I am running for Mayor because we must remedy disparities entirely—our incremental approach is not working.
Our hearts have evolved to see the inherent injustice, but our systems have not. Minneapolis' segregationist policies perpetuate disparity and inequity. Unless we actively disrupt systems of white supremacy, we are destined to uphold them.
Our vision uplifts those traditionally left out of the process, those working multiple full-time jobs to support their family, renters being priced out of their neighborhoods, those who feel unsafe in the presence of officers sworn to protect them, and all who have a stake in the health of our environment.
Remedy Systemic Inequities
Minneapolis has the heart to be a leader in inclusivity. Inequity is perpetrated by government. Equity should be at the core of our every policy because inequity remains a problem in all sectors.
- Implement our plan on Equitable Education for All Children
- Complete the Racial Equity Toolkit
- Fully staff the Office of Equity and Inclusion
- Follow the recommendations of the Trans Equity Council
- Ensure our hiring practices result in a government that reflects the city's diversity
- Advocate requirements for diverse ownership in awarding city contracts
Generate Community Wealth
Wealth goes far beyond household income. Wealth is self-worth, identified at the individual, familial, community, and sovereign levels. We must not only recognize valuable community institutions, but invest in them.
- Ensure the fair implementation of a $15/hr minimum wage for all workers
- Pass a fair-scheduling ordinance
- Prevent wage theft
- Promote equitable cooperative business models
- Invest in quality green jobs
- Incentivize light commercial spaces in neighborhoods
- Invest in the business corridors of underinvested communities
Achieve Affordable Housing
Housing is a human right—not a commodity. Every person deserves to live in a safe, quality, affordable home. Markets alone cannot meet the needs of low- and moderate-income people, therefore the duty falls on government to implement nondiscriminatory housing policy.
Minneapolis must become a regional and national leader in implementing just housing policies. We need to build affordable housing at every income level, ensure development does not push out communities of color, and protect renters from predatory landlords. We must accept that a just solution includes not only creating affordable units, but also reallocating funding and generating new tax revenue from the most valuable properties.
- Expand and Preserve Existing Affordable Housing
- Increase number of affordable units at every income level
- Ensure every neighborhood has adequate percentage of permanently affordable housing stock
- Protect the existing 56% of affordable housing that is naturally occurring
- Combat Displacement and Gentrification
- Ensure low- to moderate-wealth individuals are not priced out
- Implement strategic and equitable growth in density by upzoning parcels across the city and bringing our zoning code into the 21st century
- Mitigate the impacts of real estate speculation
- Empower Renters and Generate Community Wealth
- Strengthen tenants rights, protect renters from unjust evictions, unfair rent increases, and forced relocation
- Work with neighborhood boards to tie city funding to representation from both renters and homeowners
- Create pathways to wealth through homeownership, limited-equity cooperatives, and subsidizing home ownership through land-trust models
Champion Public Education
Our approach to education must be systems focused—classroom success is interconnected with stable housing, economic justice, access to transit and healthcare, public safety, and justice for our environment. Due to the separation of power in our local government, education is considered within the sole purview of the Minneapolis Board of Education. However, the Mayor can and should act as a champion for quality education by addressing factors impacting classroom success.
- Support the transition of Minneapolis to a full-service community school district: Community schools work to meet students’ and families’ basic needs. By centralizing services—early childhood screenings, counseling, social work, health care services, and meaningful summer and afterschool programming—schools will be neighborhood institutions for students and families.
- Ensure all youth in Minneapolis are housed in a safe, affordable housing: Approximately 88% of students experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis in the 2015-16 school year were students of color and Indigenous students—50% were between ages 3 and 8. Our efforts must lead to ending homelessness, assisting those who currently experience homelessness, ensuring an adequate stock of affordable housing, and creating pathways to equitable home ownership.
- Create a safe environment for youth both inside and outside of the classroom: Instead of criminalizing youth, we must address the root causes of disruptive behavior and youth violence, and invest in alternatives such as transformative justice models, community violence intervention. We need to move away from punishment and towards addressing trauma students bring into the classroom.
Establish Accountable Policing
Centuries of over-policing and misconduct have created a fundamental distrust of police by people of color and indigenous (POCI) communities. Social movements and mass demonstrations continue to bring attention to the systemic problems in how we police. Public safety is the intersection of housing, education, employment, healthcare, criminal justice, and policing. Our long-term approach to public safety must be transformative, intervening before people enter the criminal justice system.
Minneapolis needs to address the immediate problems facing the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) while also re-imagining the future of public safety in our city. This means completely reshaping the culture and structure of policing. Success will be grounded in the community voices who have been ignored for generations.
