We Get Things Done
I take pride in not just talking about progressive change, but actually accomplishing it. I’ve worked hard to put big ideas into action. Here are a few highlights from my time as a Council Member:
- Early Voting: Passed an ordinance for early voting satellite precincts and extended early voting hours in Minneapolis.
- Tenant Voter Registration: Passed a landmark law requiring landlords to provide their new tenants with voter registration information at move in.
- Hussein Samatar Crossing: Following the vision of RT Rybak and working alongside Council Member Abdi Warsame, I advocated for the construction of Samatar Crossing in memory of Hussein Samatar. The Crossing converted the former Fifth Street ramp of I-35W into a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly design including lush landscaping and the incorporation of public art.
- Central Riverfront Rejuvenation: The Third Ward has been a hub of progress thanks to the transformation of surface parking lots into green space, community-minded development in Downtown East, and a record number of small and local business openings on East Hennepin.
- Green Zones: Helped found Green Zones, an initiative focused on supporting communities that have a cross-section of poverty and pollution.
- Pollution Control: Championed and passed a progressive environmental ordinance cracking down on air pollution by tying fees to pollution emitted.
- Commons Park: Worked with public and private sector leaders to secure the support and funding necessary to bring the Commons park to life.
- Trail Expansion: Collaborated with the Park Board on expansion of an East Side Mississippi river trail, a two-way, off-street trail for bicyclists and pedestrians along the Mississippi River between Boom Island Park and the 1600 block of Marshall Street NE.
- Repurposing Surface Parking Lots: Led the fight to repurpose surface parking lots for affordable housing projects, green space, office units, and other investments that make Minneapolis a better city for everyone.
- Urban Agriculture: Took initiative in opening up numerous vacant lot spaces for urban agricultural farming.
- Paid Sick and Safe Time: Co-authored Minneapolis’ landmark Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance.
- Minimum Wage: Fought for a minimum wage increase throughout the City.
Education and Schools
- New School: Promised and delivered a community-based public school to serve the growing number of families along the central riverfront. Webster Elementary is now open and garnering several awards. I routinely serve as a volunteer reader for the kindergarteners.
- “Vote Yes for Kids" Referendum: Chaired this effort that ensured renewal of 13% of our Minneapolis Public Schools annual funding.
- Affordable Housing Trust Fund: I authored the amendment that fully funded the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to record levels, and will not stop fighting for affordability until Minneapolis is a place where everyone can call home.
- Great River Landing: Advocated for an affordable housing project for people with felony records.
- Mill City Quarter: Helped integrate affordable housing among affluent areas of the city.
- Intentional Communities Ordinance: Led the fight to repeal the worst parts of this ordinance in a close vote at the City Council in Dec. 2016.
- Small Business Growth: The 3rd Ward has seen record numbers of small and locally owned businesses open and prosper.
- Streamlining Restaurant Requirements: In partnership with other members of the City Council, I worked to remove outdated and arbitrary sales ratio requirements that had previously saddled our beloved local restaurants with undue hardship.
- Ride Sharing: Authored an ordinance allowing ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Minneapolis.
- Hotel Modernization: Passed a series of amendments to modernize our hotel code and allow for small, European-style inns.
- Milling: Authored a zoning code to make milling legal (ironically, it was not legal in most parts of the city until this change was made).
- X-Games Recruitment: As chair of Sports Minneapolis, I recruited the X-games to Minneapolis for 2017-2018.
- Almost half of the city’s recent growth has been concentrated in the 3rd Ward.
- Wake-Up With Jacob: Since 2014, I've hosted a regular series of morning talks with Third Ward residents featuring speakers ranging from politicians to legislators to thought leaders.
- Decriminalized Marijuana: Authored a city ordinance that declassified marijuana possession as a criminal misdemeanor.
- Big Gay Race: Founded and organized the first Big Gay Race, a 5K charity race to raise money for Minnesotans United for All Families, a political group organizing for marriage equality.
Pro Bono Legal Work
- Tornado victims in North Minneapolis
- Death penalty justice
- Housing discrimination
- MLK Civil Rights Award from the City of Minneapolis