Janne Flisrand was literally the first person I met in Minneapolis. I came to town with my mom and brother to look at apartments, and the first place we looked at was in the building Janne has owned and occupied on Hennepin Avenue for 20 years. We decided to look at the rest of the places on our list, but even if the other places were a little better in some ways, we found ourselves saying, “This place is nice, but we wouldn’t get Janne.”
Janne knew all about the neighborhood and was candid about what was good and what was not-so-good. She explained bus routes, and since my brother is a big biker, Janne was always getting out the map to show him the safest, most efficient biking routes.
I might not even have been voting in every election if I hadn’t lived in Janne’s house. She encouraged all of us to be informed and participate. She would share her own positions only if asked; her political mantra was and is, “Do your research.” She had election night traditions—no matter how small the election—that if you lived in the house and you voted, you could come for homemade cherry pie in her apartment. I’ve never missed an election since moving to Minneapolis. Her level of civic engagement was really inspiring. We’d all walk over to vote together when we could.
In our first year living there, Janne was super welcoming and invited us to events and community spaces and cookouts and was always trying to connect people. It was a great way to get to know people in the Twin Cities.
From now until election day I'll be working to elect the honest, informed, and community-focused person I shared a house with for all those years. I hope you'll join me in volunteering for Janne's campaign.