Why We Support Janne

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Ethan Fawley: Janne has the policy smarts and core values we need

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I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 Minneapolis City Council because she combines hard work and real policy smarts with progressive core values and a genuine desire to make our city better for everyone. She has expertise in affordable housing, environmental issues, and transportation—three key areas for Minneapolis right now. She will bring an open door, fresh energy, and new connections at a critical time for our city.

I've known Janne for 8 years, and one of the things I've been most impressed with is how well she collaborates with people. Janne spent countless hours volunteering as the volunteer coordinator for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (now Our Streets Minneapolis) as the organization was growing and starting to take on big things, such as hosting Open Streets Minneapolis events. As Janne welcomed and supported so many new volunteer leaders in that time, she was utterly selfless, focusing solely on connecting others and helping them maximize their own volunteer efforts within the organization.

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Danny Schwartzman: Janne will build relationships across the ward even when it’s not election season

Danny_Schwartzman.jpgI support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 Minneapolis City Council because we need a council person who will bring our community together, listen to constituents and work alongside them, and drive our city forward with progressive policies that are good for our entire community. From my first conversation with Janne it was clear to me that she understands how important it is to get beyond just talking with the people who are already most connected and most inclined to talk with an elected official. I want to see inclusive leadership that cares about equity, that listens thoughtfully and respectfully and values people’s opinions, and then brings people together to help craft a shared community vision that takes our city forward. Janne will be that kind of city council person.

In sharp contrast, Councilmember Lisa Goodman chose to sit on the sidelines as some of her colleagues on the council, along with a diverse group of stakeholders, spent months crafting a paid sick time ordinance that works for small businesses and will raise our community up. As the City Council’s real progressive champions were speaking up in support of this very popular initiative, Councilmember Goodman was questioning its merits and not letting people know where she stood, waiting until the very last moment to state her support before the final, unanimous vote. I would like to be represented by a city council person who is driving positive change that works for our community and not taking a back seat.

Now, Goodman’s campaign is being supported by a flood of direct mail from an independent group called Minneapolis Works! proclaiming her “Progressive.” These pieces are coming from a coalition including representatives of the Downtown Council (which represents large business interests), large property developers including Steve Minn who publicly opposed an increase in the minimum wage, and a right-wing PAC. If Council Member Goodman really was a strong progressive, she would have immediately called for an end to this group’s misleading campaign on her behalf.

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Javier Morillo: Janne will be a champion for people too often ignored by too many in City Hall

I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 because I know that she will be a champion for people too often ignored by too many in City Hall.

Javier_Morillo.jpgI am the president of a union of low-wage service workers, thousands of whom live and work in Minneapolis.  While my union has not endorsed in this race, I personally urge the voters of Ward 7 to vote for a change of tone in City Hall. I have gotten to know Janne over the course of this past year and am convinced that in order to see change in the lives of working people, people of color, immigrants and renters, we need new leadership from this important part of the city.

I also know and have worked with the incumbent for many years, and I want to be clear—she is right when she says, "When I'm on your side, I'm really on your side. Unfortunately, when I'm not, I'm really not." Having been on both of those sides, this is what I can tell you: when governing, our choices should not be this extreme, this either/or. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, even when we disagree or are on opposite sides of an issue. This is especially important when it comes to elected leaders.  The recent story that made national headlines, where the incumbent made a “joke” that humiliated an opponent by handing him a piece of chewed gum, was sadly indicative of what happens when “Unfortunately, when I’m not, I’m really not” becomes a governing philosophy.

With Janne Flisrand, your ward has an opportunity to do something different.  She will advocate for all in the city, not just big business and the well-heeled. She will work with community members to solve problems productively—without yelling—even when you might happen to disagree with her on a particular issue. Janne will bring an inclusive style to City Hall that mirrors her inclusive politics. I have seen her build a diverse coalition that includes homeowners and renters, people who are comfortable economically and those for whom we as a community must do better. All will be welcome in her office and none shut out.

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John Sugimura: Janne has the persistence, courage, and people-skills to get things done

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I support Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council because I’m excited for her ideas and endless energy to be injected into Ward 7. Janne is a genuine listener who seeks out a broad range of opinions to assist her in calculating how to strategically address community issues.

