Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What do you think my priorities should be for 2008?

I find it very helpful to continuously focus on and reflect on my priorities.

When I campaigned and was first elected I identified five major priorities that I still use and have posted on my wall right here next to my computer:
  1. Make civic involvement more meaningful, lasting and effective parts of what we do across departments, communities and government.
  2. Make Minneapolis a national leader of environmental sustainability and a greener, cleaner, more walkable, healthier city for ourselves and the generations to come.
  3. Recognize that community centered approaches to crime prevention and policing are key to improving public safety.
  4. Fight racism, poverty, prejudice and homelessness.
  5. Focus on fairness, civility, openness and service in my office and throughout city government.

Then in late 2006 and early 2007 I used these to developed four major areas to focus on 2007. These were: Community Engagement and NRP, Public Safety and Youth Violence Prevention, Neighborhood Friendly Development, and the City’s Energy and Environment Agenda.

Now a new year is upon us and I thought it might help inspire some comments and help me as I reflect on what to focus on this year if I encouraged you all to advise and guide me.

What do you think my priorities should be for 2008?


At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Ryan Robinson said...

Green focus should maintain (as it always has) one of your primary goals. Also I heavily support you and your acceptance of immigrants, but more importantly immigrant culture. Keep up th good work Cam!

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Bob Sykora said...

Thanks, Cam, for working for a fair criminal justice system. Keep it up!

According to the Council of Crime and Justice, about 60% of people locked up in Minneapolis and Hennepin County jails are released without charge and/or conviction. Yet jailers routinely release those detainee names to commercial data harvesters. The harvesters sell the names to employers and landlords, resulting in increased unemployment and homelessness.

If you're ever wrongly accused, watch out: after the indignity of arrest and jail is behind you, your troubles are just beginning.

Laws like our city's crude "aggressive panhandling" ordinance, which you wisely oppose, create a race-based harm affecting people whom the criminal justice system pretends to presume innocent. We’d be better off not to criminalize poverty, but to fight greedy, short-sighted “no-new-taxes” policies that create more poor people.

Rather than being motivated to legislate by anecdote (for example, "a council member was once scared by a mean panhandler!!"), you serve your constituents well by keeping a calmer head. That’s good leadership.


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