Ward 6 Weekly Update 12/15/2023

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December 15, 2023

Passage of the 2024 St Paul Budget

final budget vote council meeting

We’re winding down to our last Council meeting next Wednesday, Dec 20 and the last few weeks of 2024! Last week, I voted in support of the final 2024 St Paul Budget. Before the final vote, I proposed two important amendments: 

  1. The first amendment was to dedicate $520K in new Fire department funding specifically for the hiring of 4 more firefighters. Our Council, labor partners, and neighbors fought hard for this money all year long. Approval of this amendment would ensure accountability in how these dollars are spent, preventing it from becoming a general fund used without oversight. 
  2. The second amendment was to hold off on dedicating $1.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funds to pay off medical debt for eligible St Paul residents through RIP Medical Debt. While this is a great cause, I have very clearly heard other ways we could use ARP funding that needed consideration too. Two most urgent needs is pandemic pay that our city workers have been asking for for years, and providing financial aid to organizations serving our homeless community, such as Catholic Charities Higher Ground Shelter, that are experiencing deep budget shortfalls. 

I want to thank Councilmember Prince and Councilmember Noecker for voting with me on both amendments to prioritize our community’s voices and needs, ensuring there is public process in our decision-making. Though I am disappointed that my two amendments did not pass, I am proud of this work. The final $844.9 million budget has some big wins, including funding that will allow our city to:

  • repair damaged street lights and address copper wire theft 
  • increase fire department staffing
  • make capital improvements to libraries
  • launch a study aimed at advancing hiring practices to ensure St Paul's competitiveness in the labor market
  • offer 35 free weekends for swimming at Oxford Community Center

I am grateful to the St Paul community members who reached out to share their values and to the advocacy of labor partners who voiced their needs. For more, listen to the full presentation online, or check out the 2024 budget proposal here.

Book Giveaway Tomorrow! 📚📖

free books

This Saturday, December 16, Parks and Libraries will be partnering with the Saint Paul Federation of Educators and a few other organizations to hand out 40,000 books geared for young people ages 0 to 18. Families, educators, youth workers, daycare providers, free little library owners, and anyone else interested in getting some free books are welcome to come. The books selected by area educators have characters that represent the diverse communities who call Saint Paul home. Choose which ones you'd like to take with you (boxes available for easy moving).

Saturday, December 16, 2023
10:00 - 2:00 | Wellstone Center (179 Robie Street East)

ESNDC LeadSafe Minnesota Services

Lead Safe MN by ESNDC

Lead exposure remains a significant public health concern, with potentially severe consequences for individuals, especially children, and the broader community.

Read the notice on elevated levels of lead in drinking water in some homes/buildings and what Saint Paul Regional Water Servies is doing about lead: stpaul.gov/saint-paul-regional-water-services/about-your-water/lead

Contact Saint Paul – Regional Water at 651-266-6350 for information on obtaining a water sample container for testing.

Additional education as well as FREE testing services are available through the East Side Neighborhood Development Company:

  • SWAB CLEANING: (Ramsey County residents ONLY) Lead Remediation by a certified Lead contractor who will encapsulate and stabilize lead hazards in the home up to $1,575 worth of work at no cost to you.
  • Free Education on Childhood Lead Poisoning (Available to all Metro residents)
  • Free In-Home Lead Assessment (Available to all Twin Cities Counties)
  • Referral to Ramsey County Lead Window Replacement Program (Ramsey County residents ONLY) for assistance 

More information: https://esndc.org/residents/ or contact ESNDC at 651-288-875.

Lead Testing Clinic

Lead Testing Clinic

ESNDC has partnered with Care 4 All Lab Services to offer FREE lead testing for children and pregnant women. No registration or insurance information is required. 

Where: 925 Payne Avenue, basement level, at Care 4 All.

When: Wednesday, December 20, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM, and Friday, December 22, 10:30-11:30 AM and 3:30-4:30 PM.

Each child that receives a lead test through them will receive a free toy and each pregnant woman who gets a lead test will receive a $25 gift card just for getting tested. 

Discharging Racial Covenants

Racial Covenants

The City of Saint Paul is working with the Just Deeds Coalition to remove racial covenants from property deeds in an effort to make Saint Paul more equitable today and contribute to the wellbeing of generations to come.

What are racial covenants? They are restrictive clauses in property deeds that require property remain in the hands of white people in perpetuity. While the Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed these covenants and rendered them legally unenforceable, some property deeds in Saint Paul continue to feature these clauses - 171 properties with racial covenants are within Ward 6. 

Check to see if your property has a covenant:

Search for your address on the Mapping Prejudice Initiative's online Map of Racial Covenants. Properties with racial covenants are highlighted in green.

Complete the Just Deeds Application:

Complete the online City of Saint Paul Just Deeds Application.

City Staff will Connect with You:

After completing the form, Just Deeds will share your application with the City of Saint Paul Just Deeds Project Team who will get in touch with the you and/or the applicant. 

