In light of the recent article in the Star Tribune, which makes it sound like the Council opposes many of the most important things in the mayor’s budget, I want to lay out the parts of the budget I support, and those I’m open to changing.
I strongly support the new positions to focus on equity. I strongly support spending capital dollars on protected bikeways. I strongly support creating a citywide curbside organic composting program. I think the people of Minneapolis and the majority of my colleagues on the Council support these initiatives as well. Here’s a little run down, one by one.
Now, there are some things I’m open to changing. I think we could continue to put capital dollars into public art funding, even though they have a large amount of unspent bonding capacity. I think that we could start a conversation about how best to get the Public Housing Authority the resources they need, possibly through giving them their own bonding authority again. I think that we could be clearer with our neighborhood organizations about what we’re doing with the funds from the consolidated TIF district when they exceed projections – and I have scheduled that conversation to occur in the Health, Environment and Community Engagement committee on November 17. I think that we could put more into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. I would support ways to achieve these goals if they didn't damage the above priorities.