislation. I will continue fighting for our community with co-governance and justice at the center.
Since being sworn in to represent you, I committed to make sure your voices were heard in the halls of Congress. This commitment was anchored in the deep belief that my success in Congress is contingent upon inviting members of our community to come alongside this journey with me. Together, we have had over fifty roundtables, town halls, and community conversations. We started a new series called “Coffee and Kulan” that provides a new format for in-depth conversations with community members. All our conversations whether that be from a town hall, social media, or a call to my office have directly guided my legislative priorities in Washington.
I can’t wait to keep making progress with you.