Affordable Housing Incentive Program - Dec 15th Deadline

4D Program4D Program 2

To support owners committed to protecting and preserving affordable rental units, the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), through the City’s Housing Trust Fund, has launched the next application cycle for the Saint Paul 4d Affordable Housing Incentive Program.

Applications due TODAY, Friday, December 15, 2023. Properties must meet program eligibility requirements as outlined on the website and in the 4d Program Guidelines. 

Learn more and apply online at stpaul.gov/4d or contact 4d program staff at 4d@stpaul.gov. 

ESNDC Friendly Storefronts Program

ESNDC Friendly Storefronts Program

Attention Ward 6 Businesses! Are you looking to refresh the appearance of your storefront this summer? Check out East Side Neighborhood Development Company’s Friendly Storefronts Program - Grant funding is available for façade improvement projects on a first come basis. See the flyer for general program guidelines, and send all inquiries to jmcgregor@esndc.org to start the application process!

Contact Us

Email: ward6@stpaul.gov

Phone: 651-266-8660

Facebook: NelsieYangWard6

Twitter: @NelsieYangCM

Meet & Greet virtual appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Naloxone Kits - FREE

naloxone program

If you or someone in your life could benefit from naloxone, a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose, please order today.

Available to Ramsey County residents while supplies last: ramseycounty.us/Opioids

Swearing In the New St Paul City Council!

Inauguration invitation

The Saint Paul City Council invites you to join us for the 2024 Inauguration Ceremony where our returning and newly-elected city councilmembers will be sworn into office.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 | at 3:30 PM (doors open at 3:00 PM) | Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Seating will be available on a first come first served basis, RSVP by Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at 4:30 pm (reservations encouraged but not required) https://bit.ly/CouncilInaguration

The ceremony will be taped live and may be viewed on cable channel 18, Facebook Live, and at www.stpaul.gov.

Operation Warm Toes Winter Gear Collection

Operation Warm Toes

Have a warm winter coat, boots, or accessories that you are looking to donate? Drop them off at your local St Paul Recreation Center through December 8th!

Parks & Rec Winter Fun

Winter Events 2023

Celebrate the season with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation at an upcoming holiday party or winter special event at your Rec Center

Learn to Drive a Snowplow


Want to learn to drive a snowplow or other commercial vehicle? Attend a FREE informational session and learn more! 

  • Tues, Dec 19 from 5-7 pm | Urban Research & Outreach Engagement Center (2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis MN 55411)

A Skatepark for the East Side

Eastside Skatepark Taskforce

The East Side Skatepark Taskforce, made up of East side residents and Twin Cities skateboarding advocates, is proposing a destination skatepark that will become an iconic feature in the Payne Phalen business corridor.

Help get a destination skatepark built for St. Paul's East Side by taking the East Side Skatepark Taskforce survey!

The new East Side Skatepark and Recreation Area will be a multi-amenity outdoor space, including native gardens, solar lighting, picnic and barbecue areas, and resident art that celebrates the cultural fabric of the community.

Neighborhood Community Safety Council

office of neighborhood safety

The Office of Neighborhood Safety has established a Neighborhood Community Safety Council to support its work. 

The council is expanding to include more members from throughout the city. Apply to be part of the Neighborhood Community Safety Council.

Ward 6 Year Round STAR Grant

Ward 6 STAR funding

If you run a business or non-profit in St Paul Ward 6 and are you needing to make a permanent improvement (lasting 7+ years) to your building, you may be eligible for Ward 6 Year-Round STAR Funding!

Please email our office with information on your project to receive an application. Read full STAR eligibility guidelines here. Applications are subject to approval from the Saint Paul STAR Board and Saint Paul City Council.  

Join a State Board, Committee or Commission

MN Secretary of State openings

The MN Secretary of State has a large number of open seats on various state boards, commissions, and committees. If you live or work in the City of St Paul, one of these spots could be for you! View and apply for open state board, commission, and committee positions here.

Property Tax Deferral for Senior Citizens

Property tax deferral

Property Tax Deferral for Senior Citizens through the State of MN may allow you to defer a portion of the property taxes you owe. Visit the link above or call 651-556-6091.

COVID Testing and Treatment Resources

Test to Treat

Find test-to-treat locations  where you can get and fill COVID treatment medications same-day. 

Federal Government

Residential households in the U.S. can order four more free COVID-19 tests. Tests are updated to detect the presence of the latest variants. One order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests that have an extended shelf life and expiration dates. https://www.covid.gov/tests

State of Minnesota

Four free at-home rapid tests are now available to all Minnesota households through the state’s online ordering program, while supplies last.

Need help placing an order? Call the MDH COVID-19 Public hotline 1-833-431-2053 available Monday - Friday 9 AM - 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM. Language assistance is available. https://sayyeshometest.org/

COVID-19 Self-testing