BusinessNeighborhood News

Forging ahead in 2022

At the turn of the year, it makes sense to review the work we are doing at Ramsey County and think about whether we are doing the right work the right way.
Most of you know that I have been working to connect residents to jobs, education and opportunity with better transit. To this end, I aim to create new jobs and housing with Riversedge downtown and Rice Creek Commons in Arden Hills and make sure everyone in Ramsey County has access to the services that they need. I continue to work hard on these goals.
For the last two years, all of us at the county have had to focus our attention on our residents’ basic human needs:
Hunger: I chaired the Food Security Committee, making sure that isolated adults and school children who were at home were fed and that we strengthened our food shelf network. We have created a permanent food security coordinator position and are assessing how we can best serve the county in the future.
Homelessness: In 2020, we opened both the Bethesda Homeless Shelter and the Provincial House in my district to house people for the short term. In 2021, we created the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Levy to provide money to seed new affordable housing. We just approved money to help build and preserve over 400 units of affordable housing. We also recently announced that we will partner with the federal government and the City of Saint Paul to provide $74M for housing.
Public safety: The crisis of violent crime is real. On Dec.r 21, we committed to hire 40 new county staff to address public safety. Some will staff our 911 call center. Some will be social workers and community health responders. As a licensed social worker, I know that we are sometimes the best people to address people in crisis, and with proper work, we can prevent a crisis altogether.
This is the best work we can be doing, and I’m proud of the way our staff has done it.
As always, I ask for you to share your views and to help however you can. I will strive to provide steady leadership through these difficult times and build for a better future.

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