I’ve been impressed with Janne since working alongside her on a political campaign. She has always demonstrated a commitment to put community first and never loses sight of the core issues Minneapolis is facing. Janne’s thoughtful, innovative ideas give me hope that, over the next four years, we will make progress with the critical issues the city and the ward are grappling with. Janne has the persistence, courage, and people-skills to work with the whole council to tackle and address all of our concerns head on.

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Christy Kujawa: Janne lives her values of kindness and respect

I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 Minneapolis City Council because she has a wealth of experience in affordable housing, she believes that every voice in our city matters, and she truly cares about everyone in our ward and in Minneapolis.

Christy_Kujawa.jpgI’ve known Janne for about 15 years, and for as long as I’ve known her, every time I show up in the city to participate in a civic event, she’s already there volunteering. I’m not sure I’ve voted in my adult life that she wasn’t there handing out ballots. I’ve been thinking for a while that it’s time for a change in Ward 7, and I was very excited to hear that Janne was running for the seat. There’s nobody who understands this part of our city better or from a more grassroots perspective.

Please join me in making Janne your first-choice vote for Minneapolis Ward 7 City Council. She lives her values, is kind and respectful to everyone, and she is passionate about doing right by people. These characteristics are all desperately need in our city council.

 

Elizabeth Beissel: Janne combines experience with an ability to soothe disagreements

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I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because she listens. And when I say listen, I mean listens deeply. I met her at the offices of Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc., and I liked her immediately. I decided on the spot that I would vote for her, and I even told her so; but then my worries got the better of me and I decided to support the current City Council member instead. I invited Janne for coffee and told her that. Her reaction was nothing like I expected. She simply leaned forward and said, “Tell me more about this,” in a voice and a tone that indicated that she was really serious. She just wanted to know more. We talked, and at the end of the conversation, I felt absolutely great about voting for Janne.

The thing that excites me most about Janne is that she couples deep, broad experience in housing and many other city issues with an ability to bridge gaps, mend fences, and soothe disagreements. As Minneapolis takes on the important work of providing enough of the right kinds of housing for all of its residents, having Janne on the City Council will help ensure that all stakeholders will be heard and all opinions will be considered as the hard decisions are made. She has exactly the right skillset and temperament to make a big positive difference on the Council and in this city.

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Antone Melton-Meaux: Janne is accessible and accountable

Antone_and_Xavier.jpgI support Janne Flisrand because she is a leader who understands the need for strategic long-term planning to enable Minneapolis to grow into a city that serves all of its residents. At the same time, she appreciates the need to be fully accessible and accountable to her constituents. I have seen a genuineness in her from the first time we met for coffee over nine months ago, to the time that we saw each other yesterday and she introduced herself very kindly to Xavier, my son. It means that she is truly vested in the work she’s doing and the people she’ll be serving—all of us—not just the person who can vote for her, but the 8-year- old boy who cares more about Pokémon than politics.

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Barbara Bearman: Janne is a person of ethics and substance

I support Janne because, beginning on the day we met, I was impressed by how closely she listened and how much attention she gave my concerns. I’d asked her to come over, and we had a wonderful discussion in which I laid out the issues that I thought were essential to the city. It was one of those times when you meet a person and get an immediate sense that you’re talking with an ethical person of substance.

Barbara_Bearman.jpgHer level and variety of experience was very impressive, but even more so, I was impressed that someone so experienced and knowledgeable was so open to taking in new information. I like how her mind works: she sees how everything is interrelated, and she has a clear sense of how the ward fits into the city as a whole. While some people look at things in isolation, Janne always sees the mutual connections. This is going to matter a lot in the next four years. This city is facing a dire affordable housing crisis, and we’re also going to have some uncomfortable conversations about equity and racial justice in the next four years that must lead to systemic changes. I trust Janne to be an unwavering advocate for what’s fair, necessary, and right in the challenging times ahead.

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Mallory Mitchell: Janne puts equity and values first

I support Janne Flisrand for City Council in Ward 7 because she puts equity and values at the forefront. She doesn’t want to be in politics just to be in politics. For her, it’s about wanting people to be safe and to be treated fairly.

