Issues

Responsible, Responsive Government

  • Establish a cost-savings suggestion reimbursement plan, so city workers are rewarded for money-saving initiatives they develop

  • Create a priority problem prize fund, to encourage innovation for how Minneapolis delivers its services

  • Make as much data publically available, easily searchable and manipulable, and shareable

  • Address the delays in answering data requests, such as the year-long delay in answering a request regarding proposed spending for the Fourth Precinct following the Fourth Precinct Shutdown

  • Develop a public "Minneapolis Dashboard" showing our goals and how well we're meeting those goals. As your city council member, I'll read every report and update; as a citizen, you should be able to check on the city's progress in a few minutes online. Want to know unemployment rates, carbon emission reductions, or STI infection rates in Minneapolis? This is where you would go and get answers

  • Oppose state preemption of local action, especially on minimum wage, fair scheduling, and other workplace regulations. If Minneapolis is preempted from taking action, we need to hold the state legislature and governor accountable for their decision

  • Recognize that the Vikings Stadium giveaway, belated repair and replacement of our roads and parks, and probable federal and state cuts to Minneapolis funding means that Minneapolis will face very difficult budget decisions in the future, and will require clear prioritization of core city functions, innovate cost-saving and revenue-generating ideas, and a willingness to be direct with the tradeoffs we face

  • Investigate the police disabling cell phones at protests

Police Accountability

Police conduct cannot be without consequence, but under the status quo police officers are rarely disciplined or even investigated for misconduct.  That means we have a police force that isn’t trusted by the people it’s meant to protect, that can’t do its job, that costs Minneapolis millions in settlements for misconduct, and that destroys and ends lives. Minneapolis needs to show in our policies that black lives matter and support Campaign Zero. As council member, I will:

 

  • End consensual and pretextual searches, which is when officers ask permission to search individuals for no legal reason. Many people feel pressured into saying yes, even if they legally could walk away

  • Remove contractual protections against investigation of misconduct

  • End traffic stops

  • Investigate “does not fit any crime” arrests”

  • Require resolution and discipline in misconduct investigations before settling cases

  • Strengthen the Civilian Review Board with subpoena and disciniplinary power

  • Require Council approval for disposition of all misconduct investigations

  • Review the body cam policy to identify best-practices and guarantee body cams are a tool for police accountability

  • Oppose any attempt to have our police hunt down undocumented persons, work with ICE or any federal agency to that end, or focus on any task other that protecting and serving the entire community of Minneapolis

  • Don't reward officers for the number of arrests and stops they make

  • Inform the public about how the decision to discipline an officer is made

  • Increase funding for public health responders

  • Require officers to live within city limits for new hires

  • Make data publicly available regarding the types of interactions and the outcomes of those interactions including stops, frisks, and searches

  • Hire an independent third party to regularly analyze disparities in police treatment of marginalized communities.

  • Reduce arrests for for failure to pay fines or to appear in court

  • Ensure that the use of force policy emphasizes deescalation

  • Require police officers to carry liability insurance for misconduct.  The city can pay for a base rate of insurance coverage with individual officers required to pay any additional premiums based on their individualized risk of misconduct based on their history

Affordable Housing

We need a city where enough housing can be built to be affordable for everyone, because segregation and exclusion by income impoverishes our city by excluding vibrancy and diversity. Everyone deserves a chance to build a life in Minneapolis. To ensure housing is affordable in Minneapolis, I will:

  • Simplify the zoning code by moving toward a form based zoning code rather than a use based code

  • Upzone to permit more housing to be built, to add more types of housing, and to eliminate historically exclusionary land use patterns. We need to build our values and that means, before all else, we build enough housing for everyone. More market rate units aren't a cure all, but many cities have seen rent reductions because of the addition of significant numbers of market rate units, and there is no way to solve our housing shortage without building more housing. Additionally, the more market rate housing we add the more revenue we have to fund affordable and subsidized units. We need to build enough market rate units until the vacancy rate is at 6%, where power tends to shift from landlords to tenants. We can prioritize upzoning in areas at the lowest risk of displacement.

