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2019 Legislative Wrapup
July 2, 2019

Have you ever wondered if it makes a difference to make phone calls and send postcards to your legislators? Did you come to Convening on that very cold winter night back in January, or show up at the Homeless Day on the Hill in the spring, hoping our leaders would hear the urgent need that calls for action?

Our organizing together for state resources has indeed made a difference! Your calls, letters, and visits to the Capitol paid off in the end, even in a contentious legislative session. Together with the Homes for All coalition, you succeeded in winning $78 million in new dollars for housing and shelter - including $60 for Housing Infrastructure Bonds. We will be able to apply for those funds to build Vista 44 and Bimosedaa!

A key strategy in succeeding at the legislature this year was establishing a relationship with our new Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. The power of our collaborative relies on finding shared values with elected leaders so that, together, we can live out the vision that all people have a home. The Governor was instrumental in increasing these investments in affordable housing, and there is no doubt that it made a difference when you and your congregation invited him to join us in this important work.

Near the end of the session, our clergy sent a letter to all the Senators and Representatives assigned to the Health and Human services and Minnesota Housing committees. They expressed that “the wisdom of our faith traditions calls on us to keep compassion for the most vulnerable at the center of our decision making.” The voices of diverse people of faith who join together around a shared concern for those experiencing homelessness or paying more than they can afford for housing are so needed in the places where these crucial decisions are made. Thank you for adding your voice to those who spoke out this year!

Your next opportunity is to attend a Hennepin County Commissioner Conversation. If you live or work in Hennepin County, please consider attending one of these important discussions.  Your voice makes all the difference!

Emily Goldthwaite Fries
Emily Goldthwaite Fries is the Senior Congregational Organizer for Beacon.