Mallory_Mitchell.JPEGI was impressed when I met Janne at an event in my neighborhood several months ago. She introduced herself as a candidate running for the council, and after I introduced myself to the group, Janne made an effort to get in touch and stay in touch. She wanted to hear my thoughts, and I really appreciated her desire to hear from someone who lives in her ward. Based on her genuine curiosity about the needs and wants of her constituents and her deep knowledge of the issues facing the ward and city, Janne immediately struck me as a strong leader—and a leader I can trust.

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Asil Mire: Janne is an environmental champion!

I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 Minneapolis City Council because she is an environmental champion!

asil.pngAs soon as I met Janne, I was blown away by how much she cares about the environment and how much she is already doing to protect and improve it. She supported the Clean Energy Partnership as a member of the Energy Vision Advisory Committee, and led successful efforts to include multiple family rental units in standard energy efficiency programs. She also supports expanding organic recycling to apartment buildings. Given her excellent track record, I trust Janne to ALWAYS do what is best for the planet.

I am also impressed with Janne’s depth of knowledge and experience in affordable housing. I’ve been a renter in Uptown for two years, and I’ve seen my rent increase too much in that short time. I worry that gentrification is a big problem in Minneapolis. I have talked with Janne about it many times and I’ve heard her speak on the subject as well. I can tell you that she understands the issues and she has innovative ideas for how to ensure that the city has enough housing units while always still putting people before profits.

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Jackie Foster: Janne is thoughtful, innovative, and equity-focused

I support Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council because she has thoughtful, innovative policy ideas, she pays attention to equity, and she takes a respectful approach to everything she does.

jackie_foster.pngSafe, stable and affordable housing is essential for a healthy population, and current housing strategies are too limited to meet the growing demand. It’s important for people to remember that policies that give our workforce access to safe, affordable housing directly support the economic wellbeing of the entire city. Janne supports creative policy solutions, in addition to work by organizations like Aeon, to help more people make their home in Minneapolis. I appreciate Janne’s comprehensive consideration of zoning and planning issues, which always includes considerations for increasing diversity, transportation access, and affordability.

Join me in supporting Janne Flisrand for City Council. Ward 7 and the entire city will benefit from her intelligence, integrity, compassion, and creativity.

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Anne Supplee: "I'm Proud to Endorse Janne"

I have lived in Loring Park for 20 years. Loring Park used to be a place where young people could start out with an affordable place of their own, but that’s not the case anymore. After 20 years with Lisa Goodman as our city council representative, affordable housing has never been harder to find in Ward 7.

anne_supplee.jpgWhen I heard Janne Flisrand was running for city council, my immediate reaction was excitement, followed by relief. I set up a time to meet with her right away. Just the possibility of having new energy in Ward 7 was exciting. And then, when we really talked about what she intended to do, I was immediately inspired to get involved. I said Yes to caucusing on her behalf and Yes to being a delegate. There’s something about Janne’s visible, receptive approach to leadership that makes me want to be involved. I haven’t felt this way for a long time.

I’ve been acquainted with Janne for long enough to know that she’s a collaborator, a listener. Her vision is clear: she wants Minneapolis to be a city in which everyone has a voice, everyone feels (and is) safe, and everyone has an equal opportunity. She has great ideas about how to help make that happen, but best of all, she’s also always listening to people who might have even better ideas.

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Satish Desai: Janne will "ensure Minneapolis is a livable city for all of us"

satish_desai.jpgI met Janne at a "Coffee Caucus" event shortly after she launched her candidacy for city council. She immediately impressed me as an inquisitive and compassionate woman who shares my progressive values. I moved to Loring Park five years ago because of its walkable streets and ready access to public transportation. But even when I first moved here, it was clear that affordable housing is scarce. And while the public transportation downtown is among the best in the cities, it rapidly becomes more difficult to get around without a car outside of the immediate confines of downtown. We need to do much better to ensure that Minneapolis is a livable city for all of us.

Janne is a deeply knowledgeable leader who understands this. As a private citizen and an activist, she has already established a strong record of making our city a more sustainable and equitable place to live. We have the chance, this year, to elect a city council that can put Minneapolis at the forefront of advancing economic and racial equality, stopping climate change, and building a healthier and more sustainable future. This is why I am supporting her for city council.

