Issues and Positions
The issues and positions page will grow over the coming months to cover other important topics. If you have a topic you are interested in seeing added, please let us know
Each month I work with hundreds of residents to help resolve problems that affect their lives. Some are simple and easy fixes, such as getting Public Works to go back and plow a street that was missed. Others are complex and involve years of painstaking work, such as restoring peace to a block reeling from a problem property. Compared to some of the citywide issues we are dealing with, these may not seem like big issues, but I know that they are big issues in the lives of those they affect, and collectively add up across our ward. That’s why I take pride in providing a high-level of constituent service and directly advocating for our residents.
This extends into my accessibility and responsiveness. Since being elected, I have hosted hundreds of weekly open office hours at local coffee shops, where residents can stop by unscheduled to discuss whatever they’d like (temporarily paused due to the pandemic). I love attending block-level gatherings, and am happy to join you and your neighbors if you’re ready to schedule a time. Our office responds to virtually all emails. And I send detailed newsletter updates in my own words. This might not sound revolutionary, but it takes real dedication, and it makes a difference.
Recovering from Civil Unrest
The civil unrest destroyed access to essential goods and services for some of the most vulnerable and marginalized residents in our state, along with jobs and housing that many individuals and families relied on to survive. We must build back stronger than before, and in doing so, ensure that those who want to return are able to without being displaced.
I led the effort 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, and worked with our Intergovernmental Relations team to pursue aid to help our small businesses and corridors rebuild. I will continue fighting for aid and working hand-in-hand with the community in this work.
Transforming Public Safety
We deserve to live in a city where everyone feels safe, both in community and when interacting with law enforcement. Yet despite record levels of funding and decades of reform efforts, our current system has fallen short in achieving those outcomes. That’s why transformational change is needed. Such change includes a public health focus on addressing the upstream causes of crime and interrupting cycles of violence, alternative ways to respond to public safety needs when appropriate, and ensuring every police officer serves with compassion and professionalism.
It’s a big topic, which is why I’ve written an extensive blog post on my position and work, which you can read here.
You can also read how I voted during the recent budget process here.
Before the first major encampment formed, I was fighting to create housing for unsheltered residents right here in Ward 12. Those efforts led to the first new public housing project in Minneapolis in a generation, which is exclusively for families transitioning out of homelessness (Minnehaha Townhomes). And most recently we broke ground on the Amber Apartments, which will create dozens of deeply affordable units, including for those experiencing homelessness. Beyond working to create affordable housing in the ward, I have used my role as Intergovernmental Relations Chair to advocate for greater funding to address the crisis; brought colleagues together to pursue new housing models (Envision Community); and led the push for more transparency over our response through the launching of a website. I will continue fighting for safe and dignified housing.
One of the things that makes city life so great are all the unique local businesses that provide goods and services, as well as memorable experiences. Behind these destinations are entrepreneurs with interesting stories who are passionate about what they do and serving our community. They also create over 80% of new jobs in Minneapolis.
I have been a champion for small businesses at City Hall. This includes leading the efforts to create the Small Business Office, the small business portal, and cleaning up dozens of regulations and ordinances. I have worked to actively recruit local businesses to Ward 12 and will continue to bring their voices to the table, along with my personal experience having been a small business owner.
2040 Comp Plan
The city is required by state law to update its comprehensive plan every ten years, which happened in 2018. During that process I brought forward more amendments than any other Council Member. It’s not a perfect plan or panacea, and I don’t agree with everything in it, but on the whole it will help address a number of issues we are facing as a city. I will continue to monitor progress and make adjustments as necessary to improve outcomes. For more details, please check out my official blog post here.