The central challenge of our city is one of priorities – our leaders are prioritizing ambitious and grandiose projects that are leaving us unable to satisfy our fundamental governmental responsibilities. There is perhaps no better example of this than the proposed, and absolutely unnecessary, expansion of the Como Pavilion – a beloved building in great condition – right here in Ward 5. How can we continue to push projects like this while so many of our people and services are being neglected? To have a functional city, we need to readjust our priorities. Let’s start by paying our firefighters and supporting them with a good contract. Let’s repair the roads, not with patchwork fixes, but with lasting repairs. Let’s find a way to improve the mediocre snow-shoveling services that left so many people stuck this past winter. Let’s find real solutions to address the rising violence and insecurity across the city. And let’s stop talking about addressing the challenge of homelessness; let’s start funding real actions to help address this.
Expanding “Real” Affordable Housing
The city is suffering from a housing shortage, and this is making it difficult for people to contemplate homeownership, and often simply to pay the rent. Unfortunately, St. Paul has pushed the mantra that “all development is good development,” a doctrine resulting, primarily, in the widespread construction of $1500/month condos across the city. Let’s be clear – this is not affordable housing. Rather than continue to wait for the benefits of these condos to trickle down to regular people, we need to proactively work alongside developers to find new solutions focused on real affordability via new construction, new multi-plex options, the repurposing of historic buildings, tiny homes, and office conversions.