Issues and Solutions

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If you share my vision, get involved in my campaign!

Budgeting for a Resilient City

My vision is for a city that is financially resilient for everyone. Investing in less stable parts of our city isn’t just the right thing to do, it will prevent our Ward 7 neighborhoods from bearing the brunt of future economic shocks.

Today, when there’s an economic downturn and property values fall, stable parts of the city like Ward 7 end up paying more in property taxes. Focusing city investment in places where powerful institutions are located and the wealthiest residents live actually harms them in a downturn. The current council member regularly takes a symbolic vote against the City’s budgets after cutting spending on progressive programs (like the infamous “latte levy” of 2014, which cut average taxes enough to buy one cup of coffee). Instead of addressing structural issues, the current council member is pushing the City back toward a failed pattern of year-to-year budgeting that hurts property taxpayers in the long term.

As council member, I will support budgets with structural integrity and long-term thinking that plans 10 and 20 years ahead, by:

  • Building high-quality public space in lower income neighborhoods to encourage stability
  • Carefully applying tools like Tax Increment Financing where they are appropriate, to spur growth where it would not otherwise occur
  • Planning our budgets for the long term, not relying on gimmicks and symbolic votes

Housing for All

My vision for Minneapolis is that everyone should have an affordable place to live, whether they have a lot of money or very little, whether they rent or own.

But the City’s current approach to housing development works only for the wealthy. Housing is expensive, and low-wage workers don’t earn enough to pay what it costs. Rents are increasing while renters’ incomes are actually going down. More people want to live in our city, yet the supply of housing isn’t keeping up. We’re losing 1,000 units of housing that’s affordable every year in Minneapolis. The City’s pathway for affordable housing projects is blocked by obstacles that make developing new projects unnecessarily difficult. Outdated zoning prevents more housing from being built, and the voices of politically-connected people who oppose growth outweigh the voices of renters who desperately need housing. The current council member actively opposes using tools that have worked in other cities, like inclusionary zoning.

As council member, I will work to keep Minneapolis affordable for everyone, by:

  • Allowing and encouraging more housing to be built
  • Raising the minimum wage so that people can afford housing
  • Exploring new financing options to lock in rents on existing housing that’s affordable
  • Investing more money in affordable housing development projects and making those funds easier, more predictable and more transparent to use
  • Supporting proven strategies like inclusionary zoning
  • Recognizing that there’s no single solution, and that we need to use every option we have and be open to new ideas

Safety for Every Neighborhood

My vision is that we need safe neighborhoods for everyone. Safety is found in places people love to linger in and care for; places where there’s community and trust work like a vaccine against crime. Preventing crime requires communities and the police working together. That means a police department that reflects, works well with, respects and is accountable to our diverse communities every day.

Twenty-plus years of trying to arrest our way to safe streets has backfired, and police are no longer effective—even in times of crisis—because they are not trusted. Relations between the police and community are strained at best, fatal at worst. Most officers don’t live in Minneapolis. Police shootings of young black men regularly spark protests. And the current council member consistently opposes police accountability efforts and proactive interventions to reduce violence. For example, she voted to scrap the Civilian Review Authority and replace it with a police-dominated panel. She also takes contributions from the Police Federation, which opposes any accountability for officers.

As council member, I will build safe neighborhoods for everyone, by:

  • Building on new, community-based “safety beyond policing” approaches
  • Designing safer public spaces, and investing in interim place-making for empty places
  • Pushing for a customer-service mentality within the police department

Safe and Vibrant Streets

My vision is for a city with public spaces that welcome everyone, no matter how we travel. That’s possible when real transportation choices tame our streets, and when we insist new developments do their part in making them lively.

But for decades, the City has been building streets that prioritize people driving through our neighborhoods over those of us living in them, and allowing buildings that turn their backs on the people walking past them. These are spaces that are unsafe, both as places that invite illegal behavior and as places where people are at risk from car crashes. And the current council member listens to powerful insiders who oppose transit, bike infrastructure, and quality public spaces, over the people who live in our neighborhoods.

As council member, I will work to build safe, vibrant streets for everyone, by:

  • Right-sizing our streets to create places where people love to linger, and to offer real transportation choices
  • Creating corridors of beauty connecting key institutions and destinations, especially in downtown
  • Fixing our rules so that new buildings add interest and activity to our streets

Transit

My vision is for a metro region with a great transit network for everyone, which absolutely includes LRT, along with bus rapid transit, modern streetcars, and improved local bus service.

Today, we are getting a Southwest LRT line that misses the major population centers in southwest Minneapolis, and co-locates freight rail and LRT in the Kenilworth corridor. The current council member did not avert this bad outcome. In fact, she left the negotiations to others. Voting against Southwest LRT to please a small number of homeowners because she did not do the work to ensure a positive result for Ward 7 neighborhoods is not leadership. The current council member has opposed many improvements for transit, including the Marquette and 2nd express bus project and ensuring that the Bottineau line prioritizes people on foot and transit, not cars. After 20 years it still takes twice as long to bus from Ward 7 to downtown than to drive.