 

Anne Minnick: "It's Time for an Engaged and Innovative Leader"

I’m supporting Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 7 because she shares my progressive values. I agree with her positions on policing, creating a more equitable ward, economic justice issues, streets that are safe for bicycles, and so much more.

ann_minnick.jpgJust as important as her progressive stance on the issues, however, is the fact that Janne is open and eager to listen. Over the years my husband and I have sent numerous written communications to Lisa Goodman and called her office about issues we care about, but we have gotten no response of any kind for four years. Ms. Goodman goes to meetings, but it’s clear that she’s interested in being connected to some people and not others. Even her website hadn’t been updated for years, until Janne announced her campaign. It seems there’s no information going in or out. You know it’s time for a change when you can’t even get an automated response from your city council representative!

Janne is running so that Ward 7 can have a city council member who represents everybody.

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Binky & Win Rockwell: Janne gives us hope for the future

Our experience with Janne is that she listens. We in Ward 7 have noticed that quality and understand how important it is, especially in the current political climate. Janne can be relied on, in all circumstances, to be empathetic while being civil. She thinks critically and makes tough decisions about any situation before her. She doesn’t show up to anything already decided. She has no agenda beyond doing what’s best for everyone.

win_binky.pngJanne’s own story is a lot like that of many of us in Ward 7. She considers herself lucky to have bought a multi-unit home at a time—20 years ago—when she could afford to. When we were in our 20s, we were able to buy our first house here and start building wealth. That is pretty unheard of now in Ward 7. Young people have lots of reasons to want to move to Minneapolis—and particularly Ward 7, given its proximity to the lakes and Downtown. But they will go elsewhere if the housing situation doesn’t welcome them and allow for more economic diversity. We need this generation in order to keep our neighborhood vibrant and looking toward the future. It makes sense that so many young people are supporting Janne and volunteering many hours on her campaign. They know she cares about their issues. These are issues that should be critical to all of us who care about the future of our city: safe, affordable housing; street design that keeps walkers, bikers, and drivers protected; affordable, safe, reliable public transportation; protection of the environment and working to undo the harm we’ve already caused.

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Gina Ciganik: Janne has a "commitment to fairness"

 I’m supporting Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because I have seen her effectiveness over the last two decades as I’ve worked with her on a variety of affordable and sustainable housing issues in the city.

gina_ciganik.pngJanne is an excellent facilitator of conversations. She really listens, and far too few people have that quality. Because Janne has such a strong commitment to fairness and equity, she seeks the input of people whose voices are most often not heard. When she puts a solution forward, you can be sure that it will serve a broader, diverse community.

After working in the affordable/sustainable housing space for two decades, I can tell you that too often decision makers are serving those who have more money, more power, more influence, or just louder voices. Janne has always made sure that more voices were brought into the conversation and that those voices were heard and valued.

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Julia Curran: Janne knows Ward 7 up close

My dad, John Curran, moved to Ward 7 in 1928, and he knows the city in ways you can’t even imagine. My dad likes Janne, too, and he’s the best judge of character I know. For my father, at 97, the frequency of coffee shops along a street or the fear of frostbite determines whether he can go out or not. Nobody whose view of the city is on a map or from a window in City Hall can understand how to help people like my father to age in place and continue to thrive.

Julia_and_John_Curran.jpgJanne is out in the community, seeing every inch of Ward 7 and the rest of the city up close, often on foot. She’s visible, and she was visible long before she decided to run for office. I didn’t realize how important that is until I started running into a core group of City Council people, not just in meeting rooms, but on the streets. I was looking at the people making decisions about our city, and I realized that not all of them are actually out there using our city. When I see Janne out there, I realize the government is accessible to me. It’s exciting for me that, come November, I may have a City Council member I’m likely to run into out in the world.

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Pablo Jones: Janne is a "creative problem solver"

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I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because she supports Black Lives Matter. When Jamar Clark was killed by a police officer in 2015, three members of the City Council showed up at the 4th Precinct and in the press as advocates for justice; Janne’s opponent, kept silent. Racial justice is complicated, but committing yourself to police reform—particularly the issue of stopping the police from killing African American men—is not complicated. It begins with some deep listening, and that means the City Council listening to Black Lives Matter and other groups working for racial justice and police reform. I’d like to see the city treat BLM with greater respect, and I’d like to see them have a seat at the table. Janne listens to everybody, and that includes Black Lives Matter.

