Q&A with John Stromenger

Question: Since School just opened with distance learning and many people are working from home, the reliance on the internet has increased. What do you feel is the role of the state in ensuring optimal internet access and equity for all citizens regarding internet access?

Answer:  If kids could attend school physically this would not be an issue.  However, due to COVID-19, not all kids can. They need to rely on broadband for their school work.  The state needs to provide better incentives to allow infrastructure to be built in the rural areas and for cost to be lower in the urban areas.

Question: The Pandemic has really affected small businesses in Minnesota.  What legislative measures would you support to help the small businesses in Minnesota?

Answer:  The state needs to allow businesses to open (with clear guidelines on safety measures), so they can serve customers and thrive.  The state needs to make sure money is being directed wisely to the businesses and ensure any subsidies to businesses are not squandered. 

Question: Homelessness has been a problem in our state.  The pandemic has only made it worse.  What state action would you support that would help homeowners and renters?   

Answer:  Housing impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Keep partnering with non-profits because they do amazing things to help people. We need stronger allocation and more accountability of funds going to housing.  We must make sure every dollar goes where it should be and not wasted.  Habitat for Humanity built 11 houses on Maryland Avenue and it cost 11 million dollars.  We need to make sure houses are built with minimal cost and not wasted.

Question:  Racism.  Throughout the state and from every corner of the United States, there has been a lot of discussion around racism-especially since the death of George Floyd.  How would you address racism and inequities?

Answer: Racism diminishes the worth of another Human Soul. Conversations about race and culture are not meant to be easy, but without them we will never begin to understand the root causes of our racial disparities and challenge our current thinking. This includes the biases of liberals and conservatives.

As adults, are we empowering our youth to contribute to society and arrive in their place in this world?  Keep students in the educational loop. Educational opportunities need to meet students and their families where they can find progress. 

Children and young adults need to be going to school somehow, somewhere, so they have a way forward. Life skills and basic literacy are a foundation for stability-General education, Trade schools, Vocational Training, Apprenticeships, all can help make their lifegoals available.

Question: The pandemic is impacting funding for environmental actions such as energy efficiency, clean transportation, and carbon emissions.  Where should these fit into the upcoming legislative session?

Answer:  Clean energy without nuclear is a joke.  None of the alternatives, wind, solar or any other clean sources are no way near ready to handle the needs of Minnesota.  WE need to keep working on wind and solar, but without nuclear we aren’t serious.

Question: What measures do you support to improve and secure elections in our state?

Answer:  Minnesota has one of the longest early voting periods in the nation-of 7 weeks.  Early and absentee voting allows everyone to have the capability of voting.  There is opportunity for everyone to get a ballot and exercise their constitutional right to vote.  I do not support universal mailing of Ballots to homes.  Doing this, we have not way of tracking who is receiving and who has received a ballot to ensure those eligible to vote only vote once and those not eligible to vote don’t receive a ballot.

Question: What is your top priority for infrastructure?

Answer: I believe it’s very important to keep our roads, highways and bridges safe and drivable so that businesses can thrive by trucks being able to make deliveries safely-And for all vehicles to use the roads safely.

Question: Any final thoughts you would like to share?

Answer: Thank you to everyone who have helped with my campaign so far.  I would especially like to thank everyone who has donated money. I had no idea how much signs and literature would cost. Thank you to everyone for their encouragement and support.

Early voting starts on September 18th.  You can vote in person at the Ramsey County Elections Office on Plato Blvd here in Saint Paul.  East Siders of 67A, please vote for me.