Devoted to the Eastside
Growing up on the Eastside and graduating from Edison High School, I am intimately familiar with the qualities that make our community unique and the range of challenges we face.
After graduating from St. Olaf College and working abroad as an educator, I returned home to raise my daughter, Oshana. I moved into Windom Park, and still live there with Oshana and my longtime partner, Cindy. As a young father, I became distinctly aware of the lack of housing and investment in our community, commercial blight and pollution.
I was compelled to take action to build a stronger community and a better future for my daughter. I found an early outlet in sustainability work – volunteering and working for organizations like Citizens for a Better Environment, organizing for environmental justice, and fighting the pollution of our Mississippi.
A Life of Activism on the Eastside
My activism turned full-time when I became Project Director of the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association (HNIA), where I was responsible for improving the neighborhood that had suffered the most disinvestment in the First Ward. In this role, I led the charge as a citizen on replenishing and stabilizing housing stock, pollution remediation, reviving the local economy, empowering youth, and promoting community-based public safety. I also served as a founding Board member of the Eastside Food Co-op, and co-founded the P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (Public Engagement and Community Empowerment).
An Effective an Progressive Leader that Delivers Results for the Eastside
After being elected to the City Council in 2009, I used my skills and experience to continue fighting for Eastside neighborhoods at City Hall, where I have since served as your First Ward Council Member. I am privileged to chair the Transportation & Public Works Committee, which oversees the core services that impact our daily life in the city. I also represent the City of Minneapolis at the Met Council and am Board Chair of the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO). These connections have helped leverage resources for the City of Minneapolis and more importantly, the First Ward.
Notable achievements for the First Ward and the City during my tenure as Council Member:
Affordable housing dollars more than doubled citywide;
Increased investment in recruitment initiatives that emphasize the creation of a more diverse force so that the officers who protect our community also reflect our community;
Implemented One Sort Recycling leading to a 60% increase in citywide recycling participation rates;
Increased bikeways in the First Ward from almost nothing to 18 miles, with 20 more miles on the way;
Fought for the return of $9 million in citywide neighborhood funding;
Secured two new trucks (ladder and engine) and increased staffing for the Fire Department’s Station 15 in Ward 1;
Advised on developing the city’s first ever Complete Streets policy, putting pedestrians, bicycles and public transit first in all transportation planning;
Proactively authored a resolution opposing a national registry of personal data, fighting against potential discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation;
Started the new NOAH program, which provides loan funds so that responsible partners can purchase and manage natural occurring affordable housing;
Facilitated establishing a 20-year dedicated street funding plan, which will bring much needed repairs to Ward 1, including 6 miles of cement work in Waite Park—the largest cement repair investment in Minneapolis in decades;
Co-authored the dedicated Percent for Art ordinance with Council Member Glidden, providing annual dedicated public art funding citywide;
Celebrated an unprecedented reduction in crime, coupled increased investements in training and equipment and citizen engagement in the Second Precinct, which covers Ward 1, in order to ensure positive law enforcement;
Collaborated with local businesses, MWMO, and neighbors to enhance the resources at our local schools.