Opportunity

What does the Minneapolis of tomorrow look like? We know that population growth and dramatic changes to our economy are on the horizon. We need a mayor with a vision for the future. We can expand opportunity for all Minneapolis residents by focusing on these areas and initiatives below.

Green Growth and Urban Agriculture

The Mill City Quarter — affordable housing priced for people with 50-60% of metropolitan median income and built in an upper-income neighborhood of the 3rd Ward with better access to transit and jobs. It took a coalition, but we got it done!

The Mill City Quarter — affordable housing priced for people with 50-60% of metropolitan median income and built in an upper-income neighborhood of the 3rd Ward with better access to transit and jobs. It took a coalition, but we got it done!

With Donald Trump pulling our federal government out of the Paris Climate Agreement and a Republican state legislature, cities like Minneapolis are going to have step up and fill the leadership vacuum on climate change.

We have taken some steps in the right direction. One of the accomplishments that I am most proud of is a city ordinance I authored that instituted sweeping environmental reforms that now serve as a national model for pollution control and tackling climate change. Passed a little over a year ago, the law requires polluters to pay fees based on the amount of pollution they produce, directly disincentivizing pollution. In just one year, this law has reduced criteria pollutants by 18,000 pounds and carbon output by 6 million pounds. We fought for and won this progressive victory because air pollution is a climate issue, but also a racial justice issue — the communities most hurt by climate change and toxic pollutants like VOCs are also communities of color. And by rewarding businesses that voluntarily move to cut their emissions, we also showed that the choice between environmental justice and thriving small businesses is a false one.

But Minneapolis needs a mayor that won’t settle for making Minneapolis anything less than the greenest city in America. By 2035, Minneapolis should be using 100% clean energy. As Mayor, I would:

I regularly bike to work at City Hall. We can expand options for more sustainable transit options that create healthier, safer communities.

I regularly bike to work at City Hall. We can expand options for more sustainable transit options that create healthier, safer communities.

  • Put Minneapolis’s municipal buildings on track to achieve 100% clean energy use. I want to be a Mayor that leads on climate change, and that starts by making sure our city government does its part.

  • Support community solar projects, especially low-income projects. This achieves the twin goals of allowing solar to spread to areas where it is now underutilized while also opening up clean energy options to Minneapolitans who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

  • Increase density in Minneapolis. Increasing density is one of the most politically controversial issues in city politics, but it is absolutely necessary to stop the suburban sprawl that fuels climate change. We just need a mayor willing to shoulder the political burden of pushing for density despite status quo opposition. Upzoning and offering political support for projects that increase density despite backlash will be cornerstones of my pro-density agenda as Mayor.

  • Incentivize energy-efficient building design in new developments that go up in Minneapolis. Supporting clean energy is a must, but we also need to lay a foundation for a Minneapolis where we also consume less energy overall.

  • Expand the repurposing of vacant lots for urban agriculture. More locally sourced food will be key to combatting climate change, and the city should do more to offer opportunities to communities that want to pursue urban agriculture. Community based garden plots can help combat food deserts in areas of the city that most need it.

Multi-modal Transportation

Concrete crevasses for far too long have divided our city. Fixing this systemic issue requires visible leadership to build a coalition of all stakeholders — including local residents, Hennepin County, the state, and the federal government — to move forward.

Concrete crevasses for far too long have divided our city. Fixing this systemic issue requires visible leadership to build a coalition of all stakeholders — including local residents, Hennepin County, the state, and the federal government — to move forward.

The way Minneapolitans get around is changing. As the city grows, our people become less car-centric. This transition is being facilitated by car-sharing programs, walkable development, and — in the not-to-distant future — driverless cars. As mayor, I pledge to work with the council to support a transportation plan that recognizes these changes.

  • Prioritize pedestrian access and safety in designing our streets. Despite some progress, the city still often makes planning decisions with an automobile-centric mentality. With federal money for pedestrian improvements likely to dry up under a Trump administration, I will make sure the city steps up on pedestrian improvements like stop signs and curb extensions at dangerous intersections.

  • Extend support for trail and bikeway access in Minneapolis. Minneapolis can work with other municipalities to extend marquee trails like the Greenway to St. Paul. Additionally, protected bike lanes should widen to add planter protection rather than simply using plastic bollards. We can improve bikeway safety while greening our city at the same time. Supporting multi-modal transportation is key to making Minneapolis a city that works for everyone.

