A Look Back at What We Have Accomplished So Far
When I first I ran for office, I identified five aspirational
values that I believe the people of Ward 2 share: social and economic justice, environmental sustainability, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and
community-based economics. I use them every day to guide my work.
I want to share with you some of what we have accomplished
together, so far, by using them to make this a better city:
I have led on justice
for all, by:
Making us address our history of institutional racism, by authoring the Equity in Employment Resolution in
2008, establishing a task force, drafting an action plan, setting City goals to
reduce racial disparities in employment and income in 2012, passing a
subsequent Resolution declaring institutional racism a serious problem and
continuing to push for racial equity since. This has included repealing racist,
antiquated ordinances like those on “lurking”
and spitting, requiring the police to better track information
about the people they stop, creating and staffing a new Office of Equity and
Inclusion, getting the
City to hire and contract with more people of color to
accomplish new hiring and retention goals, and more.
Calling for workplace
protections for workers, including a $15
minimum wage for all, earned sick
time, fair scheduling, an end to
wage theft, and standing with unions as they organize in the Ward.
Standing up against
unnecessary subsidies for billionaires like the Vikings Stadium.
Ensuring that all people
in Minneapolis have access to healthy food by requiring staple food in grocery stores and allowing new mobile grocery stores.
affordable housing crisis, from flexibility for overnight and short term emergency homeless shelters to allowing intentional communities, and from
supporting hundreds of new transit-oriented residences to policies like accessory dwelling units and parking reform.
Protecting the health of
our kids by prohibiting flavored tobacco
except at tobacco-only retailers, setting a minimum price for cigars and cigarillos, and prohibiting e-cigarettes in all indoor places where
smoking is prohibited.
Protecting the residents
of the Glendale Townhomes area by stopping an alarming redevelopment plan and
preventing gentrification and the loss of their homes.
Bringing forward an updated,
improved and necessary Americans with
Disabilities Action Plan.
Protecting renters from
unscrupulous landlords and unhealthy buildings with an updated low-heat, no-heat ordinance, an
ordinance prohibiting landlords from having unpaid legal judgments against them, an ordinance establishing
guidelines for lead abatement in
rental properties, and requirements for disclosure
to tenants of known soil or other contamination like arsenic and Trichloroethylene
Reaffirming our City as
a welcoming place, authoring the Standing
with All Members of Our One Minneapolis and the Supporting the
Resettlement of Syrian refugees in Minneapolis resolutions in the aftermath of
the 2016 election.
I have led on environmental sustainability by:
Pushing the City to do
more about climate change in a host
of ways, including approving a strong, comprehensive Climate Action Plan, forming the Clean Energy Partnership between the City and our energy utilities,
ensuring that our energy franchise agreements
are shorter and allow the City more flexibility to raise franchise fee revenue
for clean energy, adopting and modeling an
80% carbon emission reduction goal, signing the City up for two community solar gardens, authoring a fossil fuel divestment resolution and
supporting divestment by our banking partners, advocating for a district energy system for Prospect
Making it easier to walk, bike and take transit in
Minneapolis. That means many miles
of new bike paths and trails, a
strong Complete Streets policy that
prioritizes people over cars, ensuring that the Green Line and Blue Line
are successful and have spurred transit
oriented development, passing a plan for at least 50 miles of new protected bikeways, ensuring City sponsorship of Open Streets events, and pushing for
better winter maintenance of
bikeways and sidewalks.
Investing in Parks and Streets through a funding
package that provides $10 million to parks and $20 million to streets annually
for the next 20 years.
environment right here in Minneapolis by adopting a new Urban Forestry Policy that protects boulevard trees from construction
damage, authoring the Managed Natural
Landscape ordinance to let residents have purposeful plantings over eight
inches in height, supporting the
planting of thousands of trees through the annual City Trees program, making all new skyways bird-safe, and calling for the Vikings Stadium to be bird-safe, and
making Minneapolis a pollinator-friendly
Reducing waste and
increasing recycling by requiring
recycling in commercial buildings, calling for single-sort recycling and compost
collection by the City, establishing an aggressive recycling and waste diversion goal, winning state funding for a commercial recycling and waste
diversion study, passing the Bring Your
Own Bag ordinance to reduce plastic
bags, requiring recycling chutes in
new multifamily buildings, supporting a recyclable or compostable packaging
requirement through the Green to Go
ordinance, and significantly increasing the amount of composting that can occur at community gardens, market gardens and
Fighting for environmental justice by authoring a resolution
to create a strong Green Zones
policy to focus on neighborhoods that have faced more than their share of
pollution and the Green Business Program that has removed
more than 30,000 pounds of air pollution.
Embracing the local food movement by creating the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council,
authoring Urban Agriculture policies
to legalize urban farms, allowing more flexible rules for farmers markets, allowing mini
farmers markets, allowing limited
production and processing in commercial areas, supporting seed sharing libraries, allowing urban
farmers to make much more use of farmstands
to sell directly to their neighbors, opening up more City-owned land for food growing, and supporting reforms to make it
easier to keep honeybees and chickens.
