Category Archives: Uncategorized

2017 Year-End Update – Part 2

Dear Friend:

The other day, I forwarded the first part of my year-end report to my constituents and supporters; click here to read it. Below is part 2. All the best for the holidays!

Dave Pinto
State Representative, District 64B

P.S. The work described in these updates — driving policy change, organizing for action — takes funding. That funding is especially critical in these difficult times. Please consider contributing, at davepinto.com/contribute. If you live in Minnesota, your first $50 is fully refundable by the state; details at the website. Thank you.


Begin forwarded message:

From: “<rep.dave.pinto@house.mn>” <Rep.Dave.Pinto@house.mn>
Date: December 18, 2017 at 12:46:59 PM CST
To: “Announcements from Representative Dave Pinto” <rep_dave_pinto_list@ww3.house.leg.state.mn.us>
Subject: Year End Legislative Update – Part 2
Reply-To: “Dave Pinto” <Rep.Dave.Pinto@house.mn>

Minnesota House of Representatives

Rep. Dave Pinto (64B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Happy holidays! This is part 2 of my year-end report on my work as your representative. Please click here to read part 1, which was sent last Friday.

Leading for Progress

As I described last week, my top priority continues to be getting every child off to a great start in life. The best way to help young children to thrive is to help their families to do so — through policies like paid family and sick leave, affordable and stable housing, safe communities, and living-wage jobs. As an assistant leader in the House DFL caucus, I’m playing a key role in working to advance this progressive agenda — and to fight threats against it, such as a bill that would have blocked local governments from regulating workplace conditions for their residents.



One particular area where I’ve led is in efforts to prevent gun violence. On average, 80 Americans are killed every day by firearms — many times the rate of every other industrialized country. That’s 30,000 Americans per year, nearly 1,300 of them children. No one policy change would prevent every one of these deaths, but we could prevent some of them. I’m the House author of a number of leading bills in this area, including one to require a criminal background check on every sale and another authorizing “gun violence protective orders,” a court procedure similar to the one used in situations of domestic violence.

Combatting Gender Violence

I’m familiar with this court procedure because of my service outside of the Legislature as a prosecutor of gender violence — domestic and sexual assault. For several years, I directed statewide training and other changes to protect young people from sex trafficking and exploitation

I’ve focused on gender violence issues as a legislator as well. In my first term, I had authored first-ever grants to support local investigations of sex trafficking. This funding has steadily increased and is now having a major impact throughout the state, and even nationally, as other states seek to copy Minnesota’s approach in this area.

I’m ashamed to say that even with this background, I did not realize the extent of the harassment experienced by women at the Legislature, and throughout society. One of the many antidotes for this abuse — and one of the ways to bring it to light — is to ensure that women have full and equal access to positions of power. I’m proud to serve in a DFL caucus which has an equal balance of women and men. Every one of us has the right to be treated as a full human being, working and living free from harassment, exploitation, and abuse. I will continue to work to ensure that our state honors that right.



Turning Energy Into Action

For many of us, this has been a year for turning energy into advocacy and action, for gender equity and for so many other causes. In January, I joined nearly 100,000 Minnesotans at the Women’s March at the State Capitol, to express our continued commitment to a society in which every person receives respect and has the opportunity to contribute and to thrive. I took the photo above of one of the many great signs at the March.

In April, my volunteer team organized an Advocacy Fair at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Hundreds from throughout the metro learned about and signed up with more than 20 advocacy groups, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Sierra Club. Two of my colleagues — Rep. Rena Moran and Sen. Foung Hawj — cohosted, and a number of other legislators attended as well.



Throughout the year, I’ve continued to organize Community Conversations — issue-focused town halls with experts on important topics like immigration and health care. One of these events was co-hosted by the Highland District Council and Councilmember Tolbert, and it featured presentations by city, county, state, and private agencies on projects in the Shepard-Davern area

The organizing will continue in January, with three events in seven days, including the 2018 Advocacy Fair on January 21 and the next quarterly Prenatal to Three Policy Forum on January 23.

Our policymaking benefits when every Minnesotan is empowered to join in. Helping to facilitate that is a privilege.

Keeping in Touch

I value the chance to keep you informed and to hear your views. In addition to the other events discussed above, I hold monthly “Chats with Dave” — informal conversations with constituents — at Highland Park Library. You can get notice of them and keep in touch with all of my work by subscribing to my email updates, at www.leg.state.mn.us/64b and following my page on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/repdavepinto.



