January 2, 2021
Today I announce that I am running for re-election.
Serving our community has been an honor and a privilege. Thank you for the opportunity and your support! We have been through so much over the past year. None of us anticipated the global pandemic which has impacted every facet of our lives, the horrific murder of George Floyd by police which positioned Minneapolis at the center of a national racial reckoning, nor the worst civil unrest in our state’s history as part of the uprising. Yet in each instance, we’ve seen people come together to support one another as we worked through these unprecedented challenges. I am so proud of our community for stepping up in each of these moments, and I am humbled to help navigate these troubled waters with you.
In considering these challenges over the past year, I believe that together we have worked to improve outcomes. I want to highlight some of my efforts on your behalf.
Responding to the Pandemic
- Authored the paid safe and sick leave ordinance which has provided protections for over 100,000 workers (many in essential services)
- Established the Small Business Office which connected businesses to financial support and provided guidance so they could safely stay open
- Requested USI open their Wi-Fi so families and individuals without the Internet could connect freely (now utilized by more than 7,000 residents)
- Brought together community partners to create and promote a COVID business directory, helping residents discover ways to support local businesses
- Fought for financial aid to help those most impacted and to stabilize core city services amid an unprecedented revenue shortfall
Transforming Public Safety
- Established the 911 Workgroup which led to a citywide mental health responder program and other alternative responses beyond policing
- Co-authored a budget amendment funding an independent staffing study of the MPD, enabling data-driven decisions on staffing levels moving forward
- Engaged in thousands of conversations with constituents, listening to your hopes, concerns, and ideas for how we can transform our public safety system, and brought them into the conversations at City Hall
- Voted to move toward a more effective, equitable, and just system via alternative responses, crime intervention strategies, and addressing root causes, while also ensuring we have the resources in place to respond to emergency calls today
Responding to Civil Unrest
- Created and distributed daily situational updates for constituents as events unfolded
- Requested additional resources for our neighborhoods and triaged needs in real-time
- Helped organize hundreds of residents to assist in protecting our blocks and critical community assets
- Authored legislation to waive city fees and expedite approvals to aid in recovery efforts
- Worked to bring together a coalition of community partners and provide formal recognition and support for community-led rebuild efforts
- Worked with our Intergovernmental Relations team and legislators to pursue aid to help our small businesses and corridors rebuild
In each instance, these efforts led to better results. For some of you, I realize there were times when my approach, position, or vote on a particular issue may have been disappointing. Differences of opinion, sometimes significant, are inevitable. I am also not perfect and have made my share of mistakes. However, I hope when you consider my body of work you will conclude that I have represented the ward and its many diverse perspectives and needs well.
My commitment to service remains the same: putting the people of our city first, being accessible and responsive, listening with an open-mind, carefully weighing decisions, advancing legislation in a thoughtful and outcome-oriented way, being transparent, seeking compromise, and ensuring we don’t forget about the basics.
Over the coming weeks this website will be updated with more information on my work during this term, from affordable housing and homelessness, to environmental sustainability and public health; from racial equity and public safety, to constituent and core services. And over the coming months, I will be looking to connect with and hear from you. I have always valued your feedback and appreciate your thoughts more than ever. Your feedback helps inform the ways in which I work and what is prioritized for the road ahead.
The coming special two-year term (due to redistricting) will be short. My focus will be on good governance of the city as an organization while continuing the work of transforming our public safety system for better results, rebuilding from the civil unrest, recovering from the pandemic, and addressing other critical needs as they emerge.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this work and for all your contributions in making our community and city a better place. I am grateful for all you have done, and ask for your continued support in our work over the next few years.
Wishing you a Happy New Year,