I believe that Janne would have a positive effect on the City Council overall. Because she is a deeply reflective, clear headed person, people respect her perspective. With Janne on the City Council, I see the possibility for the council to become more Progressive while retaining a high degree of self-discipline.

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Mimi Amelang: "Service to community is Janne's life"

When I learned about Janne Flisrand’s candidacy for Ward 7 City Council, I was initially just happy to hear that a viable candidate was finally challenging Lisa Goodman. Goodman has not voted the way I’d have wanted her to vote over the past few years, and I would like to see her replaced by a true progressive who’s interested in really fixing things. That’s Janne.

mimi_crop_(1).pngI agree completely with Janne’s stance on expanding and improving public transportation. I also appreciate her strong commitment to making Ward 7 safe and pleasant for those who choose to walk places. It’s clear that all of the urban design that’s taken place in the last 20 years in our neighborhood has created an environment targeted for people who drive and nobody else. Think about the way that impacts people’s lives. It’s not about going for a stroll; it’s actually hard to get around in Ward 7 unless you have a car.

Janne’s done a lot for our ward and our city already. It’s clear that service to her community is Janne’s life. She’s looking to be of service in a bigger way now, and I believe she has the ideal skill set to be an extremely effective member of the Minneapolis City Council.

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Endorsement Alert: Ethan Cherin Supports His Spouse

I support Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council. That’s probably not a surprise since I’m married to her, but I support her candidacy because the things I most admire about Janne are also the things that will make her a great City Councilmember for Ward 7.

ethan_c_for_testimonial.jpgJanne lives her principles more thoroughly than anyone I know. Her accomplishments, such as helping to create the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (now Our Streets Mpls), creating a community garden, and working to improve energy efficiency in affordable housing, came out of a deep commitment to equity and sustainability. These values frame every choice she makes, not because someone said they would look good on a campaign flyer, but because that’s just the kind of person she is. You can count on her to carry herself with integrity, placing these values front and center in everything she does.

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Emily Strasser: Janne is "honest, informed, and community-focused"

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.”

em_strass.pngJanne 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.

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John Carmody: Janne is a leader on affordable, sustainable housing

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.

John_Carmody.jpgI 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.

 

Beth St. John: Janne is an affordable housing problem solver

I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because she is an innovative thinker with an impressive history of solving complicated problems.

Beth_St._John.jpgI met Janne more than ten years ago while we were both volunteering with the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA). Janne was an integral part of transforming the LHNA into a truly inclusive organization that worked to improve our neighborhood for the betterment of all residents, not just homeowners. When Janne chaired the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) committee for LHNA, she figured out a solution to the perplexing question of how to invest our housing funds. LHNA didn't think it made sense to use them for home improvement loans when the majority of Lowry Hill homeowners are able to borrow from traditional lenders.

Caroline Horton, a friend Janne met interning at an affordable housing organization in 2000, summarizes what happened next:

In 2008, Janne called me to talk about the challenge of what exactly to do with a portion of her neighborhood’s NRP funds—$216,000—which by law, had to be spent on housing. We came up with the idea of lending the money to the Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) to finance predevelopment loans to affordable housing developers. These loans are critical to building affordable housing because nonprofits need to pay costs of work that happens before a project is funded, such as working with the designers and neighborhoods, filling out the funding applications, or the right to buy a property. Janne approached Kate Barr, President and CEO of NAF, to ask if they would be interested in partnering.

Kate Barr summarizes how Janne's idea was received:

We were interested. Through this innovative plan, at the end of the loan period, the funds would go back to Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association with a small amount of interest. For the neighborhood, they would meet their legal obligation to use the funds for housing, and once it was repaid they’d be able to fund community-building activities and improvement projects in Lowry Hill.

Janne pulled together the partners, got all of the necessary approvals, and the plan was such an effective solution that several other neighborhood organizations have used the same model since.