Thank You

Two years ago, I wrote that the challenges that we face seemed ever deeper and more complex. Racial and gender equity, clean water and air, robust and broadly shared prosperity, and more.

These goals seem even more distant right now. But we’ve responded with an advocacy and determination that is inspiring. Together, we can build a state where every Minnesotan can contribute and every Minnesotan can thrive. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with and for you in 2018.

Wishing you and your family the very best this holiday season and throughout the new year,



Dave Pinto
State Representative
(651) 296-4199
www.leg.state.mn.us/64b
www.facebook.com/repdavepinto

2017 Year-End Update – Part 1

Dear Friend:

Happy holidays! I thought that you’d appreciate seeing my year-end update to constituents and supporters. Below is part 1, and I’ll forward part 2 next week. To receive these updates directly, please click here, and to follow my work on Facebook, click here.

All the best,
Dave Pinto
State Representative, District 64B

P.S. If you value these updates and my work, please contribute! Visit davepinto.com/contribute.


Begin forwarded message:

From: “<rep.dave.pinto@house.mn>” <Rep.Dave.Pinto@house.mn>
Date: December 15, 2017 at 12:49:32 PM CST
To: “Announcements from Representative Dave Pinto” <rep_dave_pinto_list@ww3.house.leg.state.mn.us>
Subject: Year End Legislative Update – Part 1
Reply-To: “Dave Pinto” <Rep.Dave.Pinto@house.mn>

Minnesota House of Representatives

Rep. Dave Pinto (64B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

Happy holidays! Today and Monday, I’ll be sending a brief year-end report on my work as your representative — a look back on a difficult year in state government and a look ahead at opportunities to build a better Minnesota in 2018 and beyond. Here’s part 1; look for part 2 on December 18.

Seeking a Fiscally Responsible Budget

As in every odd-numbered year, the legislative session focused on setting a state budget for the next two years. While there were some highlights (see “Investing in the Future” below), this process overall reflected misplaced priorities and missed opportunities. Whether in terms of the environment and energy, jobs, transportation, health, or education — from the earliest years to post-secondary — the short term was prioritized over the long term.



This could be seen most clearly in the tax bill, which contained a series of large giveaways to special interests — including premium tobacco products and the wealthiest estates in the state — which is already leading us back to the days of large budget deficits. As passed by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the budget contained a “poison pill” for Governor Dayton — automatic defunding of the state Department of Revenue if he failed to sign off on these tax provisions. Backed into a corner, the Governor signed the bill. But concerned about its fairness and long-term fiscal impact, he vetoed funding for the Legislature to encourage the Republican majorities to renegotiate.

A court case ensued, and the state Supreme Court recently upheld the Governor’s veto. Nevertheless, the Governor has said that he is willing to compromise with Republican leaders. When the legislative session resumes on February 20, I hope that they are prepared to respond in kind.

Investing in the Future

One positive outcome of the 2017 legislative session was passage of the first bill in several years to make long-term investments in infrastructure throughout the state. In St. Paul, the “bonding bill” is funding needed repairs to the Science Museum, a new seal & sea lion exhibit at the Como Zoo, and the expansion of the Dorothy Day Center, which provides housing and social services to those experiencing homelessness.



Early childhood development and education is another long-term investment, and there is a steadily-growing consensus on its importance. Ensuring that every child has a great start in life continues to be my top priority. The disparities that our state sees in education, employment, health, and criminal justice — some of the worst in the nation — are paralleled by disparities that begin with prenatal care and continue from birth and beyond.



The consensus on this issue is beginning to be accompanied by policy change and funding, but there is so much more to do. For this reason, I founded the Prenatal to Three Policy Forums, a quarterly series held at the University of St. Thomas and cohosted by a Republican state senator. It brings together 200+ advocates, policymakers, and community members to learn and build a shared agenda in this critical area. Six sessions have been held already, with a seventh coming up on January 23. Given time, every other challenge that we face can be met if we get this one right.

Thanks for reading the first portion of my 2018 year-end report. More to come Monday…

Best,



Dave Pinto
State Representative
(651) 296-4199
www.leg.state.mn.us/64b
www.facebook.com/repdavepinto