Our crumbling roads and bridges need to be repaired or rebuilt. As the metro population increases by 400,000 people by 2040, it’s also important to look into the future and expand public transit. We can do this by constructing an expansive network of light rail lines to the suburbs and complimenting those lines with expeditious bus service. This will create a future economic hub by connecting employers with more talent, students with schools, and friends with families. We need to do this with adequate and sustainable funding such as the proposed modest gas tax increase.
I will ensure there are jobs brought to our district by expanding public transit, funding education, and supporting business start-ups. We must provide for an environmentally sustainable future by encouraging the renewable energy sector to grow, which will create jobs. The light rail Green Line is expected to bring $6.7 billion of private and public economic development in the next 20 years. That same economic development can be encouraged if a line is built to the south suburbs. Finally, locked in the mind of a child is an idea that can be the next business venture. We must nurture that by investing in our childrens’ education.
Early Childhood Education
Our greatest resource is our children. We must invest in our childrens’ future by ensuring a quality education. Universal early childhood education programs provide the necessary building blocks for more success in school and in life. Studies show when children participate in universal pre-kindergarten, they score higher on math and reading tests than those who just start in kindergarten. There is a lesser amount of students who need to use special education services, which means less cost to a district as a student progresses. Providing free access to these programs ensures everyone has a fair chance at receiving these benefits.
As a college student at the University of Minnesota, I understand how expensive college can be. I support finding a bipartisan way to lower tuition costs at public colleges and universities. A higher education should be able to be accessed by anyone and not limited based on income or social status. My opponent supports providing debt relief to those who have already graduated college, however it doesn’t go far enough. There are thousands of students who are currently enrolled or will be enrolled in higher education. We must ensure they don’t have to shoulder an ever increasing burden of debt for much of their lives, and ensuring there are jobs when they graduate.