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Teri Shuraleff: Janne brings people together to get results

I support Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council because she’s committed, social-justice oriented, passionate, inclusive, a great listener, and she gets things done.

shuraleff.jpgI first met Janne when I moved back to Minneapolis after 10 years away. I was just thinking about getting back on a bike after 25 years. I found the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (MBC) on Facebook, and the first thing I saw was a meeting Janne organized for potential volunteers. I showed up, but in all honesty, I figured it would be awkward and I would leave. Janne was the reason that didn’t happen. She brought together this group of people from all different backgrounds, none of whom knew each other, and she made sure every one of us felt welcome and included. Her ability to organize, lead groups, make sure everyone is heard and included, and draw ideas out of people who might not be comfortable talking in front of a group was remarkable. That evening a couple of committees were formed, and people kept coming back. Janne’s leadership was a big part of that. I became a volunteer that night; after about a year, I became a lead volunteer, and later I was asked to serve on the board of MBC a position I've held now for the past 3 years.

Janne knows how to help people work together to create results. The key to this is that she doesn’t go in saying, “This is the result I want,” b​ut rather, she inspires creativity and critical thinking in the group. She goes in asking people, “What do you want this to look like? What do you want to create here?” She listens to everyone, and she facilitates people to be self-directed, creating a work group that works together beautifully.

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Catherine Windyk: Janne is continually grooming others for leadership

I support Janne Flisrand because she cares deeply about the city and all of the people who live in it.

Catherine_Windyk_photo.jpgI met Janne 5 or 6 years ago at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. I went to a neighborhood meet up where her role was to tell people about MBC and explain what volunteer opportunities existed at that time. She was super welcoming and very friendly, so I was immediately at ease, after having been pretty intimidated coming in as a new biker. Her leadership skills were apparent right away: she was comfortable in front of a crowd, a very clear communicator, and deeply passionate about the important work MBC was doing. After the meeting, I contacted her to see what role I’d fit best in. She asked about my interests and skills, and then she took the time to figure out where I would be most likely to make the most significant contribution. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Janne was continually grooming others for leadership. She is great at seeing qualities in people that they might not even realize they have. She never pushes people; she’s just very encouraging, and since she inquires so thoroughly and listens so well, she often ends up guiding people into making a more valuable contribution than they even thought possible—sometimes stepping pretty far out of their comfort zones to do so. People tend to go above and beyond when someone of obvious substance believes in them.

Janne is deeply intelligent, ​honest, ​creative, friendly, and energetic—and all of that is tempered with a social grace that makes her far more likely to give someone else credit than to seek it for herself. Honestly, I don’t know exactly what those qualities will look like on the Minneapolis City Council, but I’m 100% sure I want to find out.

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Amy Brugh: Janne showed me I could play a valuable role

I support Janne Flisrand because she is super smart, and she’s committed to making the city of Minneapolis the kind of place where I want to live.

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I met Janne in 2012 when I got involved as a volunteer with what was then the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, now Our Streets Minneapolis. Janne was serving as the volunteer coordinator. I came in rather intimidated because the coalition people seemed like fast bikers with cool bikes or were all smart city planner types. Janne helped me feel less intimidated, and she helped me find a volunteer position that was a fit for me. She was a unique combination of extremely accessible and very clear and direct. She wanted to see me get connected and to succeed with the organization, so she made sure I knew exactly what was expected. After volunteering for a while, I joined the Coalition board. Not long after that I got really involved and became the board chair and took on a lot of leadership responsibilities. Janne showed me early on that I could play a valuable role (even though I am still not a fast biker and I don’t have a cool bike).

Janne can always be trusted to be accessible and open to different perspectives, but she's also fierce and committed. Because she’s highly principled, she’s not so open that she lets people get away with doing less than they’re capable of doing. Janne is also great at making something that seems infinitely complex simple enough for people to understand it. That quality will be invaluable on the City Council, where being able to make complex issues thoroughly understandable is an essential step in creating good policy.

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Carter Christensen: Janne is a true change-maker for the current and next generation

I support Janne Flisrand for City Council because she is a visionary, pro-active leader who is actively working to bridge and empower our community. Janne is ready to tackle the biggest issues facing our city. Instead of continuing to wait to see if our current representative does the right thing for our ward and the city, we finally have the opportunity to elect someone who we can have absolute confidence will do the right thing, visibly and confidently, right away, always. The time is now to bring a proven pro-active change agent to our council chambers.

