Address the affordable housing crisis
There’s an affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis. One of the fastest-gentrifying cities in the country, it has become considerably more expensive to rent or own property in our city. Home prices have increased 8.8% in the last year alone, and the average one bedroom apartment costs over 20% more than it did five years ago – all while wages have remained fairly stagnant.
We will work with community stakeholders to create solutions that address this crisis, which has hit low- and middle-income individuals especially hard. Our vision includes championing initiatives that:
- Reduce housing disparities and predatory rental practices
- Enact equal access initiatives and enforce fair housing laws
- Hold landlords accountable for the livability of their properties
Advocate for environmental justice and urban agriculture
Every community deserves to drink clean water and breathe clean air. I will pursue an environmental justice agenda that safeguards our most valuable natural resources and improves the health and wellbeing of Minneapolis residents. Along with proposing policies that help reduce instances of asthma and lead poisoning in vulnerable communities, I will work to close the harmful Hennepin Energy Recovery Center and implement a cleanup initiative for the Mississippi River.
Urban agriculture is vital to reducing food insecurity and increasing access to fresh and nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. I will work to address the current state of the food system that creates barriers for both urban producers and local consumers to have access to markets with fresh and affordable food.
Encouraging community gardens and incentivizing rainwater harvesting are just a couple of the ways we can address key nutrition and health issues, but also foster deeper community engagement and cohesiveness.
Promote economic equity and fairness for all
We need a paradigm shift in how Minneapolis addresses economic inequality. The city can no longer afford business as usual. A level playing field is the foundation of economic equity and fairness, which is why I will fight to implement policies that shrink wage gaps and reduce racial disparities.
And while Minneapolis has a relatively strong economy, too many are still either unemployed or underemployed. We must offer support to those striving to better their lives. I will promote initiatives that encourage businesses and corporations to invest in Minneapolis, particularly in areas with high unemployment, and provide living wages to residents in our diverse city.
Champion the $15 minimum wage
The costs of household goods are rising. Childcare is expensive. And the rent is too damn high. These are just a few reasons why the people of Minneapolis need – and deserve – a raise. I will work with community stakeholders and business leaders to ensure a minimum wage increase not only benefits our workers but also inspires small business and entrepreneurship growth.
Why a $15-an-hour minimum wage? Because the minimum wage should be a living wage. Everyone who works full-time has earned the right to a roof over his or her head and to put food on the table. A $15-an-hour minimum wage is a step in the right direction.
Spearhead criminal justice reform
Now is the time move beyond talking about criminal justice reform. We must now start enacting policies that put those words into action. In Minneapolis, there’s a chance to do things differently. We can be a national leader in showing what true racial equity is all about. That means taking actions like improving community and police relations, advocating for the fair treatment of people of color, and reducing racial profiling.
We also cannot forget about those who are reentering society from correctional facilities. I will push for reentry policies that reduce recidivism and provide economic and housing stability for people seeking a fresh start.
Nekima is continually holding roundtable discussions with key community members and other stakeholders to hear their ideas about the impact and implementation of the above policies. Fill out the Community Priorities Survey and join her at an upcoming event to share your voice.