  • Expand bus rapid transit and light rail. By working with partners at the State, Met Council, and Hennepin County to build a political coalition for a more robust public transit system, including light rail and bus rapid transit. With Republicans controlling the state legislature, it is more important than ever that we have a proactive mayor who will champion Minneapolitans’ right to affordable public transit.

Arts & Education

The historic Pillsbury “A Mill” on the East Bank — one of only three Minneapolis structures designated as a National Historic Landmark — had been left vacant for years. Collaborating with local residents and developers, we helped turn the space into LEED-Certified, affordable artist housing, with studios for creatives in an upper-income neighborhood.

The historic Pillsbury “A Mill” on the East Bank — one of only three Minneapolis structures designated as a National Historic Landmark — had been left vacant for years. Collaborating with local residents and developers, we helped turn the space into LEED-Certified, affordable artist housing, with studios for creatives in an upper-income neighborhood.

Minneapolis can do more to capitalize on the creativity and intelligence for which this city has long been known. As mayor, I’ll implement city policy to showcase our strengths and expand on our reputation.

  • Use housing policy to protect artists from gentrification. I would push for industrial zoning designations and supplementing them with an overlay of live/work artist housing. When industrial zoning designations are swapped out with residential ones, gentrification displaces the artists that made Minneapolis such an attractive city to live in the first place.

  • Liberalize restrictions that stymie art in public places. Restrictions that prevent artists from selling their work in public spaces or make the process cumbersome and inaccessible don’t just make it hard for artists to sustain their livelihoods, but also deny Minneapolitans the chance to enjoy their creations. As Mayor, I will support reforming licensing ordinances that impede artistic creativity and cultural expression.

  • Expand on the city’s existing public arts programs like artistic utility boxes and paint the pavement. Lists of spaces available for these kinds of public art should be compiled and publicized for artists’ benefit. Expanding and making this program more accessible allows artists to apply their skill and beautifies our neighborhoods.

  • Resume regular meetings with the School Board. It used to be that the Mayor would meet with the School Board on a near monthly basis. I would resume these meetings because our city governments cannot be operating in silos, especially when our children are involved. Because we have an independent school board, the Mayor has to collaborate to have a positive impact on our public schools, and as your Mayor I promise to do just that. I worked hard as the co-chair of the Yes for Minneapolis Kids campaign, our successful project to get the referendum funding Minneapolis public schools passed this past November. And, while schools have closed throughout the city over the last 15 years, in the 3rd Ward, working with invested parents and School Board Directors, we managed to open one. Webster Elementary is now up and running and winning awards! I cannot think of a single issue that impacts our city’s success or failure more than our children’s education, and so we need a Mayor that won’t settle until every child has access to a superb education.

Lifting Wages and Supporting Small Business

strike-fast-food.jpg

Our city’s workers and small business owners deserve a mayor who will advocate for them and innovative policies to advance the wages and benefits and to create an environment where citizens can pick up a good idea and run with it, unhindered by city red tape and bureaucracy.

  • Implement, enforce, and defend Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave. I am proud to have authored Minneapolis’s paid sick leave ordinance. I am also proud to have been one of the first members of the City Council to come out in support a minimum wage increase more than two years ago, before it was politically expedient to do so and when a majority of the city council and the mayor were still opposed to it. Minneapolis has passed a historic minimum wage increase for its workers, and I worked hard to make sure that large and corporate businesses had a faster implementation period than their small business counterparts. Unfortunately, these progressive policies are already being attacked by powerful special interests. As Mayor, I will defend these policies from legal challenges and pre-emption at the state level and strictly enforce penalties for non-compliance.

  • Expand support for the Small Business Navigators program. Established by Council Member Andrew Johnson, this program uses navigators to help small businesses work through the often-complex processes needed to open and run a successful business in Minneapolis. This program is especially helpful for members of our immigrant community, as they navigate cultural and language barriers.

  • Encourage small-space retail and commercial units. During transitions in commercial tenancy or property ownership, commercial spaces should be split into smaller spaces. Smaller spaces prevent corporate franchises from setting up their boilerplate while also allowing for cheaper rents that give upstart entrepreneurs an opportunity to open. This provision will help create diverse and vibrant streetscapes.

  • Encourage small-space retail and commercial units. During transitions in commercial tenancy or property ownership, commercial spaces should be split into smaller spaces. Smaller spaces prevent corporate franchises from setting up their boilerplate while also allowing for cheaper rents that give upstart entrepreneurs an opportunity to open. This provision will help create diverse and vibrant streetscapes.

 

Let's expand opportunity for every person in our city and build a better future for Minneapolis.

Together,

 

Let's expand opportunity for every person in our city and build a better future for Minneapolis!