Russ Stark

As a Councilmember, will you introduce a sick and safe time ordinance that will guarantee all workers in St. Paul access to sick time?
Yes. I 100% support guaranteed sick and safe time, but I am not sure how the City will be able to enforce it at this time, given that we do not currently enforce labor law.
As a Councilmember, will you introduce and/or support an ordinance to ban Styrofoam containers in St. Paul within 12 months of being elected?
Yes. I have been looking into this issue and Minneapolis' ordinance. The fact that the State took over environmental health inspections in St. Paul will make this harder for us to enforce so we are looking at possible tools. The ordinance would require that take-out packaging and disposable cups be made from materials that are readily able to be recycled or composted in St. Paul and for which there are markets for the material. Exceptions might include lids for hot drinks, which only seem to come in #6 plastic (PVC) for which there is not currently a recycling market available.
As a Councilmember, will you refuse to grant exemptions to St. Paul’s Living Wage Ordinance during your tenure as a City Councilmember?
As a Councilmember, will you put forth a budget, or a budget amendment, that includes a plan for a minimum of $500,000 annually for the building of protected/buffered bike lanes?
Yes/No. First, this question misunderstands the budget process in St. Paul. Only the Mayor can propose a budget or a budget amendment. The Council can adopt a budget that re-allocates dollars in the Mayor's proposal. At this time, there is not strong enough support on the Council for a proposal like this to be successful given the competing priorities in our capital budget process. The CIB budget includes a wide range of much needed projects across the city. That said, I have been fighting for more resources for bikeways in St. Paul since I got elected. 8/80 Vitality Fund allocated several million for protected bikeways in downtown and the Grand Rounds, so we are off to a good start. One solution moving forward is to push for the City to begin applying for these types of projects through the Met Council's TAB process for federal funding, or for a new financing source for capital improvements in the City.
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