Issues in 2020 Election
When we are choosing which candidates to vote for, it can be incredibly helpful to see which candidates support our own interests. While the number of important issues in the 2020 election is extensive, this page provides some of the most important and pressing issues to the Aliveness Project, our members, and the Minneapolis community broadly. Voting & electing officials who represent values that support vulnerable communities is a simple step an individual can take to help promote positive change within our community. In addition the information provided on this page, consider spending time researching issues important to you personally.
Gentrification is the process of renovating or improving houses or districts to fit with middle- or upper-class tastes and costs. Doing so causes areas that were once affordable for lower-income individuals to no longer be, forcing those individuals to move.
Redlining is a discriminatory practice that inhibits certain groups, primarily individuals who are non-white, from accessing fair loans. In the Twin Cities, redlining causes communities and neighborhoods to be severely segregated. A study from the University of Minnesota found that black families earning more than $167,000 are less likely to be given a home loan than white families earning $42,000. Redlining exasperates racial and social tensions already existing within society.
Gentrification and Redlining continually cause Minneapolis housing to be less affordable. More needs to be done to protect affordable housing and stop vulnerable individuals from being displaced or experiencing homelessness. The fight for more equitable housing will not be solved until homelessness is eradicated.
Benefits of Preventing & Treating HIV
A 2019 study found antiretroviral treatmetn (ART) averted 9.5 million deaths worldwide from 1995–2015 directly causing global economic benefits of $1.05 trillion. The study additionally finds for every $1 spent on ART, $3.50 in benefits accrued globally. In addition the benefits of treating HIV, preventing HIV is even more beneficial. A 2015 study measured the lifetime costs of living with HIV including ART treatment, other medications, and other HIV related non-drug costs found the average cost savings of preventing one case of HIV is $229,800. This figure is often larger if an individual is diagnosed earlier in life.
Costs of Treating HIV
The costs of treating HIV are rapidly increasing. Between 2012 and 2018, the average annual cost of ART treatment increased by 34%. This cost is expected to increase even more in coming years.
Given the benefits of HIV prevention, it is essential to continue to educate and spread awareness about it. Additionally, it is essential to insure those living with HIV can continue to receive ART treatment that allows them to live longer and healthier lives. Individuals should not have to choose between affording treatment and financial security.
Following the murder of George Floyd, many watched closely to see how Minneapolis would respond to policing injustices. The Minneapolis City Council plans to strategically dismantle the police force and replace it with a department of community safety and violence prevention.
Defunding the Police means more than just simply dismantling the police force and leaving no organization for public safety. Instead funds that would originally be allocated for police funding, could instead be directed towards services that benefit our community including but not limited to: housing resource, harm reduction, and other social services (medical care/rehabilitation, mental health professionals, and social workers).
Academic studies and lived experiences continuously show disparities between BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and white communities in wages, housing, health care, policing, and many other elements. Increased attention needs to be taken to eliminate the inequality that remains for the BIPOC community. Specifically within health care, non-white members of society experience greater health issues and increased waiting times for appointments. Other biases also prevent patients from receiving proper treatment including myths that BIPOC individuals have higher pain tolerances.
Similar to the BIPOC community, many individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community experience similar forms of discrimination. While the Supreme Court provided a landmark victory for the community when it declared it illegal to fire a worker for being gay, bisexual, or transgender, substantial effort is necessary to try eliminate the many disparities (wages, housing, health care, etc.) to make more systems truly inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2020, a rule preventing discrimination on the basis of "race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities” was overturned along with a protection against gender-based discrimination. Overturning these protections allows health care providers to refuse care for transgender individuals.
In terms of equity and inclusion, significant systemic change is necessary to prevent the systematic injustices that perpetuate with American systems and culture in 2020. As an organization we strive to be a leader in equity & inclusion and hope that our members understand this commitment.