As council member, I will work to build effective transit for everyone, by:

  • Bringing people together to build a shared vision for transit that serves the most people in the right places
  • Being personally and proactively engaged in all transit projects that affect Ward 7
  • Showing up to fight for the agreements we need to ensure that the transit vision is implemented fairly - unlike co-location in Kenilworth

Protecting the Environment We Depend On

My vision is for a city where we understand that we protect our environment to ensure the best possible life for everyone: not just for ourselves and all our neighbors, but for our kids and grandkids.

But today, the City is failing to take enough action to fight climate change and protect the quality of our air and water, especially in the most vulnerable communities. The current council member listens to the powerful people who benefit from the status quo: our fossil-fuel dependent energy utilities, lobbyists for building owners, and landlords who oppose City action on energy efficiency. She voted to de-fund the Clean Energy Partnership, voted against continued divestment from fossil fuels, and has opposed protected bikeways and transit.

As council member, I will ensure that we protect the environment for everyone, by:

  • Fully funding the Clean Energy Partnership and using it to challenge both the energy utilities and City to do much more to fight climate change
  • Pushing for across-the-board investments in energy efficiency in buildings - multifamily residential, commercial, and single family homes
  • Championing walking, biking and transit
  • Supporting environmental justice initiatives like Green Zones

Healthy Local Food

My vision is for a city where everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food, much of it grown locally - including right here in Minneapolis. I know local food: I have a community garden in my backyard and host an annual cherry harvest party in my front yard.

But today, the current council member is an opponent of local food policy. She has been a key impediment to the Homegrown Minneapolis initiative. She voted against making it easier for urban farmers to sell produce directly to their neighbors, and has made it difficult for vacant City-owned lots to be used to grow food. She even voted against a policy that requires healthy options be included when City funds are spent on food. Champions for healthy, local food regularly have to fight the current council member to make even the most incremental progress.

As council member, I will work to build a city that integrates healthy local food for everyone, by:

  • Making more City-owned lots available for food growing with longer leases
  • Finding ways to incentivize large private landowners to allow food growing on their land
  • Supporting access to healthy foods everywhere, in every neighborhood

Government That Respects Everyone

My vision is for a City government that treats everyone like a valued and respected partner. That means better support for small businesses, for both tenants and landlords, and for everyone else who does business with the City.

But today, people are treated differently by City government depending on who their friends are, or how much they contribute to campaigns. Small businesses have a hard time navigating the City’s regulations. Our licensing fees are highest for small businesses, and lowest for large ones. Opaque, unpredictable processes give power to a small number of political insiders. And people who interact with the current council member are regularly treated disrespectfully.

As council member, I will work to build a city that provides good service to everyone, by:

  • Rebalancing license fees to reduce the burden on small businesses
  • Building transparent, predictable processes for every regulatory action
  • Treating every person who interacts with the City with respect

Engaging All of Our Communities

My vision is for a City government that represents and listens to everyone. Only by bringing together people with multiple perspectives and treating them with respect can we come to good decisions about the future of our city.

But today, a person’s political connections and campaign contributions count for more than the quality of their ideas. Insiders who know how the system works have special access, while the less powerful - renters, young people, poor people, people of color - have no access at all. Even some neighborhood organizations do not accurately represent all of the people who live in the neighborhood they speak for.

As council member, I will ensure that our government listens to everyone, by:

  • Ensuring that City funding to neighborhoods comes with reasonable expectations and accountability
  • Building the City’s capacity to do meaningful, equitable engagement
  • Reforming campaign finance rules to reduce the influence of money in our politics
  • Publicly financing campaigns

Fighting for the Most Vulnerable

My vision is for a City that protects everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us: renters, low-wage workers, immigrants, and people of color. The City has to see and serve the half of Minneapolitans who rent. We have to work directly to improve the lives of the poorest in our communities. And we have to openly acknowledge and address the institutional racism that pervades our city.

But right now, landlords and big business have much more power than tenants and workers, and they have an outsized presence and influence in City Hall. While the vast majority of landlords provide high quality housing, a small number of irresponsible owners take advantage of people with few other options. City inspectors don’t have enough resources to inspect all of the housing violations that occur each year, and too few inspectors are devoted to large multifamily buildings. Many workers are paid less than living wages, forced to work unfair and unpredictable schedules, and even have their wages stolen. And the current council member consistently opposes actions to address these problems.

As council member, I will work to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable, by:

  • Rebalancing housing inspections staff assignments to match the housing in the city
  • Ensuring that renters who do submit complaints are not exposed to retaliation from their managers and landlords by making 311 complaints and the inspection process anonymous
  • Increasing the minimum wage so that low-income renters are less vulnerable to the very limited supply of affordable apartments
  • Passing a Fair Scheduling ordinance
  • Getting the City to prosecute people who perpetrate wage theft
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