Reducing toxins by
authoring a resolution calling for the phase-out of triclosan from cleaning products, responding to the arsenic contamination in Longfellow and
Seward and the trichloroethylene plume
in Southeast Como, supporting revising the City’s pollution control fees to tie them directly to emissions,
supporting legal action against Northern Metals, supporting a ban on the toxin perchloroethylene (or “perc”) in new dry cleaners, and more.
have led on grassroots democracy by:
Spearheading the process
to put Ranked Choice Voting on the
ballot in Minneapolis, working for its adoption, and ensuring that our first
ranked choice elections have been a success.
Leading the effort to
produce and distribute a Voter’s Guide to every Minneapolis household every
Pushing for an Early Voting system for elections,
including 4 early voting centers and increased hours, and supporting mandatory
provision of voter registration information
Protecting funding for neighborhood groups and
recently restoring $9 million back to neighborhoods for neighborhood
Building off the
foundation of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program towards a more permanent,
inclusive and sustainable system of civic participation through creation of the
Community Engagement Taskforce and report in 2010 that resulted in the creation
of the Neighborhood and Community
Engagement Commission and the new city Neighborhood
and Community Relations department as well as continued funding to support
the work of neighborhood organizations.
accountability and support for diversity into our community engagement system
through the Blueprint for Equitable
Engagement, an external evaluation
of the Neighborhood and Community Relations department, a language access plan for better serving people with limited English
proficiency, and regular diversity
audits to better track the demographic makeup of the people who serve on
City boards and commissions and neighborhood groups.
Helping to create community-based stakeholder groups to
advocate for the interests of Ward 2 neighborhoods, like the University District Alliance, the Prospect North Partnership, and the Cedar Riverside Partnership.
Doing what I can to communicate well and be present in Ward 2
neighborhoods by attending monthly neighborhood
group meetings, distributing monthly reports
online and in each neighborhood, creating the City’s first Council Member blog, holding office hours in the Ward every week, and responding to your calls
have led on nonviolence by:
Redefining youth violence as a public health crisis,
and being the City Council lead on passing a ground breaking Blueprint for Action to prevent youth violence, as well as
leading implementation efforts through the creation of a steering committee,
hiring of dedicated staff and creation of programs including the Inspiring Youth program that supports
youth identified to be at greatest risk of involvement with violence, the Next Step hospital-based program aimed a youth who are
victims of violent injuries, the work readiness Build Leaders program, three parent
support and education programs and the more recent Group Violence Intervention program.
Facilitating better collaboration with schools, parks and the
county as Chair of the Youth
Coordinating Board, which supports the Minneapolis Youth Congress, created
and expanded our Youth Are Here youth outreach worker program, developed the Afterschool Network
(What’s Up 612) program finder for youth, and more.
violence by creating a mental health
co-responder program that pairs police officers with mental health
professionals to respond to people experiencing mental health crises, pushing
for implicit bias and de-escalation training for all officers, standing up for
strong civilian oversight of police,
supporting a safer police Use of Force policy, and investing in body cameras for police.
concerns seriously by passing a strong Social
Hosting ordinance, strengthening the noisy
and unruly assembly ordinance, updating the City’s noise ordinance and more.
I have led on community-based economics and development by:
Facilitating the construction of hundreds of new units of housing along transit corridors, while
protecting the character of our neighborhoods.
Creating the conditions for small businesses of all types to thrive, leading to a boom in
business on our commercial corridors and nodes like Lake Street, Franklin
Avenue, Stadium Village, University, Washington, and Como/15th.
Assisting in bringing larger employers like Surly Brewery to the Ward and being
personally engaged in the transit-oriented development of the Prospect North/Towerside area.
Pushing to start and expand citywide initiatives like the Great Streets program, Business Made Simple, the new Cooperative Technical Assistance Program
and more, while working to make sure our treatment of businesses is fair,
equitable, open and transparent.
Advancing community led planning and development initiatives
like the Como Blueprint small area
plan, several Light Rail Station Area
plans, the University Avenue
Innovation District, the University
Area Overlay District, safe routes to school, plans for the Dinkytown
Greenway, the Big Picture Project and the Seward
Longfellow Greenway Area Land Use and Pre-Development Study.
Without community support, and the
work of residents, advocates, staff and colleagues, as well as institutional
and organizational stakeholders and partners, none of these accomplishments
would have been possible. I am grateful for all the collaboration and
cooperation that has made these accomplishments possible, but there is much more left to do.
We are living in challenging times
and it is vitally important that we commit to continuing to make progress where
we can, especially at the local level. Clearly, we have a great deal of work
ahead of us. I am committed to working as hard as ever to help make this a
more democratic, peaceful, just and sustainable city that works well for everyone. I’m all in and I hope
that you are too. It’s up to us.