Longtime South Minneapolis resident seeks 8th Ward council seat

The first job of City Council members is to deal with the issues of their wards’ people. Jeanine Estimé said she believes that’s been missing in the 8th Ward.

That’s why Estimé, a 15-year resident of South Minneapolis and education assistant, announced April 22 that she is seeking to unseat incumbent Elizabeth Glidden.

During a brief campaign announcement at the Central neighborhood-based Sabathani Community Center, Estimé said that as a council member she would try to attend all neighborhood meetings. That way those who couldn’t make it would still know what happened.

“Our voice — my opinion — will be for the community,” she said.

Estimé said her main campaign issues will be education, health care, civil rights and dealing with the foreclosure crisis, which has hit the 8th Ward hard. She said she would continue the work the city work already is doing to deal with boarded properties, adding that she wouldn’t be satisfied until foreclosures are “completely stopped.”

During a question-and-answer session, she was asked about her stance on public safety. She said dealing with lurking would be a top priority. She also opposes the use of such alternative weapons as rubber bullets.

“The money that is used to buy all of these materials certainly can go toward more important issues, such as education,” she said.

She also chimed in on the very current issue of a possible Trader Joe’s grocery store at 22nd & Lyndale, saying she would encourage such businesses to open in North Minneapolis, rather than in the crowded Wedge.

Estimé is an active volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club, Clean Water Action and Powderhorn Youth Farm. She is an immigrant from Haiti who now has U.S. citizenship, a background she said gave her extra motivation to run.

“I think that my citizenship means to do something, to be the voice for people that cannot speak,” she said.

Estimé’s only known competition at this time is the incumbent Glidden. The sitting council member already has secured an endorsement from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Estimé, who is on the Green Party’s 5th Congressional District steering committee, is seeking a Green endorsement.