I have had the privilege of representing the Northeast Arts District — ranked as the number one arts district in the entire country — during my time on the City Council. Our creative class brings invaluable cultural vibrancy that makes Minneapolis such a great city to live. We have to return the favor by making sure we are doing our part to ensure that city government works for them.
Sometimes, the best thing a city can do for artists is to get out of the way. Restrictions that prevent artists from selling their work in public spaces or that make the process cumbersome and inaccessible don’t just make it hard for artists to sustain their livelihoods; they also deny everyday Minneapolitans the chance to enjoy their creations. I would support liberalizing licensing ordinances that impede artistic creativity and cultural expression.
We also need to do more to make sure that artists in the creative class can find affordable housing. One way to do this is by retaining industrial zoning designations and supplementing them it with an overlay of live/work artist housing. When industrial designations are scrapped in favor of residential designations, gentrification displaces the very artists that made Minneapolis such an attractive city to live in the first place.