New Report Shows St. Cloud Families Want Politicians to Focus on Care Issues

New Report Shows St. Cloud Families Want Politicians to Focus on Care Issues

Local Moms Commit to Register 1,000 ‘Care Voters’ in Central Minnesota

Results of a door-to-door survey of hundreds of St. Cloud voters conducted this winter indicate that candidate’s positions on family care will be a decisive factor in the pivotal elections this November.

St. Cloud families came together today to announce the results of an extensive canvass that found voters want politicians to focus on “care” issues in the coming election. The results come from hundreds of conversations with voters in the community.

Recognizing the groundswell of support for care issues, the groups committed to registering 1,000 “Care Voters” in Central Minnesota ahead of the coming election. Care voters will commit to vote for candidates who have the strongest platform on care issues like affordable childcare, funding for in-home care, paid leave for new parents and solutions for the elder care crisis.

“By speaking today I’m healing not only myself but also my community of moms who struggle to get care for their family members.  Having a healthy kid means having clothing that isn’t falling apart, plenty of food in the refrigerator and peace of mind.  We are human beings and we’re not going to be ignored anymore. I’m not going to fight for scraps anymore and I hope you will join me, ” said Katy Westlund, a leader with TakeAction Minnesota.

Rev. Leah Rosso, ISAIAH clergy and pastor of First United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region addresses those gathered. Photo Credit Krystal Klein.

Residents representing four community organizations (SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, ISAIAH, SEIU Local 284, and Take Action Minnesota) conducted a door-to-door survey in February, March and April of 2018 to talk with voters about issues of family care.

The team talked to 400 voters across the whole political spectrum in St. Cloud and found that 84% of St. Cloud voters struggle to provide the care they know their loved ones need and 88% of voters want politicians to take up family care issues this fall.

The report includes detailed notes of the stories voters shared. Family care issues, though seldom acknowledged, are impacting people in every corner of the St. Cloud community.

Yvonne Brambrink, who works as a Secretary at South Junior High and is member of SEIU Local 284, shared, “I should be thinking about retirement and starting to be able to enjoy a little bit more free time with my children and grandchildren. Instead I had to get a second job. I deserve better. We deserve better.  All work has value and all workers should feel valued and have dignity at work. Leaders making decisions can make different decisions and it’s time they do.”

Voters made clear they expect to see bold solutions to care issues and they want to see elected leaders take care issues seriously.

“It’s not enough for some of us to thrive. Our faith leads us to keep working until all of us have lives of healing and wholesomeness that reflect God’s love,” said Rev. Leah Rosso, ISAIAH clergy and pastor of First United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region.

Read the report here.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents over 35,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota.

TakeAction Minnesota is a statewide, multi-racial people’s organization. We advance democracy and equity through organizing, political action, and policy campaigns. Our offices are in St. Paul, Duluth, and St. Cloud.

ISAIAH is a multi-faith, multi-racial, state-wide and nonpartisan faith-based community organization in Minnesota. Our 200 member and partner congregations create racial and economically equitable communities through intentional, intensive leadership development; collective, faith-based actions; and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations and public servants.

SEIU Local 284 represent over 9,000 school employees across Minnesota, including special ed paras, food service workers, bus drivers and clerical workers who help ensure our students can reach their full potential in our public schools.  

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