As I was out doorknocking Monday and Tuesday afternoon, I saw the latest Northeaster being delivered. In case your copy didn’t make it all the way to your front steps (or got too wet to read), here are my answers to the Northeaster’s candidate questionnaire:
1) YOUR BACKGROUND: EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, COMMUNITY SERVICE, VOLUNTEER JOBS, ETC., AS THESE EXPERIENCES MIGHT RELATE TO YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR THIS OFFICE. (100 WORDS OR LESS)
I came up through the NRP system. I was recruited onto my neighborhood Board and served two terms as President. From grassroots outreach to working with City officials on neighborhood projects, I’ve done everything a volunteer can do to address community concerns.
I was the first volunteer for the Northeast Citizen Patrol. I’ve put in thousands of hours across every Northeast neighborhood making a stand against crime. I’ve heard the worries of people our entrenched political system overlooks.
I’ve been a Northeaster for 18 years, after being raised in southwest. I know how the rest of the city sees us.
2) WHY ARE YOU RUNNING, AND WHAT IS YOUR MAIN PRIORITY? (100 WORDS OR LESS)
Taxes keep going up while services are being cut. City Hall puts pet projects ahead of streets, cops and firefighters. I say, “Basics First!”
Minneapolis means more than just downtown development. I’ve watched too many homeowners lose faith and move away. We have to stop taxing out the heart of our neighborhoods.
Small businesses provide the vitality that defines city living. City Hall has to stop strangling them with red tape.
City Hall must put basics first, but not at the expense of Northeast. We need a sharp, experienced advocate to make sure we get our fair share.
3) NAME SOMETHING THAT, IN YOUR OPINION, THE PRESENT ELECTIVE BODY IS DOING THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE DOING, OR NOT DOING THAT IT SHOULD BE DOING, AND WHAT YOU WOULD DO TO CORRECT THIS SITUATION. (100 WORDS OR LESS)
Politicians tell us time and again how much they value civic engagement. But those words are usually just talk. People participate only when they can make a difference on things they think are important. Communities are not formed by decree and engagement cannot be dictated.
City Hall has to learn to trust the people. For example, neighborhoods should drive development. Government can provide support and oversight, but power must be decentralized. We shouldn’t need permission to revitalize our communities.
Volunteer groups are the definition of grassroots civic participation. Groups that help the City work better should be encouraged and rewarded.
4) YOUR POLITICAL PARTY OR AFFILIATION?
I am truly independent and unaffiliated.
5) HAVE YOU RUN FOR OFFICE BEFORE? IF SO, WHICH ONE AND WHEN?
The Northeaster sent their questions via email. My answers as printed in the paper were edited to appear more like a live interview.