Four candidates are vying for the seat vacated by progressive Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who is stepping down after three terms.
Candidate Andrea Jenkins is Glidden’s former policy aide, and she’s spent more than two years recording transgender oral histories at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Jenkins would become the first transgender woman elected to a major city council, according to the Victory Fund. She’s the current leader in fundraising, and she holds endorsements from Glidden and the DFL.
Equity is a common thread in Jenkins’ policy positions. She’s campaigning to treat youth violence as a public health issue, repeal ordinances that target people of color and the poor, decriminalize marijuana and hold police accountable when they violate protocol. She wants to prioritize pedestrian and bike safety, work with regional partners on affordable housing policy, develop more senior housing, and develop a city Office of Arts and Culture to support artists.
Two candidates from the Green and Libertarian parties said the DFL has controlled the Council for too long.
Green Party member Terry White is a marketing operations manager in health care, and he’s been active in the Green Party since 1992. He wants to expand protected bike lanes, track the city’s “carbon budget” and expand public transportation and heated bus stops. He wants to include affordable housing in all new developments and strengthen the Civil Rights Department.
White also wants to start a scorecard for transparent budgeting and support community daycare options to help reduce the cost of childcare. He continues to raise concerns about public funding for U.S. Bank Stadium that bypassed a citywide vote.
Libertarian and Minneapolis “newcomer” David Holsinger said the $15 minimum wage will do nothing to improve the economy. He said full-scale reform of the police department requires a nationwide search to replace the new Chief Medaria Arradondo with a reformer outside the MPD, and he wants officers to carry professional liability insurance. In response to a question about supporting and preserving affordable housing, he said there is “absolutely no role” for the city on the issue, except with regard to public safety.
Candidate April Kane lobbied for five years to pass Erin’s Law, which relates to a school program to help children prevent and report sexual abuse.
Current job: Product Manager at Reeher, LLC, a Saint Paul company that makes software used by higher education advancement for fundraising
Endorsements: Libertarian Party of Minnesota, Burnsville City Council member Cara Schulz
Experience: Previous candidate for State Representative; previous Libertarian Party Chair for the 2nd congressional district
Fundraising total: No funds reported in campaign finance pre-primary report
Top priorities: Police reform — find a chief from outside the department and fundamentally reform police training.
De-penalize simple possession of drugs.
Prevent further increases in property taxes.
Re-evaluate transit and infrastructure spending in the city.
Candidate statement on why he is best for the job: “An outsider voice of reason is needed since the decades of Democratic leadership have created our broken police force, an unaffordable housing market, and overzealous spending on local government programs. I am a newcomer to Minneapolis, but have lived much of my life in other Democratic Party-run cities (Oakland, California and Chicago, Illinois) who have driven themselves into budgetary death spirals. Both cities are or have been bankrupt because they have created unmanageable levels of spending that have to be backed up by ever-increasing taxation until the system collapses. Minneapolis is following the same trajectory. I want to be a voice to stop it.”
Current job: Oral Historian at University of Minnesota’s Elmer Andersen Library
Key endorsements: DFL, Congressman Keith Ellison, Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, AFSCME, AFL-CIO MPLS, Our Revolution, Trans United, Take Action MN, OutFront MN, Women Winning, SEIU MN State Council, Stonewall DFL, Minnesota Nurses Association, Victory Fund
Experience: Policy aide to council members Robert Lilligren and Elizabeth Glidden; nonprofit executive director and consultant; Hennepin County employment specialist; Intermedia Arts board chair; poet and writer
Fundraising total: $29,383 (January 1, 2016 through July 25, 2017)
Top priorities: Racial Justice/ Police Accountability
Environmental Justice/ Clean Energy
Affordable Housing/ Addressing Gentrification
Candidate statement on why she is best for the job: “Andrea Jenkins has more than 25 years of public service experience as a Minneapolis City Council policy aide, nonprofit executive director, consultant and Hennepin County employment specialist. From 2001 to 2003 and from 2006 to 2015 she served as a policy aide to two … city council members, Robert Lilligren and Elizabeth Glidden. … An award-winning poet, writer, and performer, she is a proud parent and grandparent.”
Current job: Accountant
Key endorsements: None sought
Experience: Five years of lobbying to pass Erin’s Law, an optional school program to help prevent and report sexual abuse.
Fundraising total: No outside fundraising
Top priorities: Protecting children
Candidate statement on why she is best for the job: “I believe all schools need to teach personal body safety to children. If we do not effectively prevent the sexual abuse of children in Minnesota our society can never be whole. … Regarding police violence, I believe there are pre-incident indicators in behavior. When the pre-incident indicators are seriously reviewed, remedies can be put in place. I believe if there is an outstanding issue with a police officer, he/she should not be placed back on the street until the issue is investigated and a remedy is put in place.”
Website: Erin’s Law MN on YouTube, according to campaign filing
Current job: Marketing Operations Manager at Prime Therapeutics
Endorsements: Cam Gordon, Ward 2 City Council Member; Billy Menz, Lyndale School teacher & Park Board District 1 candidate; Samatha Pree-Stinson, City Council candidate Ward 3; LaTrisha Vetaw, at-large candidate for Park Board
Experience: Interprets government regulations related to Medicare in current position. Previously served as creative manager and procurement manager for UnitedHealth Group. Received “innovations” award for effort that saved several million dollars.
Fundraising total: $910 through July 25
Top priorities: Environmental advocacy; inclusion as a way of life; safe, stable communities; support for small, local and minority-owned businesses.
Candidate statement on why he is best for the job: “As a Green City Council Member, an outsider, I can shine a light on council decisions that fall short of our values. When the city neglects affordable housing, seniors, the hungry and homeless, in order to subsidize stadiums, I can be a voice that cries foul. The city has been run by one party for decades and I don’t believe that is healthy. … A main driver for my campaign is that I feel the priorities of the council are out of sync with the values of Ward 8 residents. Ward 8 and the council need a leader who is going to work hard to increase affordable housing and childcare, restore trust in the police through greater accountability, and promote programs to reduce the city’s impact on climate change. This work requires a leader who is active, persistent, dedicated and shows creative problem-solving. I will be that leader on the city council.”