I’m an urban planner, so I’m looking for some very specific characteristics in my City Council people. I wouldn’t be swayed by someone’s personality or charm; I’m looking for someone to be deeply knowledgeable about how cities work and what it takes to make them better. When I met Janne Flisrand, I knew I’d met the person I would be supporting in the Ward 7 City Council race.
I moved here from Michigan a couple of years ago, and I’m in awe of how great Minneapolis is. Janne was positive about Minneapolis too, but I liked that she wasn’t complacent about how things are here. She has a vision for how to make things even better. We talked about how Minneapolis aspires to actualize a “complete street” philosophy, where pedestrians, cyclists, and people in and on all other vehicles could move safely and harmoniously through the streets. She has a vision for how new developments in the city could happen in a way that complements the character of our city. She’s one of the only people I’ve heard talk knowledgeably about how to make sure we maintain quality housing stock that is still affordable for people. She understands that if we fail to do so, we lose who we are as a city.
Leadership begins with understanding the people you’re trying to move forward, listening to them, making yourself available, then taking what you hear and translating that into action. As an urban planner, a lot of my job is like that. I listen to concerns and translate what I hear into changing ordinances, frameworks, etc. But it all starts with getting the vision from the people. I watched Janne do that. The fact that she listens to everybody is important. It’s nice that I can get to her, but it’s even more important that people who don’t currently have a voice can get to her too.
Janne Flisrand will be an excellent addition to Minneapolis’ City Council!