Questions and Answers

ELIZABETH_DICKINSON_13713_small.pngWhy does Elizabeth support a $15/hour minimum wage?

A Minneapolis study showed a $15/hour minimum wage would lift 71,000 workers above the poverty line, including black, Latino, immigrant, and female workers. A higher wage increases employee retention, stimulates the local economy, increases spending at small businesses, and builds healthier communities with no increase in unemployment or prices. It's simple. If work has dignity, then workers should be able to live with dignity and be able to pay for life's basic needs.

Why does Elizabeth support directing more of the city resources to neighborhoods?

St. Paulites express weariness with city investments in 'bright, shiny objects' like stadiums and high-visibility building projects. The number one complaint I hear is neighborhood investment has been neglected. The first place people interact with local government is through rec centers, libraries, and schools. When city money goes to TIF for big projects that could be built without public money, the whole city loses. Underserved areas are often the hardest hit, where new immigrants and people of color live. By 2050 Caucasians will no longer be the majority. We need to ensure all kids, regardless of zip code, get the kind of start and support that will lead to becoming engaged, productive citizens. I want every child to feel and to be safe and valued.

What would increased transparency, diversity, and inclusivity look like at the city level?

The majority of St. Paul residents tend to be smart, principled, and progressive. One complaint I hear over and over is that people feel they can't find the information they need. For instance, contact information for the commissions that represent the people's views to the mayor is often missing or out of date. Often the people who serve on the commissions have overstayed the term limits. And it's a mystery how those folks are chosen beyond submitting resumes. I want information about who is serving on the commissions and how to contact them to be easy-to-find. I want increased outreach to underserved communities so they have a chance to serve on those commissions and the selections process to be more transparent.

What is Elizabeth's leadership style?

I'm heavily influenced by neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and by my coaching/organizing experience. The best answers to challenges come when leaders ask questions, invite all stakeholders, (including from under-represented communities), practice active listening, and create an atmosphere where all people are welcomed/valued. While I want a living wage, a renewable energy plan, etc., I don't believe that I have all the answers. St. Paul has intelligent, passionate, and principled people from all walks of life who should be invited to help create the vision and action plan for our city.