Insight News endorses Rep. Keith Ellison (D-5), Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Natalie Hudson, State Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-62), State Sen. Bobby Champion (DFL-59) and State Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-65A), for the Aug. 9 Minnesota primary elections.
And Insight encourages voters to turn out for the primary election as never before because the stakes are just that high. Each of the endorsees faces at least one challenger and only the top two vote getters in each contest go on to the Nov. 8 general election.
Keith Ellison remains a phenomenal, trail-blazing leader on the national level as the voice of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Ellison engaged early and intensely in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic Party nomination for president. Now, the practical visionary that he is, Ellison leads the charge inviting Sanders supporters to stand with him and Sanders in unifying the Democratic Party and rejecting venomous and hateful divisiveness that is the hallmark of Donald Trump’s campaign for president as the Republican Party nominee.
Ellison will employ his considerable gifts of organizing and effective representation to continue to broaden the tent of the Democratic Party. Rightly, he describes civic participation, voting and volunteering as civil virtues, and admonishes apathy and a failure or refusal to vote as civic sins.
Justice Natalie Hudson has the education, experience and training that makes her worthy of our support.
Hudson was appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2015 by Gov. Mark Dayton and now must stand for reelection to the Court. Hudson served on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for more than 12 years, prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, and served as St. Paul City Attorney before that.
State Senators Jeff Hayden, Deputy Majority Leader, and Bobby Joe Champion successfully navigated conflict-riddled legislative waters this year finding completion and accomplishment in applauding Dayton’s signing of the omnibus supplemental budget bill. The bill included historic and unparalleled investments secured by Hayden and Champion that will begin to address Minnesota’s alarming racial and economic disparities.
Through their leadership of the Senate Subcommittee on Equity, Hayden and Champion secured ongoing investments for programs that will create jobs, strengthen businesses, help families find homes, provide educational programs and more.
The Equity Subcommittee’s recommendations for funding in the larger omnibus supplemental budget bill, totaled $35 million in one-time funding and $17.5 million each year in ongoing funding.
The investment has been called the largest one-time infusion of funding for programs aimed at addressing Minnesota’s significant disparities.
State Rep. Rena Moran stood shoulder-to-shoulder with her Senate colleagues, gaining the Republican led-House of Representatives’ support for the omnibus bill signed by the governor.
Moran’s focus on education, housing, workforce development and jobs has been critical for her district. She has become increasingly effective as a legislator.
She received an A++ rating from Voices of Racial Justice for her work on racial equity.
About the omnibus budget bill
In total, 26 organizations and programs are funded through the equity provision of the omnibus budget bill. Additionally, the agriculture provision and the education provision of the bill also fund programs dedicated to eliminating root causes of Minnesota’s persistent disparities.
The Grow Your Own program received $1.5 million, supporting paraprofessional pathways to licensure. The Good Food Access program got $250,000 to address barriers to nutritious, affordable food by providing grants, low-cost loans and technical support for new or enhanced grocery stores, mobile markets and farmers’ markets for projects around the state.
Others receiving funds include Neighborhood Development Center – $1.5 million, Ujamaa Place – $600,000, Enterprise Minnesota – $1.75 million, YWCA Career Development Programs (St. Paul) – $1 million, YWCA Minneapolis – $750,000, EMERGE Community Development – $4.25 million, Twin Cities Rise! – $1.2 million, Metropolitan Transit – $407,000, Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) Business Development and Assistance Services – $2.5million, Minneapolis Foundation (North at Work Grant) – $1 million, Career Connections Pathways Hennepin County – $2.5 million, Pathways to Prosperity Program – $1 million, White Earth Nation Integrated Business Development – $500,000 and Construction Careers Foundation – $2 million.
In addition, the package includes funding for economic disparities in the Latino community – $1.5 million, education disparities within Native-American communities – $800,000, Somali youth and community resiliency – $2 million, emerging entrepreneurs – $500,000, the Youth at Work grant program – $1 million, capacity building grants program – $320,000, the expansion of the Family Stabilization Plan program – $500,000, the Landlord Guarantee Fund Pilot – $250,000, funds to increase the number of women in high wage, high-demand, nontraditional jobs – $1.5 million, grants to address economic disparities in Southeast Asian Communities – $2 million and services to the blind – $1 million.