Tom Goldstein for Saint Paul
Dear St. Paul Resident:
Top-down, out-of-touch leadership at City Hall has left us with a city beset by neglected infrastructure, nearly a quarter of our residents living below the poverty line, an unacceptable achievement gap in our schools, limited opportunities for young people, and a zoning code heavily skewed in favor of developers and political insiders.
Somehow we can find money to fund a minor league ballpark that yields no new revenue or property taxes for the city–and pay infrastructure costs for a soccer stadium that will also be tax exempt–yet need to raise the property tax levy nearly 8 percent to cover basic city services and upkeep of our parks?
This is not how a progressive city operates.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little urgency among our elected officials to address these glaring inequities. Instead of figuring out how we’re going to create the thousands of livable wage jobs we need to grow our tax base and help lift people out of poverty, we remain fixated on building projects and corporate giveaways that only serve to increase the tax burden on everyone else.
This kind of misguided policy must stop.
Imagine where we could be as a city if we focused on sustainable development practices; prioritized investments in our parks, lakes, and libraries; viewed our riverfront as more than just another commercial opportunity; and repaired our aging infrastructure–rather than subsidizing stadiums and condo projects?
- If we invested in a citywide fiber network that ensured affordable, high-speed internet access for every resident, business, and nonprofit institution in St. Paul?
- If we insisted that every student who graduates from one of our high schools is prepared for college or has the technical skills necessary for entering the work force?
- If we treated climate change as a very real problem that requires green building practices, greater transit options, and a focus on alternative energy uses wherever possible?
- If we stopped talking about “diversity” and “communities of color” in a vacuum but actually instituted inclusionary policies that insure opportunities for everyone to fully participate in our government and the local economy?
Preserving the status quo is no longer acceptable.
We need elected officials who will put people before politics and leaders who will insist on accountability and transparency rather than pay lip service to citizen concerns.
As a long-time advocate for neighborhoods, a lawyer, small business owner, and former School Board member, I can be the change agent we need at City Hall who will help ensure that local government works for us rather than the other way around.
With your support we can achieve the kind of progressive reforms that will focus on the needs of neighborhoods and small businesses rather than corporate interests; align our city resources to ensure better educational outcomes for every student; and realize the potential in our cultural communities so that St. Paul becomes a truly great city that works for all of us. Thank you!