Let's Continue Making Real Change for the Eastside
I’m proud to have represented Ward one on the Minneapolis City Council for two terms and the progress we’ve made working together as a community.
For the past 8 years, we’ve been turning conversations into action, forging lasting community alliances, and activating them to create a groundswell of change and revitalization. We have made the Ward 1 neighborhoods the new standard for progress and growth, and we did it on our own terms. I’ve always believed local government can make a positive difference in people’s lives, especially the most vulnerable among us. It’s why I chose a life in public service and why I decided to run for City Council. Today, I’ve never been more confident in that belief.
Together, we transformed the Central Avenue commercial district into the vibrant small-business community it is today. We invested in multimodal public transportation that works for all Ward One residents. We implemented innovative environmental solutions, setting a city-wide example of sustainability practices. And we invested in creative industries and artists, bringing economic vitality and defining a new Eastside experience for residents and visitors alike.
Our work together has had a transformational impact on the Eastside. We’ve come this far because we’ve never settled for ‘good enough,’ and as long as I’m your City Council Member, we never will. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 7th so we can continue bringing real change to our neighborhoods.
Let’s get specific! Select an issue below to learn more about how we can make progress together.
Our Community, Our Environment
I started my professional life in northeast Minneapolis as an environmental activist, not because of a class I took, or because it would look good on my resume, but because my neighborhood was choking on pollution. Every day it’s clear to me that cleaning up our local environment is a social justice issue. For example, the Mississippi River is one of Ward One’s greatest amenities. I remember when it was an embarrassment, a toxic dump. But we’ve worked hard as a community to treat it well, to clean it up, to improve access to it, and to celebrate it.
A safe place to live is a basic human right. I believe that a responsible community makes sure that all its members not only have decent shelter, but a place to call home. I'm proud that I've worked with neighbors and stakeholders throughout our community to bring quality, affordable housing projects to Ward 1 for over 15 years. Here are some of our accomplishments:
During the 20th century, the transportation systems in our city were planned and built in support of motor vehicles. Oftentimes this has been to the detriment of those who rely upon public transit, walking, and cycling. As a 21st century city, Minneapolis strives to do better – to be more environmentally sustainable and to understand that its success is reliant upon ALL its people being able to get around easily – and we have shifted toward an emphasis on “multi-modality” in transportation planning. This has resulted in the development of our new Complete Streets Policy.
Investing in our Future
Growing up on the Eastside attending Minneapolis Public Schools, I realized early on that it's up to the entire community to make sure our teachers have the resources they need so our students have the opportunities they deserve. Education has been a top priority for me throughout my entire life in public service because of that experience. Strong communities mean strong schools and strong schools mean strong communities.
Public Safety and Police Accountability
Mistrust of our police department is unacceptable and untenable, but we cannot get paralyzed by the problem: we need results. I've supported every thoughtful reform that was brought forward to re-envision our police department. More must be done, and reforms that aren’t fully implemented are meaningless. We need a culture change and system of effective accountability and transparency.
Budgeting and values
Most people who are into politics like to talk about values. Values are at the core of why we do what we do, why we work for what we work for. Budgets and fiscal policy, on the other hand, are not so exciting. But budgets are where we put our values into action. From where we get our funding to where we spend it, there is no more important way for the City to express its values than through its budget.
Fighting for Equity
Conversations about equity are perhaps the most important we are having today, as a community and as a society. For progressives, every day brings a new fight to uncover and remedy consequences of generations of inequitable policy and action. There are many things the City does that on their face seem to have little to do with equity, but are part of an ongoing effort to correct the systemic racism inherent in our history as a city and as a country. One of the challenges is to conquer the discomfort we all feel when we talk about race. But we can’t overcome hundreds of years of institutionalized racial inequality until we can identify it, name it, and discuss ways to correct it.
The key to our shared success has not been a focus on profit or corporate growth, but rather on community-based, sustainable economics. Places with a high density of locally owned businesses experience higher income, employment growth and less poverty - and locally owned businesses encourage residents to put down roots, furthering social and civic engagement.
We must continue to encourage people in our community start and maintain local, independent, thriving businesses that serve our community – keeping the dollars circulating within our local economy.
Bikes & Transportation
Kevin Reich believes that good local transit is an essential element of a safe, healthy, attractive, and livable city. Public transit needs to be an efficient, reliable and appealing option for all people, not just a last option for those who have no other choice. In addition, walking and bicycling must be promoted as healthy and safe options for the able-bodied. As your City Council Member and Chair of the Transportation Committee, Kevin has and will continue to: