Equity and Respect
Assuring all a chance at a life that includes respect, contribution and fair treatment is a founding principle of our country and our Democratic Party. Our country’s basic values direct respect for differences and an equal chance for all to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. But we must constantly test our present situation and eliminate disparities wherever we find them. All in our community deserve fair treatment and a life with many opportunities to choose from. All means ALL. Too many are left behind in too many ways. We must push open the doors of opportunity for all.
A record of results
- Passing marriage equality. This was my most powerful single yes vote - it opened major life opportunities for so many. But it was the culmination of years of work. Before being elected, Diane worked to add sexual orientation to the human rights protections so people who happen to be LGBTQ wouldn’t have to fear losing their jobs or housing for being honest about themselves.
- Passed legislation to address racial disparities in education, health, employment, and housing. Diane has also supported evaluation keep the focus on actions that make a measurable difference in people’s lives. We want different outcomes, not just “programs”.
- Helped pass “ban the box” so persons coming out of the criminal justice system have a fairer chance at securing employment. Supported the expansion of drug, mental health, and veterans’ courts to focus on treatment and diversion instead of incarceration.
- Diane has successfully fought discriminatory policies in health care such as lifetime limits on health coverage, policies that would enable large segregated housing for people with disabilities, and policies that treat mental illness differently than other illnesses.
- Worked hard and passed the MN Dream Act which grants in state tuition to all Minnesota high school graduates including immigrants, a major savings.
But more remains to be done
- We need to work in coalition with people of all races, immigrants, seniors and persons with disabilities to address the persistent disparities in opportunities and outcomes that hold too many people back or treat them unfairly. Racism, sexism, ableism, ageism and all other forms of discrimination have no place in our society and we must work hard to eliminate them and achieve equity for all.
- We need to address pervasive poverty as a root cause of holding so many back. It’s difficult to do all you’d like as a parent if you have to juggle two jobs, can’t find evening shift day care that’s child development focused, can’t afford safe and stable housing, or afford to take a child with an ear infection to the doctor. A laid off older worker can’t overcome discrimination in hiring if not given opportunities to update their skills while on unemployment when that can’t even cover the mortgage or rent. Fulltime work should lead all to a self-sufficient life with fair wages and benefits.
- Racism has no role in our society and we must address the opportunity gaps and outcome disparities in all aspects of life.
- We need to give all access to driver’s licenses and insurance and work hard to have our federal government create paths to citizenship.
- All women deserve access to free contraceptive care and access to abortion. All women deserve equal pay for equal work, paid time off for maternity and family care, and protection from sexual harassment and assault. Hard to believe that equal rights for women is yet to be put in law or our constitution. It’s time!
- People with disabilities have the highest unemployment and need to be given the opportunity to live a maximally independent and self-supporting life. A federal court has found that Minnesota has consistently denied persons with disabilities (developmental, physical, sensory losses, and those with severe mental health challenges) their constitutional rights to a life of maximum independence and choice. We need to appropriate transition resources but in the end many will be newly self-supporting taxpayers and engaged in a satisfying life in their community.
- We must hold ourselves accountable by constantly measuring our progress and working aggressively to address identified disparities.