We claim that city council races are “non-partisan” but I own my identity as a proud member of the Minnesota DFL and a pro-choice one at that. Within our district, there is an abortion clinic Robbinsdale Clinic Pa where patients are frequently accosted.
I will defend the rights and privacy of patients ensuring local ordinances requiring protestors to maintain a safe distance are enforced so that they do not endanger the patients who visit the clinic for a variety of services including family planning and STD/STI treatment. Rather than coming up with my own solutions, especially ones that traumatize patients with police presence, I will work with the clinic owner to mobilize solutions she comes up with based on her many years of experience.
If the Supreme Court Decision has left you wanting to get more involved in reproductive rights, please consider joining organizations like Minnesota_NOW and volunteering to be an abortion clinic escort with Planned Parenthood or another organization*.
*Pro-Choice MN is the escort service for the Robbinsdale Clinic, but their training classes are full.
When I first moved to Robbinsdale in 2014, the blue line was supposed to be done by 2020. As a big proponent of public transportation, it was a selling factor when I bought the house. When I came back from Europe, work still hadn't even started. Now, it's held up again by some members of our city council. It's time to elect a city council that is willing to put in the work and get the rail line moving! 🚊
That means finding safe solutions for pedestrians and cyclists to cross and creating more parking to replace what will be lost and provide for increased demand for park-and-ride. It also means ensuring the train is a safe place with public safety measures in place.
Businesses need to have a say in where the work will be done as they may lose visibility or even access to their establishments.
In addition, the light rail project will bring much-needed infrastructure funding reducing the costs to Robbinsdale residents. And unlike the SW line, the proposed route on County Rd 81, is county-owned land which means fewer complications.
The light rail is also essential for public safety and for reducing DUIs. Trains are an effective and efficient way to get downtown and not worry about driving back after one too many.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety
Even before I moved to Europe and gave up owning a car for three years, I loved being able to walk around town or bike along the many beautiful trails. Over the years though, I have noticed a few spots which could be safer and where crosswalks and even sidewalks are needed.
In particular, I support:
White stripes to indicate the crosswalks at the intersection of 40th and Broadway.
More pedestrian level lighting on the Robbinsdale side of the 36th Avenue bridge
Finding a safe way for bikes to cross 42nd and Broadway
I also support the efforts by councilwoman Webb and others to reduce the speed limit on residential streets down to 25mph and will push for a 20mph on some streets.
Renters and Small, Independent Landlords
As someone who has been a renter, roommate, single-inhabitant home-owner, and small, independent landlord all in the last 10 years, I have seen how someone with even the best of intentions can be trapped by racist, and in other ways biased, housing policies and property managers. Therefore, I support repealing the "crime-free" lease addendums to make renting more equitable for all.*
I also plan to:
Enforce violations of large rental agencies without placing a burden on small, independent landlords
Propose reasonable rent control measures to keep Robbinsdale affordable
Add a 10% cap on rent increases. If homeowners can petition a tax increase of 10% so should renters be able to petition rent increases of more than 10%!
If a community-organized group, proposed a tenants' bill of rights that was fair and equitable, I would support it. I say community-organized because I am a community organizer and bringing smart people together to solve tough problems is a key part of the job. Ideas should come from multiple people, not just one council member dictating their opinions.
Actions > Words. The only Ward 3 candidate with Union Printed Lit and Yard Signs
Look for the union bug!
Support for City Employees and Contractors
City-wide Minimum Wage
There are some procedural things to work out first, but I'd like to see a $15(or higher!) minimum wage city-wide within the first 2 years. City Worker wages are in direct control and so they can be adjusted by the city council from day 1.
Climate Change and the Environment
I will continue efforts such as:
"No Mow May" (although I hope next year can be more organized than this year).
Using Minnesota native plants in city garden projects like the ones around Crystal Lake.
Encouraging homeowners to plant drought-tolerant and native lawns to protect our precious water supply and support our bee population. I will further propose a rebate for homeowners who do.
Approving petitions for responsible bee-keeping and backyard chickens*
I will propose:
Investing in solar energy on more city buildings including at city hall.