  • Build thousands of new public housing units through property tax increases

  • Establish minimum FAR requirements and build-to lines

  • Allow conversions to higher density units (e.g., single family to duplex or triplex)

  • Increase density bonuses to encourage development of affordable units

  • End parking minimums

  • Increase funding to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

  • Eliminate owner-occupancy requirement to accessory dwelling units

  • Require landlords to offer parking as a separate option from the lease; no one should be forced to lease a parking space they don't want and won't use

  • Create Parking Benefit Districts to price parking and provide a revenue stream for affordable housing

  • Advocate for taxing propoerty based on the highest use instead o fthe current system

  • Simplifying the permitting process and increasing the types of housing that may be built by right, expecially higher density and mixed use

  • Provide renters with a right of first refusal to buy housing landlords put up for sale and provide a bridge fund to finance such purchases

  • Enact a just cause eviction ordinance 

  • Develop resources for eviction record expungements

  • Eliminate cisheteronormative language in the city's occupancy restrictions

  • Remove neighborhood organizations from the planning process or variance approval process

  • Encourage the construction of more condos, including seeking a change of state liability law that limits condo construction

  • Permit mixed use and commercial spaces throughout the city, including in neighborhood interiors. Every neighborhood deserves walkable corner stores accessible to everyone

  • Allow more types of housing, especially rowhouses and microunits

  • Legalize owner-occupied rooming houses, AirBnB, and live/work units

  • Support and fund community land trusts, especially rowhouse and condominimum trusts 

 

Walkable, Bikeable, Accessible Communities

People are safer, healthier, and happier the less dependent they are on cars.  Minneapolis should be accessible to everyone for their entire life, from childhood to retirement.  By investing in the right infrastructure we can ensure Minneapolis is truly built as a city for all.  To that end, I promise to:

  • Advocate for bus rapid transit and frequent bus service

  • Oppose vanity projects that cost more but don’t deliver more like a streetcar system that costs millions more but doesn't increase mobility over alternatives

  • Focus our decision-making process on mobility, safety, and health

  • End parking minimums and price all parking

  • Require landlords to offer parking as a separate option from the lease; no one should be forced to lease a parking space they don't want and won't use

  • Investigate creating a downtown bike depot so biking is as comfortable as driving to work

  • Develop winter design guidelines so as to not create wind tunnels and barriers to accessibility in cold months

  • Prioritize walking by eliminating "beg buttons" and making crossing signals automatic

  • Identifying areas with "mobility poverty" where individuals have few transportation options because walking, biking, and using transit are unsafe, uncomfortable, or unavailable

  • Developing a sidewalk maintenance program that ensures that sidewalks are accessible to all individuals, including those in wheelchairs, like that of Toronoto or Ottawa, because an inability to use the sidewalks safely and easily during the winter forces people to use cars.

  • Rapid enforcement of property owners' duty to clear sidewalks, including city provided services that are then billed to the owner

 

Clean Energy and Climate Change

Climate change is the fundamental challenge of our time, and properly meeting this challenge will be incredibly difficult.  That’s why I advocate we develop a real plan with definite goals, a path for achieving those goals, and outline actions we must take if we don’t meet our intermediate goals.  My vision for that plan includes:

  • A feed-in tariff along the lines of that adopted in Germany, to jump start decentralized renewable energy production in Minneapolis

  • Defining and measuring in real time our targets in terms of total emissions, because what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done

  • Front-loading our goals to reduce carbon emissions, because the more immediate reductions we make, the bigger long-term effects they will have

  • Focus on rapid demand reductions in housing and transportation, rather than relying on anticipated new technology, offsets, or off-site energy purchases

  • Recognize the critical importance of a dense housing supply, walkability, and transit to carbon reductions

  • Avoid misleading constituents about the city council’s ability to affect railroad practices, because without a real plan for dealing with the railroads any promises to do so distract from the real policy gains that can be made

  • Promoting electrification so that as the electrical grid becomes cleaner and powered by renewable sources every source of energy consumption becomes cleaner as well

  • Explore municipalization of the energy grid on a long term plan

  • Require city financed projects meet a clean energy standard

  • Develop on-bill and tax assessed financing of clean energy and energy efficiency improvements

  • Create time of sale and time of rent energy label disclosure

  • Develop a city-wide curb space plan

  • Provide composting to multifamily units

  • Develop intensive urban agriculture

  • Develop green lease model langauge for tenants and landlords to share the savings from energy efficiency improvements

  • Make clean energy financing available with no down payments and utility bill reductions

Public Banking

Between redlining and systemic fraud private banks have not served the public interest, to put it mildly.  Despite this, Minneapolis has rewarded those banks with our business.  It’s time for new thinking on how Minneapolis manages our money.  We deserve a bank that will serve only the citizens of Minneapolis, promote our local businesses, and save us money.  As council member, I will work to create a public bank of Minneapolis on the model of the public bank of North Dakota.  Our bank will:

