RE-ELECT ASHLEY GRIMM FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER
As the 3rd District St. Louis County Commissioner, Ashley has brought historic county investment into the western half of Duluth. She has focused full-time on supporting community projects, responding to constituent concerns, and helping to build trust in local government.
She has delivered on projects that increase childcare access, youth recreation, mental health support, housing, and safer and healthier communities. This comes from her passion for helping kids have healthy childhoods and building back our community spaces that bring us together.
Ashley has fought for accountability and transparency in local government and to make it easier for residents to work with local government officials to address concerns and improve the community. She serves as the Chair of the County Board's Public Safety Committee and also serves on the county's Opioid Settlement Committee. In her first term she was selected by the Association of Minnesota Counties to serve on the National Association of Counties’ Community and Economic Workforce Development Committee. Through her work on this committee, Ashley has brought back to St Louis County innovative ideas to increase access to childcare and expand first-time homeownership.
Ashley and her husband Luke live in Duluth's Denfeld neighborhood. Before serving on the county board, she devoted her work to supporting families and young people, including at the Damiano Center where she directed their Children and Family programming.
“Every day in my work as a commissioner, I focus on what we can do together to support families and youth and to invest in Duluth’s western neighborhoods. I am proud of what we have accomplished, and I am eager to continue serving the people of the district” – Ashley Grimm
INVESTING IN WESTERN DULUTH
Ashley has worked with community members to bring historic county investment to Duluth's western neighborhoods.
$250,000 in county funds to help finish the pavilion and skate park at Gary New Duluth Rec.
Money to repair the YWCA Young Mom's Program building and parking area to bring more affordable housing and childcare to Spirit Valley.
Funding for the Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative's new space.
Securing initial planning money to expand Valley Youth Center's space and bring back a community center on Memorial Park.
Making sure maintenance of county roads is prioritized throughout western Duluth.
Increasing van access and mobility supports for seniors and others with limited mobility.
Supporting kids is a passion for Ashley. When St. Louis County received federal Covid relief funds, she launched the "$1 Million for Kids" campaign, with the goal of investing a significant portion of these funds in youth recreation and programming. Mobilizing the community and working with county staff and county board members, this effort secured major funding for youth initiatives across St Louis Country, including $465,000 for Duluth youth recreation spaces like Gary New Duluth Rec and Hartley Nature Center.
She was also a strong supporter of investing over $5 million of those federal Covid dollars to expand the Check and Connect program at Denfeld and schools throughout St. Louis County. Under this program, over 30 mentors are now working directly with students to build connections, increase graduation rates and decrease truancy. She is currently working to establish ongoing childcare funding at the county level.
As Chair of the County Board's Public Safety Committee, Ashley led the successful effort replace a scandal-ridden for-profit company as the health care provider in St. Louis County's jails and to instead bring in St. Luke's, a local non-profit health provider. Due to Ashley's efforts, St Louis County now provides locally-based care with expanded mental health treatment and better connection to ongoing care to reduce the chances of a return to jail.
Ashley worked with community members, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, Duluth Police Department, and other regional fire and police departments to create the Community Crisis Response Team - a trained mental health team that responds to nonviolent mental health and juvenile calls, while freeing up law enforcement to focus on other priorities.
Ashley serves on the Opioid Settlement Committee to combat to ongoing opioid epidemic, and increase access to treatment, prevention, housing and harm-reduction.
INCREASING MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Ashley is working with community members and statewide leaders to increase funding for mental health beds and is supporting local projects that increase these much-needed beds.
She supported Commissioner Patrick Boyle's work on the Clarity Project and is active in planning the next steps of increasing more in-patient treatment options.
CHILD CARE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ashley successfully organized with child care providers to prioritize childcare funds, making $750,000 available for providers in St. Louis County to build and renovate spaces, train staff and get necessary equipment. She fought hard to secure money to renovate the YWCA's childcare space and the Stepping Into Childcare initiative.
She has supported and advocated for an increase in economic development funds, including funds for the St. Louis County Film incentive which has brought in millions of spending at local businesses and helped train our workforce.
VETERANS' MENTAL HEALTH & BENEFITS
Improving access to services for veterans and their families has been a priority for Ashley. She worked to fund local programming by 23rd Veteran, an organization focused on preventing suicides among veterans. And within weeks of getting a call from a veteran's widow who could not access benefits because of an error in state law, Ashley got St. Louis County to support the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Minnesota's successful effort amend the law to fix the error and to also invest in veteran's mental health.
During Ashley's first term, St. Louis County's investment in veteran's housing and support led to us being one of the only counties to reach "functional zero" for veteran's homelessness. This means instead of waiting years, if a veteran becomes homeless in our county they will be housed within 3 months, and likely sooner.
Duluth is facing a housing crisis. Far too many of our neighbors are struggling to find an maintain decent housing that fits within their budget. We need the political will to face this crisis head-on. Ashley was an early supporter of New Model Housing, an initiative that is piloting a way to build affordable units at 50% of the typical costs. The county has invested over $1.6 of Covid Relief monies for 24 of these units. She has also gathered local housing non-profits to explore opportunities to construct modular housing, which would also lower construction costs and make it easier for first-time home buyers to afford a home.
On any given winter night, over 200 people are sleeping outside in Duluth, and that is simply unacceptable. It is bad for the unhoused. It is bad for neighbors. And it is bad for the community. Ashley has supported expansions of emergency housing programs and shelters in Duluth and throughout St Louis County. With fellow commissioners she has pushed the city and county to work together and build solutions to homelessness that go beyond just moving people along from campsite to campsite. She is active in building funds to support triage housing which would provide people who are currently unhoused with temporary units to stay in and support.
Questions or want to volunteer? Contact us!
Minnesota limits yearly donations to a single candidate to $600 for an individual and $1,200 for a couple. To donate by check send checks made out to "Ashley Grimm for Duluth" to 4020 Grand Ave, Duluth, MN 55807.