Homelessness, dangerous parks, poverty: the way the other (25%) lives

Nov 2, 2017

Local Solutions to End Poverty Candidate Forum with city council candidates
Credit ©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.

Ron Dianoski shares his story of homelessness and speaks on in favor of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Credit ©John Krumm. Used with permission.

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

The Local Solutions to End Poverty Candidate forum is an unconventional candidate forum where members of the community living with poverty or homelessness share their stories with candidates for office – this time, city council and school board candidates.

Then the candidates face very specific asks from the speakers to take specific action if they’re elected to office.

Ryan Brown spoke in favor of an increase in the minimum wage
Credit ©John Krumm. Used with permission.

Here are Ron Dianoski, Katrina Wilson, and Ryan Brown, addressing city council candidates:

The speakers followed up with asking councilor candidates to support the creation of a #3 million dollar Affordable Housing fund, to expand the pilot City Sharps Clean Up Officer position and provide sharps disposal – plus a public awareness and education campaign -  in all city parks, and to support an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, particularly for businesses that get taxpayer assistance.

     A follow-up accountability session will be held in the spring.

We'll bring you more stories from the Local Solutions to End Poverty candidate forum - addressed to school board candidates - next week on Northland Morning.