  • Support local credit unions and local banks

  • Decrease our borrowing costs for infrastructure

  • Provide competition for banks in originating mortgages

  • Provide counter-cyclical funding during recessions

  • Level the playing field between large corporate businesses and local businesses in securing credit

 

Neighborhood Investment

As a board member of the Windom Park neighborhood organization, I know how valuable neighborhood organizations can be in advocating and planning for the neighborhood.  Many neighborhoods have wisely invested funds in community initiatives, long-term planning, or home loan programs, but the City’s current policy is to take those funds back if they aren’t spent down.  As council member, I promise to:

  • Let neighborhood organizations spend their funds on their timelines, not the City’s deadline

  • Protect neighborhood funding and neighborhood organizations

  • Encourage participation in neighborhood meetings

 

Protect Working Families

If Minneapolis is going to be a city everyone can make a life in, everyone needs to be paid fairly for their work.  I will work to ensure everyone shares in Minneapolis’s success by:     

  • Pass a $15 minimum wage ordinance, because hard work deserves a fair wage.  

  • Protect tenants by advocating for a security deposit fund, so unscrupulous landlords can’t take advantage of tenants in illegally denying the return of the security deposits.

  • Defend and expand the working families agenda, because the healthier and more economically secure we are, the better off we will all be.  Or, in the words of Senator Wellstone, “We all do better when we all do better.”

  • Require businesses in the city of Minneapolis to provide pay stubs or copies of their payroll records so workers can substantiate claims

  • Require businesses with wage theft violations on their record  to pay an additional fee to fund an enforcement fund

  • Ensure workers have strong anti-retaliation protections

  • Prohibit payment through debit or payroll cards

 

​Public Health

  • Prioritize spending on sexually transmitted disease prevention and education, ensuring that as the federal government and the state government cut back on services Minneapolis will address the record high infection rates for diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Identify ways Minneapolis can support research and education for climate-driven determinents of health, including funding research directly
  • Address opioid addiction and heroin use in Minneapolis by investigating licensure of pharmaceutical sales representatives, collecting data for prosecution of misleading promotion of opioids, ensure the police carry Narcan, provide funding to community based organization's for Narcan distribution and peer educators for addressing addiction, require any prescribers to reference the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program before writing the prescriptio, and tracking the efficacy of each of these policies
  • Evaluate a soda or sugar tax to combat obesity
  • Oversee police to ensure that no backlog of testing rape kits occurs.

Education 

  • Establish an Education Committee on the city council; if we are going to take education seriously, we need a permanent forum to discuss and advance new policies
  • Evaluate all policy decisions, from housing to transportation to public health, in the context of creating an educational ecosystem that supports students and schools
  • Support later start times for all students; no student should start earlier than 8:30, the time recommended by the CDC
  • Encourage a year round school schedule 
  • Design our city so students may safely walk or bike to school
  • Provide support for extracurricular activites, especially speech and debate---because it has never been more important that students be able to think critically, articulate an argument, and advocate for themselves
  • Fully commit to making the community school model work by providing social and health support for students and focusing on positive discipline, decreasing suspensions, explusions, absenteeism, and tardiness

Sanctuary Cities 

  • Direct the city attorney to analyze our city's legal duties to share information collected with the federal government
  • Direct all city departments, but especially the Minneapolis Police Department, to identify information currently collected that could identify undocumented immigrants and make a determination whether that information collection can be discontinued, de-linked from personal identifiers, or otherwise be made unusable for deportation actions
  • Conduct a review of the city's criminal ordinances to determine the legal effect of a conviction under each ordinance for undocumented immigrants, and determine whether there are alternatives to sentencing
  • Conduct a review of all data the city currently maintains and determine what should be (and, under Minnesota Data Practices law, can be) "cleaned up" so as to avoid providing a database for federal law enforcement
  • Make financial resiliency a priority going forward. Minneapolis receives $26.5 million in federal and state loans, and tens of millions in local government aid. If either the Trump administration or the state GOP cut funding as retribution for our sanctuary city policies, we need to be able to sustain city services, prevent unaffordable property tax increases, and still need to be able to invest in building future capacity to address challenges like climate change. I'm proposing a municipal bank, a cost-savings reimbursement fund, and a return to ordinary budget procedures to increase our financial resiliency. Now, more than ever, we can't afford more giveaways like the Vikings stadium or the misplaced priorities it represents
  • Establish a legal defense fund or provide funding to a non-profit partner to provide legal representation in deportation proceedings