- Fundamentally change the funding and operations of MPD
- Redirect a portion of the police budget toward affordable housing, education, homelessness prevention, mental health services, and job training programs
- Fund public safety without hiring more sworn officers
- Reduce interactions with police by decriminalizing low-level offenses
- Full-scale demilitarization MPD
- Ban the acquisition and use of military-grade equipment
- Create a culture of policing that prioritizes de-escalation
- Examine when it is unnecessary for officers to carry a firearm
- Reshape oversight and accountability of MPD
- Add effective civilian oversight mechanisms to current structure
- Review and reform the Department's use of force policy
- Protect the right to protest and assemble
Uplift Climate and Environmental Justice
Climate change is one of the biggest threats our city faces. There is no doubt that we must take immediate action to reduce carbon emissions and rectify the irreparable damage caused by human activity. While we all experience the effects of pollution and environmental degradation, due to the perpetual cycle of environmental racism, people of color and indigenous (POCI) communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards—air pollution, proximity to incinerators and industrial polluters, and lead poisoning. These communities should be at the center of our policies as we build toward a just future in our city. Minneapolis must lead in the fight for a sustainable future where everyone has access to clean air and water. People have a right to a healthy and environmentally safe neighborhood, regardless of where they live in the city.
Minneapolis must take decisive action to protect our climate, air, water, and public health. We have control over how we power our city, manage waste systems, and protect neighborhoods from polluters. We must use this leverage to protect the health of all families, combat the effects of climate change, and create living wage clean energy jobs that invest in our communities
- Uplift Environmental Justice
- Shut down industrial polluters prioritizing low-income and majority-POCI neighborhoods
- Pay reparations to communities damaged by environmental racism
- Build community wealth and health through the expansion of urban agriculture, community solar gardens, and energy efficiency programs
- Lead on Climate Action
- Achieve 100% renewable energy citywide by 2030
- Build housing density along public transit corridors to decrease reliance on automobiles
- Prioritize multimodal transportation over automobiles in transit infrastructure
- Build a Zero Waste City
- Shut down the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC)
- Divert 100% of recyclables and organics from landfills and incinerators by 2030
- Expand education on and access to city single-sort and organics recycling programs
Treat Substance Abuse and Addiction
Substance abuse and addiction impact Minneapolis on individual and systemic levels. In Minneapolis, individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction issues face housing insecurity, difficulty maintaining employment, and are compelled to commit crimes at higher rates.
Currently, Minneapolis has no long-term plan to address substance abuse and addiction in our city. When searching through city services, our current focus is on reporting suspected drug activity and recognizing drug houses, rather than accessing treatment. In order to improve public safety and decrease rates of incarceration, we need to prevent addiction. Following national best practices, we will develop intergovernmental prevention and rehabilitation-centered solutions to decrease rates of substance abuse and addiction.
- Conduct a city report on Minneapolis’ substance abuse and addiction problems
- Create a Substance Abuse and Treatment Advisory Committee
- Add a substance and drug abuse professional to the Chief’s Citizen Advisory Council
- Review and amend our City of Minneapolis Pre-Employment Drug & Alcohol Test Policy to develop a pathway to rehabilitation for existing employees or treatment for new employees
- Develop rehabilitation-centric policies for the Minneapolis Police Department for working with offenders facing substance abuse and addiction
- Partner with Hennepin County to support providers and better fund services
- Improve data collection on rates of substance abuse, addiction and recovery
- Strengthen legislative priorities for substance abuse to the 2018 Legislative Agenda
- Work with Neighborhood Associations to develop best practices for connecting community members in need with treatment programs
- Implement a $15/hr minimum wage and increase affordable housing
Implement Participatory Budgeting
Currently, our budget is created by large stakeholders—department heads, city council members, and the Mayor’s Office. The public does not have the opportunity to view or comment on the budget until the Mayor releases it. A participatory process will engage the people in our city that are often left out of the political process, especially people of color and Indigenous people (POCI) and low-wealth individuals. The budget is an opportunity for shared governance between City Hall and Minneapolis residents.
Participatory budgeting will begin as a percentage of the city’s budget designated for local projects—allowing residents to decide how to use the money. Long-term, we should explore strategies to expand the process to other areas of Minneapolis’ budget, like housing, public safety, education, and supporting small businesses.
- Make the city budget accessible: We will collaborate with local community organizations, local nonprofits, faith groups, and schools to organize around the budget process.
- Invest in community outreach: We will educate and organize communities, ward-by-ward, on the participatory budgeting process.
- Create leadership that reflects the community: We will prioritize creating an equitable leadership structure to oversee decision making.