We’ve set our priorities in Ward 7 office

I am thrilled to be writing in after my first two months in office, a period during which my new team has come together and jumped right into the work, learning the ins and outs of the city enterprise and how best to support our constituents. I have been a public servant my entire career, but it wasn’t until our 26-year council member announced she wasn’t running for re-election that I saw an opportunity to run and represent our Ward 7 community in a new way. I felt compelled to step up and help move our city forward and represent the future of Minneapolis, bringing more people into the conversation. 
Our community is eager for meaningful changes to our public safety model, to revitalize our local economy, and to invest in climate resiliency. We’ve had a challenging few years in Minneapolis, and I’ve already seen firsthand during my first two months that meeting this moment requires energetic and collaborative public leaders to get work done. 
In my first few months in office, my team and I have been working hard to establish new systems for tracking and providing high quality constituent services, including a transition to a new system designed to process support requests and identify issue trends in our neighborhoods more effectively. It’s important to me to build trust and deeply understand the housing, public safety, and public works issues that families and individuals face at the neighborhood level. Being in consistent communication with community will help me advance meaningful policy that addresses needs. 
At the city we are in the early stages of implementing a powerful 2024 budget, and I have been looking for opportunities to help build its capacity to equitably deliver on the many initiatives that were funded. It includes additional community safety resources, funding to support small business and commercial corridor investment through the Great Streets program, clean energy investments through the green cost share program, municipal snow and ice clearing pilot projects, and so much more. 
I am proud to be chairing the Climate & Infrastructure Committee, as well as serving as a member on Business, Housing, & Zoning; Administration & Enterprise Oversight; Intergovernmental Relations; Budget; Audit; and Committee of the Whole. I am also serving in appointed positions for 10 appointed boards and commissions. For the first time this term, each committee is utilizing a work plan to guide and structure large bodies of work throughout the two-year term.
Though there are many things I am interested in working on during this two-year council term, my strongest focus will be in three major areas of work:
Making strides toward reducing our city’s collective carbon footprint through:
• Expanding waste diversion strategies with a focus on commercial organics recycling
• Working with community and partners to deploy the $10 million in Climate Legacy Initiative funds into programs, such as block-by-block weatherization
• Supporting strategies for increasing transit ridership, such as the implementation of two newly created city positions focused on ensuring transit safety and fare free rides
• Incorporating green technologies into routine infrastructure investments, such as solar-powered street lighting and geothermal in street reconstruction projects
Supporting the continued development of a comprehensive community safety strategies that:
• Leverage community partnerships for violence prevention and complementary crisis response to free up MPD officers to focus on violent crime
• Support data-driven hiring and retention approaches to meet the minimum number of MPD officers mandated by the city charter
• Restore community trust in the Minneapolis Police Department
• Expand successful placemaking and public space activations such as the Warehouse District Live series
Sparking economic revitalization in Downtown, Uptown, and along key commercial corridors by:
• Creating a Labor Standards Board to ensure the many low-wage workers who keep Ward 7 businesses running are benefiting equitably from revitalization efforts
• Crafting legislation in partnership with the state to support the conversion of underutilized buildings for new uses, such as commercial space to affordable housing
• Removing barriers for small businesses and entrepreneurs to open and operate
• Expanding successful incubator programs such as Downtown’s Chameleon Shoppes, which provides technical assistance to property owners looking to fill vacant spaces
• Expanding access and visibility for small businesses operating in the skyway by extending hours, improving wayfinding, and loosening advertising and signage restrictions
I will be continually engaging with my constituents to ensure that their ideas and concerns are reflected in our work. We have a biweekly newsletter to provide info on key policy work underway and are hosting monthly coffee office hours at a different Ward 7 small business each month. All constituents are welcome to attend; no pre-registration is required. We also invite Ward 7 residents to engage with their respective neighborhood organizations, as a great way to get involved, meet their neighbors, and connect with our Ward 7 team at ward7@minneapolismn.gov 


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