Minnesota Votes for Housing 2020
Candidate responses in italics.
Name: Jordan Fontenello
Legislative District: 28B
1: A national poll in May 2020 found that 78% of the public believes our elected leaders are not putting enough attention on people’s need for help to pay for their housing during the coronavirus outbreak. What do you believe is the role of government in ensuring everyone has access to housing?
I believe that the government has the responsibility of unobtrusively watching over its citizens, helping them when the need is present, and assisting in providing the eight basic necessities of daily existence in this post-industrial society we live in. Those eight necessities are: Food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education, a job, communication, transportation. The government should act as the distributor of resources while the industries act as the suppliers.
2: In Minnesota, 80 of 87 counties do not have the capacity to provide sufficient shelter or temporary housing to those who are homeless. Nationally, a study of US cities found that 25 percent of all requests for emergency shelter went unmet. What will you do to end homelessness?
Homelessness is not a one-shot deal that implementing one single piece of legislation or policy will solve. It is a multi-faceted problem that can include employment situation, cost of living, medical difficulties, family/marital problems, substance abuse issues, criminal record/activities, ethnicity, age, sex, religious affiliation, etc. Fixing homelessness will thus require a similar multi-faceted approach to fixing it. Looking at jobs, housing, pay, rent/mortgage costs, systemic ethnic discrimination (along with all other forms of discrimination), transportation, education, healthcare. Our society is so integrated that you CANNOT fix only one thing, you've got to fix ALL of them simultaneously. It can be done, but it'll take a lot of work by a lot of intelligent, dedicated people who go out and interact with, listen to, and live in the areas that they represent.
3: According to the Census Bureau's July 22 Household Pulse Survey for Minnesota, and Stout’s analysis of this data, there are 132,000 potential eviction filings over the next 4 months in Minnesota. Over 90% of evictions in Minnesota are for non-payment of rent. What will you do to prevent evictions?
Put an absolute moratorium on evictions. People need a place to call 'home', even it isn't the White House. Removing the shelter from the eight basic necessities immediately makes the acquisition of the other seven nigh near impossible. What's the first thing you do when you're lost in the Alaskan wilderness? -- find shelter. Then food. Money is the issue here, period. Our economic reality is based on the endless search and destroy mission of gaining more dollar bills. If we could acknowledge that this is the base problem, then we can move on and devise an entirely new system of work, reward, and moving up towards the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs to the pinnacle, where all human beings are motivated to better themselves and their society for the sole purpose of a better life and a better world. We've got to keep people in their homes.