Ward 6 Weekly Update 10/18/2021

Ward 6 Weekly Update banner

October 18, 2021

Proposed Tobacco Ordinance Changes

tobacco and cigarettes

I want to share my support of the proposed Tobacco Ordinance that is currently before St Paul City Council.

Existing regulations have not been enough to keep tobacco companies from  targeting children, people of color, and low-income communities. I think about my experiences growing up, I think of how many of my classmates started smoking as children in middle and high school. The tobacco industry wants us to start young.

As an industry, they have targeted not just children, but communities of color and working class communities. These are OUR communities. The harm is happening to us while the benefits go to the tobacco industry. 

We’ve been seeing tobacco shops violate our own existing tobacco ordinances and have had to increase the punishment for violations in order to hold them accountable. This will help, but it is not enough.

I want to continue to do my part to help make it as difficult as possible for youth to start smoking, vaping and chewing. With this ordinance, we put the power balance back into the hands of people who are being harmed by tobacco. Do we want a community that revolves around health and safety and so much more? The answer is yes.

Changes proposed to the Saint Paul Tobacco ordinance:

1) Change to two classes of tobacco licenses: Tobacco Shop, locations like convenience stores that sell tobacco along with other products and Tobacco Products Shop, locations that primarily sell tobacco.

2) The distance between locations which sell tobacco would be one-half mile. This provision would not impact renewal of existing licenses.

3) The cap on the number of Tobacco Shop licenses would become 150 and the cap on the number of Tobacco Products Shops would become 25.

4) Liquor stores would no longer be able to sell any flavored tobacco products including menthol flavor. Non-flavored products would still be allowed. 

5) The minimum price for packs of cigarettes or standard size cans of chewing tobacco would be set at $10.00. Coupons or price promotions would no longer be able to be used to reduce the price of any tobacco products including vape products.

7) Penalties for violations of age-of-sale and sale of flavored tobacco products would be increased.

To share your thoughts on this proposal with the whole City Council, email Contact-Council@ci.stpaul.mn.us or leave a voicemail at 651-266-8506. 

Read the full resolution here

Need Help with Rent?



Families First Housing Pilot Program. Giving kids a stable home to study and learn in is more essential than ever. If you need help with rent, check out the City of Saint Paul’s Families First Housing Pilot. Qualified Saint Paul families receive $300/month in rent assistance for three years. 

    • Hmong: Yuav kawm kom paub ntau ntxiv txog txoj hauj lwm Families First Housing Pilot, mus saib hauv stpaul.gov/families-first.
    • Somali: Si aad wax dheeraad ah uga ogaato Families First Housing Pilot, booqo stpaul.gov/families-first.
    • Spanish: Para obtener más información sobre el programa Piloto para la Vivienda Family First, visite stpaul.gov/families-first.
    • Karen: လၢ ကမၤလိအါထီၣ်ဘၣ်ဃးဒီး Families First ဟံၣ်ဃီတၢ်ရဲၣ်တၢ်ကျဲၤအဂီၢ်, လဲၤကွၢ်ဖဲ stpaul.gov/families-first.

Digital Navigators at the Library

digital navigator

Need help with technology? Connect with one of the Library’s digital navigators for free at 651-266-5838. Digital navigators work one-on-one with community members, serving as an on-ramp to increased digital inclusion and to improved access to library resources, services, and programs.

Digital Navigators:

  • Help secure reliable internet at home
  • Access low-cost devices like a laptop, tablet, and smartphone
  • Provide tech support
  • Provide referrals to digital literacy and programs that build skills
  • Build or improve digital skills and job training support
  • Provide referrals to government and community resources

More information on Digital Navigators, digital literacy classes, tech help, and more can be found at sppl.org/digital-navigators/

How to Get Tested for COVID-19

covid swab

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced two new semi-permanent COVID-19 community testing sites in Saint Paul and Bloomington.

The Saint Paul testing site is located in Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 West Kellogg Blvd. Testing at the Saint Paul site will occur Monday – Thursday, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Bloomington testing site is located at 9930 Logan Ave. S (former DMV). Testing at the Bloomington site will occur Monday – Friday, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Testing is free at all of the state's community testing sites. Appointments can be made through the Vault Health registration site. Walk-ins are also accepted.

You can also order a test through the state’s no-cost at-home COVID-19 testing program.

Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map. Walk-in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s no-cost community testing sites across Minnesota.

Contact Us

Email: ward6@stpaul.gov

Phone: 651-266-8660

Facebook: NelsieYangWard6

Twitter: @NelsieYangCM

Meet & Greet phone call appointments are available on Thursdays.  Register online at stpaul.gov/ward6.

Parks & Rec  Programming on Oct. 21-22

Rec Check

On days Saint Paul Public Schools are not in session, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation offers half-day, full-day, and drop-in programs. 

Rec Check (grades 1-5) at 22 locations from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Cost: Free.

Rec Check Extended (grades 1-5) at Edgcumbe, Frogtown, or Hazel Park Recreation Centers from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Cost: $10/day *Registration closes Monday, Oct. 18.

Drop-in and open gym programs for youth, families, and adults.

Take the 2022 Budget Survey

Budget Survey

The budget survey is available now through November 30th. Take the survey to share your views on St Paul's values and priorities. Click here to take the survey directly.  

Help Re-Name the Hillcrest Site!

We want your input on finding a name for the Hillcrest redevelopment project. If interested, please submit your ideas to https://www.sppa.com/engagehillcrest.