I join our community in outrage over the killing of George Floyd. The senseless murder of Mr. Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers took the life of not just a man but a son, father, brother, and uncle. No family or community should undergo the pain his loved ones are experiencing.
As I’m sure you know by now, Derek Chauvin and the other officers responsible for Mr. Floyd’s death have been fired, arrested, and charged. Attorney General Keith Ellison is leading the prosecution. This is a small step towards justice, but much more needs to be done.
Last Tuesday, the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus – of which I’m a member – unveiled a legislative response to reform public safety and the criminal justice system. The bills included in this package of legislation fall under five different categories:
These long overdue reforms are the first steps needed to create fundamental change and ensure all Minnesotans can be safe in their communities. With the support of Speaker Hortman, Majority Leader Winkler, and other House DFL legislators, my POCI Caucus colleagues and I will make these proposals a top priority in future legislative sessions, including a likely special session this week.
Last Thursday, I started my day with a damage survey of two areas of Lake Street in Minneapolis and the Midway area in St. Paul. I was heartbroken to see billions of dollars of destruction. Neighbors and business owners spoke to livelihoods lost and life’s works erased. We need great investments back into community in order to rebuild.
I also attended a round table hosted by Rep. Ilhan Omar. It was important to hear from organizers and leaders in our community about the change they are looking for. They shared their stories and offered concrete suggestions. We need to do better when listening to community.
I’d like to thank everyone who has lent a hand to others during these difficult times. It’s moving to see friends and volunteers cleaning up and gathering food and critical supplies. This outpouring of generosity is a demonstration of the way Minnesotans care about each other. If you’re wondering how you can help, the Star Tribune published a list of resources that you might find useful here. I’ll continue sharing opportunities as they arise, so make sure to check my Facebook page regularly.
The Minnesota Department of Health is advising everyone who attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up to get tested for COVID-19. If you start to feel sick, you should get tested right away. If you don’t feel sick, get tested 5-7 days after the event. If the test is negative and you’re worried you might have been exposed, you can get another test 12-14 days after the event. You can find more information and a testing location near you here.
Many restaurants, bars, salons, and barbershops reopened last week as we entered a new phase of the Stay Safe Plan. Restaurants and bars are now able to offer outdoor dining, and salons and barbershops can operate at 25 percent occupancy. Further changes will take effect on Wednesday, June 10, when indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues will be allowed to begin reopening. However, concerns about COVID-19 remain. Please continue following public health practices to protect yourself, other customers, and employees and help make the gradual reopening process a success. You can find more information about the various phases of the Stay Safe Plan here.
I want to thank those of you who are raising your voices and stepping up for neighbors and communities in need during these unprecedented times. Please take care of yourself and your family and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.
Rep. Kaohly Her