Carter_Christensen_photo.pngI’m extremely impressed with Janne’s knowledge on how to create the Minneapolis of tomorrow — a city we won’t be able to have with Ward 7’s current council member still in charge. Unlike the long-entrenched incumbent, Janne has a vision that will move the city beyond what has become the norm in our ward. Her vision (detailed and published on her website) will empower our neighbors, families, and professionals; it’s a vision that will benefit each and every one of us for decades to come. Whether it’s improved transit access or supporting small businesses and the employees who work at them or her unmatched thought-leadership on our dire affordable housing situation, Ward 7 will do better — and be better — with Janne representing us at City Hall.

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Alex Boutrous: Janne is getting young people involved for the first time

Alex_Boutrous.jpgI support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because she is a thoughtful and proactive leader. She can be counted on to seek out many perspectives and weave together a solution.

Janne's dynamic leadership has inspired people from all walks of life to join her change-making campaign. It has been inspiring to watch the energy around her candidacy grow so rapidly, and I am particularly gratified to see young people get actively involved in a political campaign--many for the first time--in service of electing a candidate with such high integrity.

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Alex Maki: Janne understands how to empower people

 I’m supporting Janne Flisrand for Minneapolis City Council in Ward 7 because she will empower all residents to become engaged in their communities. Engaged citizens create healthy and vibrant cities. With a remarkable willingness to listen to the concerns of others, Janne will ensure all people in Minneapolis have a voice.

Alex_Maki_photo.jpgAs a scientist who studies community involvement, I have always been impressed by Janne's eagerness to inspire civic engagement in others. Janne gets it. She understands how to empower people to make a difference, intuitively grasping what science tells us about how to build stronger communities. She listens, and when the time comes, she acts. Janne is progressive, productive, and pragmatic, but never at the expense of silencing voices in the community that are too rarely heard.

Far too often our elected officials refuse to listen, refuse to learn, and refuse to grow. Janne will never stop questioning, learning, and striving to be a great community leader. Having worked with Janne on community efforts, I have watched her succeed at bringing people with diverse backgrounds together in a spirit of collaboration.

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Blue Delliquanti: Janne made me feel like a real member of this community

I support Janne Flisrand for Ward 7 City Council because she helped me feel like I could truly belong and participate in Minneapolis as a city and as a place I could live and thrive.

Blue_Delliquanti_photo.pngI moved here in 2012 and was a renter of Janne’s for four years. Despite the bad rap Minneapolis gets as a place that is not so welcoming to transplants, Janne made me feel like a real member of this community. In fact, she helped me to truly become a member of the community through actively encouraging civic engagement in all of her renters (as well as her neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers).

Janne had then, and still has, a tradition of baking pies using the cherries from the tree in front of her house for election day, and treating all of her renters who vote to a slice of cherry pie. It’s a beautiful way to make voting feel like the community-building activity it inherently is. In my years as her tenant, she played an active part in keeping the house united through local participation, voting, and community meetings. Since she serves as an election judge, she knew how to help us not be intimidated by the process (many of us were new voters) or made to feel like we were being pushed away from local politics.

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Marva Sullivan: Janne is "level-headed and wise"

About a month ago, Ward 7 City Council candidate, Janne Flisrand, convened a group of smart, engaged people with diverse areas of expertise. Right in the middle of her campaign, rather than hold a “get to know the candidate” event or a fundraiser; she put together a creative solution-generating exercise that she masterfully (and humbly) facilitated so that she—and everyone present—could learn something new about the ward and the city. I was very impressed with her for bringing that kind of insight into her campaign. Even though she is clearly an independent thinker, she is also wise enough to seek the input of a diverse group of people to ensure that she is as informed as possible on every issue.

The way Janne engages people is refreshing. She doesn’t give you an immediate, “YES-YES, rah-rah…I understand completely; you’re so right!” She takes in the information and she thinks about it. That’s an indicator of maturity, authenticity, and integrity. Given what’s happening on the national level, the thought of someone as level-headed and wise as Janne helping run this city gives me no small degree of comfort.

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Erin Perdu: "Leadership begins with understanding"

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.

Erin_Perdu.JPGI 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.

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