At a Midway Chamber of Commerce economic development summit, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that the city will adopt a minimum wage of $15 – legislation he hopes to sign by the end of the year. Mayor Carter described the issue as “already decided.”
Mayor Carter also extended an invitation to those already working for a $15 minimum wage to join in the discussion. “I’m inviting everyone into the conversation,” Carter said.
In Hennepin County, Community Mediation and Restorative Services is working to reduce eviction filings in Minneapolis, especially in North Minneapolis where eviction rates are highest. Currently, women of color are the most frequently evicted. The new program will use mediators, legal help and cash assistance.
Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury) has put forth a bill that would eliminate SNAP benefits (commonly called “food stamps”) for regions that do not meet federal employment requirements. As of now, 29 counties and 12 American Indian reservations are exempt from the work requirement, and these numbers could go down with the new bill, impacting Native and rural populations most. “Jessica Webster, staff attorney with the Legal Services Advocacy Project, said the bill would be more stringent than federal law.
Washburn Center for Children has established a new fellowship for people of color in order to address the disparity between the number of POCs seeking mental health services and the number of POCs offering them. The Fellowship includes a stipend to help cover the cost of schooling and unpaid internships, professional mentorship with other POCs, and a supportive cohort of fellows. “This program comes from our commitment to advancing equity in the field and to helping expand the number of therapists of color,” Tom Steinmetz, [CEO of Washburn Center], said.