Litter(especially from dogs) is becoming a problem on our residential streets. Bless the woman on 39th and Noble for her great community service. I will petition for more trash cans, especially near bus stops, to help with litter that is frequently left in our yards. To combat graffiti, they can be decorated with artwork.
Public safety is a tough topic for Robbinsdale. We have seen an increase in crime, especially violent crime lately, but we need to ensure that safety is done equitably.
I believe that means investing in prevention and smarter solutions. Police departments are reactionary forces and communities can help with preventing crime. In particular, crime watch/crime prevention groups will receive Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion(DE&I) training and focus on knowing their neighbors to reduce the number of false "suspicious person" reports common in neighborhood watches.
Police officers have A LOT of responsibilities. Having an officer trained for all of different these situations is impossible and a disservice to the community. We don't have police officers to fight fires and have separate fire departments for a reason. The same should be true for other services. I will move some of the responsibilities of the police department like mental health calls and vagrancy to social workers and referrals to community programs and invest in technology and automation like speed safety cameras that will reduce the number of dangerous traffic stops and reduce the time commitment for our already understaffed police department.
Add a signing bonus/incentive for police offers recruits who have lived in Robbinsdale for at least 5 years. More for a history of community engagement.
Continue/revive efforts to improve lighting with solar if possible.
I will work to have Robbinsdale added to the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth, an organization the Robbinsdale Area Schools are already a part of, to help young people in crisis, provide community activities, and encourage youth participation in government.
One of the reasons for the uptick in small petty crime in our neighborhood is that kids are just plain bored. Without a community space and things to do, it's easy to play chicken with cars on Railroad Ave or pester the neighbors.
According to local residents, the second floor of the Hubbard Marketplace Transit Center is unused and has a very beautiful and historic second floor. I will work with the Metropolitan Council to make this space (a ballroom and several offices) available to city residents. It could be used for classes, event rentals, and extra office space for the city.
I do NOT support the community center plans for Sanborn park which would be disruptive and extremely costly at that location. Residents spoke up the last time it was proposed and I will be a voice for them this time.
Elevating our History
After visiting the very cramped Robbinsdale Historical Society and talking with neighbors, it is evident that the historical society needs more space. One option would be to take back the art gallery space. Another would be to find a place in city hall, the transit center, or another common area to have a rotating special exhibit (e.g. Whiz Bang comics, Terrace Theater, Robbins family history) that switches every quarter or so.
Alternate Side Snow Emergency
For many residents who part on the street, snow emergencies are a major hassle. For my roommate with a truck too big to fit in the garage, that meant parking in the small spot in front of the garage blocking my car in. For my neighbor, she rents a spot to another Robbinsdale resident in exchange for them snow shoveling her pathways. Others just give up and keep their car in the street anyway.
Residents need somewhere to park even if it's a street over. I'm proposing alternate side parking during snow emergencies. Snow emergency routes like Noble would be excluded.
Bill's Gun Shop
I believe that the regulation of gun sales belongs at the state and federal levels and I will not impose any city-level restrictions or harass their business with unwarranted inspections.
The city-level business regulations would be the same as any other business.
On a personal level, I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership. Safety classes and practice ranges are one way to get there. The Robbinsdale location is also not what I expected. It's a lot more diverse than my initial expectations. I recommend visiting before making assumptions.
Combatting this country's gun violence is something we can work with local police to identify and prevent and work with state and federal elected officials on a ban on the sale/possession of war machines to individuals outside of range facilities. Although those aren't city issues.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I would be happy to work with the HRC and support and/or drive a Robbinsdale pride in the park event in 2023.
Ranked Choice Voting
As we've seen in this 6-person primary, having only 1 choice is tough. I support using ranked-choice voting in city races (when passed at the state level).
See something that isn't represented here or that doesn't have enough detail? Let me know at email@example.com.
I'm not and will never claim to be an expert in everything. There are many topics that I rely on my neighbors for their feedback and support. Even if we don't agree, I will listen. Some of the best conversations I've had were with people who didn't agree with me on the more progressive topics like the Blue Line Extension. I learned to get to the root of the problem and find that we are often coming from the same place. I may not be able to solve all of the problems, but I can make your life just a little bit easier.