Maintain protections for renters
As a longtime Saint Paul resident and voter, I am dismayed that the Minnesota Senate Housing Finance and Policy Committee would pass a measure to ban rent control and rent stabilization measures statewide (MyVillager, April 27). What makes this move by the Senate committee particularly shameful is that the ban would be retroactive to last November, thereby nullifying the results of a citywide referendum.
Nearly four decades ago, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law saying no local rent control measure may be adopted at the local level without the voters in that locality approving it. Saint Paul put the rent stabilization question to voters in 2021 and, because the party in power in the state Senate (Republican) doesn’t like the outcome, they seek to nullify that referendum. It wasn’t long ago that the GOP advocated for local control over statewide mandates, but today’s reality is the party only likes local control when it suits the party.
As a citizen who takes his right to vote very seriously, I’m outraged that some in the Senate think they have the right to erase my vote and the votes of thousands of others. Saint Paul needs to protect the outcome of the rent stabilization referendum against efforts to steamroll it through preemptive legislation, so that renter protections can be maintained and enforced.
Fully fund education…finally
When Tim Walz ran for governor, he promised to “fully” fund education. Actually, just public education. He failed to do it. Probably because Republicans somehow stopped him from doing it. So now there is a pile of extra money, and Education Minnesota is running ads begging the Legislature to “fully” fund public education, presumably with the so-called state budget surplus.
I say give 100 percent of the surplus to Education Minnesota if it will agree that this is “fully funding” and it will stop begging for a few years.
A new rivalry for Twins
Rivalries are intrinsic to the success of a baseball team. So can changing leagues be. The Cincinnati Reds, the oldest team in the National League, has no main rival. In recent years, the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers changed leagues with positive results. Maybe the Reds and the Twins could switch leagues too. The Twins could reestablish their rivalry with the Brewers in the National League, and the Reds would have their own rivalry with the Cleveland Guardians in the American League.
Downtown Saint Paul
A surplus for affordable housing
There is a shortage of affordable housing in Saint Paul. People are homeless because they can’t afford to pay rent. With the state of Minnesota having a nearly $10 billion budget surplus, a large chunk of this should be spent on affordable housing. Even $1 billion could go a long way to solving the problem.
Ideas I have include building a large facility for the homeless (similar to the Dorothy Day facility) where the rail yard is at the southeast corner of the Highland Bridge development. Another area for low-income housing is the Highland 9-Hole Golf Course. This would bring more socioeconomic and racial diversity to Highland Park.
Recently, the plan for a private apartment complex near Lexington Parkway and I-94 fell through. The city, county and state should step in and build a large apartment complex at that site strictly for low-income. Saint Paul is a forward-thinking city. Let’s take action to help our low-income citizens with housing.
Bring children to the truth
Jesus gave a firm command in Matthew 19:14. “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” The instruction was meant not only for Jesus’ disciples, but also for us. We have a choice. We can accept Jesus’ command and bring our children to him, or we can ignore it and allow today’s demoralizing agenda to sweep them away from their innocence.
There is a constant blatant push today to sexualize, stigmatize, patronize, genderize and demoralize our children—children as young as 3 up through high school into college. There is a push to make sure this attack on children takes place with the grooming supported in government, media, medical clinics, television, movies, sports arenas and our educational system from prekindergarten through college. This is the hardest for me personally because I am a teacher.
Many teachers are fighting against this indoctrination, but we cannot do this alone. This deliberate push has been going on for years, decades actually. It is just more egregious now, saturating every aspect of our society. We get to decide if we go along with these moral indignations by keeping silent, or to recognize them, call them out and draw a firm line in the sand. The choice is ours as adults. We are the parents.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them.” This is a beckoning for all of us, a serious direction, not to be taken lightly. To bring God’s children away from the immoral agenda and towards the truth.
Lawn care for pollinators
There is this new approach to welcoming bees to our awakening lawns to feast and pollinate for a full 31 days this May. The moniker for this approach is No Mow May. What a fabulous idea. I offer a few other sensational ideas that may help with this.
What if some of us go about our normal behavior and mow our lawns this May. Maybe every other lawn is skipped for this No Mow May experiment. That way the hungry pollinators will be encouraged to forage elsewhere. And by elsewhere, I mean these sustenance-seeking bees will be gently encouraged to set flight for scruffy No Mow May urban meadows to graze. What a sight it will be for the passionate bee watchers to cast their eager spring eyes out their windows and see the multitude of feasting insects.
I have another great idea. Let’s start a No Snow Plow Winter, whereby we don’t have those pesky carbon-spewing snow plows clearing our streets for safe winter driving. Oh wait, we already have that. Never mind.
Stop spread of tax-exempt land
I do not think the University of Saint Thomas or any other religiously affiliated institution should be allowed to acquire by gift or purchase land that is privately held unless it is willing to pay the property tax on said land. Further, I do not think such institutions should be tax-exempt from any and all land holdings that are not occupied by an actual church or chapel. It is a simple case of “rendering unto Caesar that which is due to Caesar’’ and lifting some of the tax-burden from the backs of private land owners.
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