2019 Legislative Agenda
The Sisterhood’s Legislative Agenda is the result of our civic engagement work. We believe grassroots lobbying is our faith in action. We asked you about the issues you care about, we listened to your concerns, and believe these are the three main policies we will address this legislative session. Join us as we create more equitable solutions for all Minnesotans, led by the collective power of Muslim women.
ELIMINATING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR REPORTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
Last year, we fought for this change in legislation, and received pushback from lawmakers who wanted to protect perpetrators. This year, we’re back to support survivors. The current statute of limitations in Minnesota for survivors of sexual abuse is between 3 to 9 years from the time the plaintiff knew that injury had been caused by the abuse. Otherwise, the survivor must offer collected and preserved DNA evidence AND proof that the crime was 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct. In many cases, rape kits for survivors have been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of these kits are still untested. Sexual assault is already under-reported--we know that by eliminating the statute of limitations, we can give survivors more agency and power to reclaim their stories.
*RISE and Break the Silence MN are collaborating on affecting this policy change
INCREASING TEACHERS OF COLOR IN SCHOOLS
An astoundingly small 4% of teachers serving our students in public schools are teachers of color. This means that our students are almost exclusively being taught by white teachers, when they deserve to see people who look like them leading their classrooms. This legislative session, we are working with different coalitions to double the tiny 4% to 8% by 2020. This means eliminating barriers to teaching for teachers of color, incentivizing teaching, and making the profession more accessible so all of our students can see themselves in their teachers.
*RISE, NCJW and the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color are collaborating on affecting this policy change
INCREASING ACCESS TO MENSTRUAL HEALTH
Over the past few months, RISE has been meeting with our sisters at NCJW to talk about the need for more equitable access to menstrual products for students across Minnesota. The current data shows that most schools in MN have a great need for more menstrual products, but this need goes unmet. This means that students who get their periods while at school often are distracted, embarrassed, and left to fare on their own with no menstrual products. This causes them undue stress, and leaves some skipping school until their periods are over. This is an issue of gender equity. We want our schools to be equipped with the tools they need to make sure ALL of their students succeed, and we will start the fight by working with legislators to find funding for menstrual products.
*RISE, Daybreak, NCJW and Periods.MN are collaborating on effecting this policy change