Stores are reopening, restaurants are serving people, and businesses are sighing with relief. The worst is over. But wait! All Minnesotans are not thriving. Many are doing worse than before. The pandemic laid bare inequities between the wealthy and poor.

In Minnesota, we still do not have affordable housing for everyone. We still do not have affordable child care or paid sick leave for all workers. Cost of living has far exceeded wage increases for low-income folks. When the moratorium on rent evictions goes away, many Minnesotans will be forced from their homes. A year-end tax credit does nothing to help those who need to pay their rent or child care now. Schools still do not have enough money for teachers and social workers. The federal stimulus dollars provide temporary support for our state, but Minnesotans need sustainable investments in our communities.

This year there was a proposed fifth tax bracket to raise taxes on those couples making $1 million per year or more, but Sen. Carla Nelson fought against this needed investment. Sen. Nelson was elected by us, to work for us, and it’s important that she hear directly from us. Before the special session in mid-June, please contact Sen. Nelson’s office at 651-296-4848 to let her know she should ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share, so we can make the investments we need in our communities. When all families thrive – no matter our race, ZIP code or job – with wonderful schools, affordable child care, and health care for all, then our economy thrives as well.

Diane O’Mara, Stewartville

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