Affordable housing is the issue I care most about

Public dollars spent on affordable housing should be used to produce to the most public good. This very important story from NPR shines a light on the the role of middlemen and investors in the affordable housing market.

While the report concedes that many projects are done well and efficiently use public dollars, it questions why the total subsidy for affordable housing nationwide has produced less units, even when additional construction costs are factored. The report also points out only 17% of projects nationwide are in high-opportunity areas, and that in some cities, over 90% of projects are in low-income and high-crime areas. The benefit is that these projects are less likely to be derailed by public opposition. But just because it's the easier route doesn't mean it's the right one.

Minneapolis should work with its partners in the state and federal government to create a model for the rest of the nation. Housing projects here should be funded to ensure maximum affordability but closely scrutinized to make sure every dollar goes to improving affordability. Our programs should be regularly audited, and development should occur both efficiently and in places that provide maximum opportunity for those that need affordable housing.

Affordable housing is the issue I care most about. Together with a strong public education, safe neighborhoods, and a robust social safety net, I believe that reliable shelter creates the foundation from which individuals and families can rise. It's critical that these programs are run for the benefit of those who need them most, not those who are most able to work the system to their financial advantage.

— Jacob Frey

NPR | Affordable Housing Program Costs More, Shelters Fewer

Healthcare is a human right

“People shouldn't need to choose between getting healthy and paying the electric bill. People shouldn't go bankrupt because they were dealt a rough hand.”

— Jacob Frey

Before my time on the city council I was a civil rights & employment discrimination attorney. I cannot tell you how many of my clients got sick, couldn't pay the bills, defaulted on their mortgage, lost their homes, and were unable get their lives back on track.... sometimes for years at a time. Sometimes forever.

People shouldn't need to choose between getting healthy and paying the electric bill. People shouldn't go bankrupt because they were dealt a rough hand.

People in our city — if not you, probably your neighbor — will be horribly impacted by trumps healthcare legislation. Their lives will be forever changed, and many people, quite literally, will die because they cannot afford the care they need.

I hope this horrid sequence of legislation spurs us on toward a single payer system, and I trust that most Americans will recognize the cause of their plight.

But in the meantime, if Trump's legislation passes we need to care for our low-income residents. San Francisco provides city based health insurance to 145,000 low-income residents — yet another area where cities are a laboratory of democracy. At the very least we owe it to ourselves to see what we can do on the state and local levels, as we push for a single-payer system nation-wide.

— Jacob Frey

My Valentine

It’s a special day, and I wanted to take the time to write to you about my valentine—Jacob.

There are a lot of things I could say about him. Jacob gets things done. He’s passionate. He’s hardworking. He has a vision that brings people together to improve lives across our city.

Today, though, I want to talk about something we both feel very strongly about—equality and the right to marry the person you love.

In 2011, Minnesota Republicans put a harmful measure on the ballot to deny our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors the same right that Jacob and I enjoyed last year when were married. Many people in Minneapolis were opposed to that amendment, but Jacob took action almost immediately.

First, Jacob created the Big Gay Race. It helped raise money for and awareness of Minnesotans United for All Families, the organization that was formed to fight back against the constitutional amendment. Thousands attended the first race in 2011, and double that attended in 2012—just weeks before Minnesota became the first state to defeat such a constitutional amendment.

After helping with the race, Jacob joined the fight to pass marriage equality at the state capitol—speaking out, lobbying legislators, and raising money to fund the effort. He was there the whole way as Minnesota became the twelfth state say that love is love.

Jacob has often said that the greatest reward for all of that hard work was the ability to serve as the wedding official for friends who were able to get married because Minnesota rejected discrimination and embraced love.

Love is worth fighting for. I know it’s that same love that motivates Jacob in his campaign for mayor. His love for his neighbors. His love for his city. His love for a future that is brighter for everyone.

Please help us by getting involved in this campaign.

With love today and always,