Today Elizabeth Dickinson announces her intention to seek the office of Mayor for St. Paul.
“I intend to be a Mayor for all St. Paulites, regardless of ethnicity, orientation, gender or party designation. Whatever happens at the national or state political level, St. Paul must uphold a strong commitment to protect its residents (regardless of origin) and uphold democratic values of inclusivity, respect and fairness.”
Dickinson adds that positive lasting changes come when everyone has a place at the decision-making table and where everyone’s voice is honored.
“The main lesson I have learned in over fifteen years of community engagement and activism and from my work as a life coach, speaker and writer is that the best, most successful ideas-the ones that translate into action and into lasting change-come from the people who live and work in the community, who have a commitment to make social, economic and environmental justice a reality for everyone.”
In practical terms, Dickinson seeks to work as a team with the district councils, institutions, businesses, community organizations, city council and city departments.
“The mayor’s leadership-her actions and budget proposals- should reflect the real needs of the city. Our resources need to be collected and allocated equitably, so they benefit those who need them most. Our investments should directly benefit our people because the greatest capital is our human capital.”
Specific policies Dickinson will champion include:
-Developing a living wage ordinance that is not punitive to small enterprises, established with the involvement of the workers, neighborhoods, unions, and businesses. “The dignity of work is protected when we pay wages that allow people to live with dignity.”
-Developing an energy action plan that engages the community, stresses efficiency and invests in clean, affordable, reliable, equitable and locally produced energy, including community-owned solar. “From my volunteer work with Community Power MN, I know it is possible to develop policies at the city level that promote clean energy independence that also benefit the community and individuals economically.”
-Developing programs that inspire and support both our city workers and our young people to advance their leadership capacity and skills so they can support and serve their community better. “As a coach, I know one of the best ways to create city efficiency and productivity and youth leadership is if people are supported with professional development opportunities.”
-Addressing homelessness by supporting and empowering organizations like Heading Home Ramsey-so every individual, family, and veteran-can find resources in one place, and where staff and volunteers can serve those who need our support; and investing in and developing policies for more affordable housing. “There are few things more fundamental to being able to live fully and contribute to society than in having a safe, clean place to call your own. We must break down the barriers and commit to end homelessness, and see having a home as a fundamental human right.”
-Developing policies that simplify city codes and regulations for small businesses and entrepreneurs and hiring city navigators to help emerging small businesses make sense of the often confusing city codes and multiple city departments. “Too many entrepreneurs and small businesses suffer emotionally and economically while trying to comply with a tangle of well-meaning regulations. We need to untangle and simplify the process, so these businesses and entrepreneurs can pursue their dreams and make their contributions to St. Paul.”
Specific existing, emerging and potential issues that Dickinson recognizes requiring the energy and attention of the mayor include:
Developing both the former Ford site and potentially, the Hillcrest site. With plenty of public input, we want to balance the needs for open green space, responsible development of both single family and denser development and business and housing needs.
Developing and enhancing police and community relations, particularly around the public’s and the officers’ safety, police accountability, addressing discrimination, implicit bias, racial profiling, and protecting immigrants.
“Everyone should thrive, not just survive. The dedication and intelligence of the people who live and work here-in city government, in non-profits, in our neighborhoods, and in business is undeniable. If it is possible anywhere, it should be possible in St. Paul for us to address our challenges, to improve on the good, and to strive for the great.”
Enhancing a multi-modal transportation system with a commitment to pedestrian and bike-friendly practices, and phasing out/replacing existing diesel buses and the city’s fleet with more electric-powered vehicles. “The city needs to be accessible, traversable, and safe for people of all ages, incomes, and physical abilities.”
As an independent voice in a non-partisan race, Dickinson will be seeking Green endorsement while believing the values and commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice, grassroots democracy, and non-violence transcend party designation.
And on that basis, Dickinson has an open invitation to anyone who lives or works in the city (regardless if affiliated with a party or not), to contact her at 651-235-1208 or at [email protected] or follow her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DickinsonF... and on Twitter at @MayorDickinson to meet, to sit down over coffee, to share and develop their vision, their ideas, and their energy to maintain and create an engaged people and agenda all St. Paul can be proud of.