I support Janne Flisrand because I am deeply concerned about issues of clean energy, sustainability, and health—especially as they relate to the interests of people who have less financial and political influence than others.
I was the director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the University of Minnesota for 17 years. We worked with Janne for many years beginning in 2005 when she was leading the Green Communities Program. In that role, she was the representative of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and the Family Housing Fund. CSBR developed a set of building standards designed to improve the environment as well as the health and wellbeing of inhabitants, and it was Janne’s job to coordinate actions and build consensus among many different parties so that we could transform affordable housing in the state of Minnesota to be more healthy and sustainable. She played a really important leadership role, and now that program is required in all affordable housing projects in the city of Minneapolis. The healthy affordable housing Janne Flisrand helped make a reality has shifted expectations in the realm of affordable housing overall. It’s not just about keeping costs down anymore. Now it’s also about creating healthy housing with lower environmental impacts and lower operational costs.
Janne is very skilled at listening deeply and bringing people to consensus. I have no doubt that putting Janne Flisrand on the Minneapolis City Council will make the council more effective, and it will ensure that the interests of those who have less will be given the time, focus, and consideration they deserve.