Housing. Housing. More housing. Our top priority.
Saint Paul is facing a housing crisis, a shortage in affordable rental housing, a shortage of large family housing, a shortage of housing for low wage workers, and a solution to the growing problem of housing insecurity and homelessness. Prince is calling for the City to set an aggressive housing production goal – say 10,000 units by 2025, with at least 25 percent affordable to people earning from 30-50 percent of Area Median Income. This is going to require a strong and intentional regional partnership between the public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors – and “It needs to start yesterday,” Prince said.
Prince supported the concept of organized trash collections for a city of Saint Paul’s size, but voted against the contract when it came to the City Council. “The cost for households on fixed incomes was too high, and the pricing included no incentives for waste reduction,” Prince said. She is watching contract performance like a hawk, seeking ways to amend or improve the program.
Economic development that capitalizes on our diversity
“Ward 7 is experiencing a renaissance because we’ve drawn on the strengths of our diverse communities for the economic revitalization of this ward,” Prince said. She cited the work of the East Side Enterprise Center, a development and partnership organization designed to draw entrepreneurs and small businesses from around the area to grow a healthy East Side.
Neighborhood quality of life is Saint Paul’s greatest asset
“Saint Paul’s neighborhoods, its beautiful parks, recreation centers and libraries need our best ideas and attention to keep this city a place where people want to live, work and play,” Prince said. Ward 7, with an expansive Mississippi riverfront, has the largest amount of open space in the city. “Protecting and enhancing these natural resources lifts our whole city, spurring investment, increasing property values and enhancing recreation options,” Prince said.
Support local businesses by making strategic investments to launch and expand these businesses
Offer more financial and technical support to locally owned businesses to strengthen commercial districts and job creation citywide. With her council colleagues Prince helped to launch the Open For Business Initiative.
“Cities like Austin, Texas, provide us with a model of how we can make Saint Paul’s homegrown economy a draw for tourists, prospective residents and employees, including millennials looking for a vibrant, diverse and interconnected city to call home.
Building out St. Paul’s fiber-optic telecommunications network should be a top priority. “A high speed network is vital to the competitiveness of the city, and particularly its small and mid-sized businesses,’’ Prince said.
Hold the line on property taxes!
“The proliferation of tax-increment financing and development subsidies to try to attract business is hurting Saint Paul and our business climate. We can’t keep raising taxes on homeowners to sustain a strong Saint Paul.”