Grounded In Optimism.
Michael believes in Minneapolis, and believes that with hard work, effective leadership, and a little optimism, this city can come back stronger than ever before. Michael doesn't agree with those on the far-right and the far-left who only see what is wrong with our city.
Although our city is still far from perfect, after the 2021 election Michael and other common-sense elected officials have worked hard to move our city forward. Here is a snapshot of some of the progress the city has made:
Average production of affordable housing compared to pre-2019 levels.
Increase in downtown employees returning to the office compared to 2021.
Tons of gas emissions reduced since 2019.
New residents downtown since 2021
Increase in event attendance downtown compared to 2021.
Billion in new construction permits in 2022.
In Ward 3
Compared to a year ago
Keep Moving Forward.
Michael is one of many elected officials and public servants who have helped move this city forward. We need to re-elect Michael and others like him, who are more focused on solving problems than political posturing or advancing an extreme agenda, if we want to keep this progress going. We cannot go back to the dark days of 2020. And we cannot allow division, hate, and pessimism to stop this city from moving forward. Join Michael, and allow yourself to once again Believe In Minneapolis!
Providing public safety for all residents of Minneapolis must be the #1 priority for our city government. We have made progress on this front since 2020/2021, but we must continue to prioritize reducing crime and violent crime going forward.
Supported new MPD leadership
Supported the creation of the Department of Public Safety
Supported increased funding for MPD and alternatives to policing
We must continue to reform policing and improve public safety in Minneapolis. In 2020, the murder of George Floyd exposed racial inequity and brutality in our police department. In 2021, Minneapolis tied the record for most homicides in our city’s history, a 300% increase from a few years ago. I am prepared to address these dual crises using the common-sense, creative, and collaborative approach that I have honed during my personal and professional life.
I was proud to cast one of the deciding votes in favor of hiring Commissioner of Community Safety Cedric Alexander, an experienced leader responsible for overseeing and reshaping our public safety system. I was similarly proud to join my council colleagues in support of our new Chief Brian O’Hara, who has consistently led on police reform and effectiveness throughout his career.
Public safety reform should be guided by the lived experience of officers and citizens, not just ideology. That’s why I make frequent visits to the First Precinct and listen to officers discuss their experiences on the job. We must reckon with the fact that we are down over 300 officers from pre-2019 levels, and that recruiting more officers cannot be fixed immediately, even with additional funding. Rebuilding the force will help restore community policing, reduce response times, and improve police-community relations. But there is so much more that we must do.
We must strengthen our partnership with Hennepin County to implement alternative responses to mental health crises and drug overdose calls. Reducing the burden on our smaller-than-ever department will allow officers more time to do what they are best suited to do: 911 response, investigation, crime prevention, and community relationship building. We have a long way to go but we have made so much progress in just one year of working together. We cannot return to the unproductive politics of division that dominated the previous city council. Our safety is too important. I am looking forward to continuing this work together.
Social justice and economic prosperity are intrinsically linked. We cannot foster equitable outcomes without improving economic opportunities for those who need them most.
Minneapolis evaluates every program through an equity lens. This should be a minimum requirement, and we need to do more. We need to create a stronger commitment to skills training, job creation, and ownership of homes and businesses. A good-paying job with benefits can change the course of someone’s life which affects their family, their community, and eventually the health of our city. We must make home-and-business ownership an opportunity available to all. And we must intentionally include members of underrepresented and marginalized communities as not only recipients of programs, but as architects of them as well.
As elected leaders, we must take the responsibility to work directly with the communities we are trying to uplift. Instead of assuming I know what community members believe or what is best for them, I have repeatedly gone into their spaces: community centers, places of worship, businesses and listened to them. People are three-dimensional and elected leaders should take the time to get to know the communities we serve.
President Biden’s 2021 Infrastructure package will create jobs and build out our infrastructure for years to come. Minneapolis should look to this model on our municipal level. Construction, high-tech manufacturing, and green jobs in a sustainable economy are the key to high-paying jobs that will be the foundation to create equity and opportunity.
Together we can provide justice and prosperity for all. I am proud of the work that we have done in just one year and I am eager to work with everyone to continue this work.
As a member of the Business, Inspections, Housing, and Zoning Committee, I have also voted to authorize:
$13 million in bonding for the Midtown Crossing apartments at 2837-2843 11th Ave S. It is affordable and deeply affordable housing that will feature 86 apartments that include studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units. This mix of units will be priced at 30%, 59%, and 60% AMI.
$280,000 from the Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Preservation Fund Loan. This will support the acquisition and preservation of an 8-unit property at 3121 3rd Ave S.
$1,250,000 for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aide to provide legal services and housing stability outreach support to low-income Minneapolis renters.
As Council Member for Ward 3, I support the City’s successful 4d Program, which preserves affordable homes in Minneapolis by helping apartment building owners obtain property tax reductions if they commit to keep 20% or more of their rental units affordable. Through the program, the City has helped preserve hundreds of affordable units for Minneapolis renters and families.
Minnesota State Law establishes legal processes for tenants to enforce their legal rights to live in safe and healthy housing, including Rent Escrow Actions and Tenant Remedies Actions. I support efforts to educate tenants on their rights and I also support the More Representation Minneapolis initiative, which pairs pro bono attorneys with tenants facing eviction.
Approximately 50,000 Minneapolis renter households earn less than 60% of the area's median income. Adequately funding and incentivizing the production of affordable housing is one of the City’s primary tools for helping to close the gap between what it costs to provide decent, safe housing and what people can afford. I support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund which provides gap financing for the production and preservation of affordable rental housing for households earning less than 50% of the area median income, with a priority for units affordable to households earning less than 30% of area median income.
I sit on the Business, Inspections, Housing, and Zoning Committee (BIHZ), where we have approved several funding streams for Currie Commons, an affordable housing project at 187 Humboldt Ave N. $3,263,000 million was authorized as a tax increment finance note and $30 million of multi-family housing revenue bonds were authorized. The 187 units of new housing will be priced at 30-60% AMI (area median income), have units dedicated for previously unhoused citizens, and for people with disabilities. The building will be managed by Simpson Housing.
We must treat unhoused people with dignity and compassion. Criminalization of their condition is not the correct approach. But neither is neglecting the serious public and individual health risks that homeless encampments pose. The unsheltered homeless population in Hennepin County reached a multi-year low in 2022. This progress is a result of greater collaboration between the City, state, and Hennepin County - the entity that has typically been responsible for addressing homelessness. If we are going to continue this progress, we need to work together toward solutions in good faith.