Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

Imagine having to to sit through classes with 95 different teachers before you find one that looks like you.

Imagine being a student of color and knowing that your chances of graduating high school were only 52 to 66 percent in Duluth -- but your guidance counselors each have 416 students to advise and help.

Imagine what you could do if Duluth had a universal scholarship program like one launched in Michigan ten years ago: one that would pay tuition to a state college for any student who graduates from the Duluth Public Schools. 

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

Hopping on a bus because your car’s in the shop or you want to be environmentally responsible.

Cutting a rent or mortgage check at the first of the month so your family has a clean, safe home.

Picking up a group of friends or piling in your car with the family to head to the park for a day of fun.

For 75% of Duluthians, that’s everyday life.

But for the remaining 25%, the one in four families in this town who live in poverty, it’s not.

Lisa Johnson

Six months ago, a group of Duluthians brought their concerns to local political candidates, asking them to take specific steps to address their issues.

Part of the Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum included the commitment to a follow-up Accountability Session this spring.

In this final part of a three part report, we hear about  efforts to make transportation more accessible for people with disabilities, and the progress of Homes for All in the Minnesota Legislature.

Lisa Johnson

  Six months ago, a group of Duluthians brought their concerns to local political candidates, asking them to take specific steps to address their issues.

Part of the Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum included the commitment to a follow-up Accountability Session this spring.

 

In this second part of a three part report, we hear about  efforts to make transportation more accessible for people with disabilities, and the progress of Homes for All in the Minnesota Legislature.

 

Lisa Johnson

Six months ago, a group of Duluthians brought their concerns to local political candidates, asking them to take specific steps to address their issues.

Part of the Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum included the commitment to a follow-up Accountability Session this spring.

In this first part of a three part report, we hear about  efforts to reform GRH (Group Residential Housing) and implement the Landlord Incentive Program. 

Lisa Johnson

For most of us, public transportation does a great job of getting us to school or work.

But the snowbank we have to clamber over at the bus stop, for example,  is more than a nuisance for someone with disabilities: it might mean a missed doctor's appointment,  being late to pick up a child or even another day spent housebound.

We wrap up our series from the 2016 Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum with the comments of Jemel Jones, a community activist looking for some changes in public transportation to better accommodate people with disabilities.

©Josie Fan

After spending enough time homeless, Andy Moe of Duluth was relieved to move into a board-and-lodge facility.

But he was frustrated by the lack of space and privacy, the inability to access his own medications or save money toward an apartment, and he talked to the candidates about the need for reform when it comes to board and lodge facilities.

With Duluth's housing vacancy rate hovering around 3%, it's hard enough to find a place to live.  It would be bad enough if you were trying to find housing when no one wanted to hire you ... but where would you go and what would you do if no one wanted to rent to you, either?

Low-income Duluthians took center stage at a unique candidate forum in October.  They shared their experiences and struggles with candidates for state and county offices and then asked the candidates - pointedly - for specific commitments and actions on several critical policy measures.

Low-income Duluthians took center stage at a unique candidate forum in October.  They shared their experiences and struggles with candidates for state and county offices and then asked the candidates - pointedly - for specific commitments and actions on several critical policy measures.

We'll be bringing you their stories and the reactions of the candidates to their requests in the weeks to come.

Lisa Johnson

Low-income Duluthians took center stage at a unique candidate forum in October.  They shared their experiences and struggles with candidates for state and county offices and then asked the candidates - pointedly - for specific commitments and actions on several critical policy measures.

We'll be bringing you their stories and the reactions of the candidates to their requests in the weeks to come.

Here, Chelsey Shykes shared her story of trying to find dental care while a college student on medical assistance.

©Lisa Johnson

Low-income Duluthians took center stage at a unique candidate forum in October.  They shared their experiences and struggles with candidates for state and county offices and then asked the candidates - pointedly - for specific commitments and actions on several critical policy measures.

Here, Shereeka Smith shares her story of fleeing the violence of Detroit and trying to make a home in Duluth.

Lisa Johnson

Living in their car because they couldn't find a place to live. Calling all 13 dental providers who claim to take medical insurance and being turned away by all of them. Struggling with public transportation as a disabled person when bus stops aren't shoveled.