There are so many issues that we need to address as individuals, families, communities and policy makers. Too often we become siloed in our own sphere or way of thinking. I believe that when we take the time to find our similarities–to feel empathy for another’s struggle–we become more able to honor and respect our differences and work together in true partnership.
That’s why I look at issues with an intersectional lens. I believe no issue resides in a vacuum. We need to be asking questions like, how does affordable housing, the job market, access to transportation, and environmental stewardship connect? How has systemic oppression, historical trauma and access to opportunities influenced and affected me and my neighbors?
By finding and building on connections, we can create programs, policies and developments that honor and leverage social intersections. We can build collective power and momentum toward the changes we want to see and be.
Health is something that we often take for granted until we are in a situation in which it is jeopardized. Many people live everyday with chronic disabilities that are often invisible to the eye. I see our health as more than just our physical vitality. It encompasses the totality of the environments in which we live, how we live with each other, and how we are all able to contribute and grow each day.
We need to:
• Prevent gentrification and displacement, while also working to bring in attractive new developments and a diversified housing stock that builds our tax base .
• Increase access to services that are personalized and tailored to the community's needs and create systems that truly meet people where they are at.
• Implement trauma informed, culturally compassionate, wholistic approaches that support mental, emotional, physical and economic wellbeing both individually and collectively.
Family, whether those related by blood and ethnicity or connected to us by location, are the foundation of our society. We have to give better opportunities and access to those most in need of support AND we have to be intentional about breaking cycles. We must ensure that we aren't replanting the seeds of the oppression that we mean to destroy. We need to have more grace with ourselves and one another to build trust. Stronger, more authentic relationships will help leads us toward our future. When we help heal ourselves, we heal our families and our community.
• Policies and systems that acknowledge, heal and rectify the wounds of historical and intergenerational trauma.
• Practices that repair and strengthen relationships, build strong partnerships and work to combat the normalization of fear, violence and disfunction.
• Processes that help communities find the solutions that work best for them, so we can prevent and heal from violence, both domestic and systemic.
Home is where the heart is. But not everyone has a place to call home, some homes are not safe, healthy or hopeful places to be, and many people seeking a home, are often made to feel that they are not wanted or worthy. Home can be complicated. It can be both both harsh and kind, welcoming and rejecting. It takes courage to care, to invest, to build anew. But I am hopeful. Whether Mother Earth, the United States, Minnesota, or Brooklyn Center, THIS IS OUR HOME. All of us together. Lets make it a better place.
• Opportunities that create a sense of safety, hope, purpose and belonging.
• Programs and Policies that encourage engagement, spur redevelopment and reward integrity and accountability to community.
• Pathways to homeownership, entrepreneurship and a chance to build generational wealth.
• Clean, reliable, equitable transportation systems that provide access to educational, economic and cultural opportunities.
• Policies and practices that honor and protect sacred indigenous land and preserves it for future generations.