While some in our state are doing better than ever, many Minnesota workers, including working parents, lack access to policies that support healthy families. These problems disproportionately affect people of color and underpaid workers. There are multiple solutions this legislative session to begin fixing these issues, including Paid Family Leave and expanding MinnesotaCare.
Paid Family Leave:
The United States is the only advanced economy that doesn’t require paid leave, and it’s time to modernize our workplace standards. Paid leave enhances family health, protects family economic security, reduces reliance on public assistance programs, and benefits employers by lowering turnover, boosting productivity, and enhancing morale.
How to Fix It:
We also are fighting so more working families can have access to good, affordable health insurance. Currently, MinnesotaCare covers more than 100,000 Minnesotans who work hard but still struggle to make ends meet. It is used by employees of small businesses, by entrepreneurs, and by family farmers across the state.
Unfortunately, Minnesotans just above the income cut-off for MinnesotaCare face drastically higher premiums and cost-sharing that prevents far too many from accessing physical and mental health care when they need it, even if they are insured.
How We Fix It:
The following resolution was passed at the SEIU Minnesota State Council Executive Board meeting calling on Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson to drop charges against the 11 #BlackLivesMatter members who were part of the peaceful protest at the Mall of America on December 20, 2014:
Having the right to take part in peaceful, non-violent protest is an essential part of any Democracy. Throughout history, many important victories have been won because brave women and men were willing to raise their voices and push back against the status quo. Any attempts to chill free speech will harm us all.
At a time of staggering racial inequalities, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is using their voices to shine a light on structural racism in our society and the harm it causes to families: the physical, economic, emotional and spiritual damage to our sisters and brothers here in Minnesota and across the country.
The decision by Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson to prosecute protest organizers is wrong. We should be having thoughtful dialogue on how to close the painful racial inequalities that plague our communities, not spending time criminalizing peaceful protesters. We urge Sandra Johnson to do the right thing and drop the charges against these peaceful activists.