Ward Twelve is a vibrant community that includes a large portion of the Light Rail Blue Line, the natural settings of Minnehaha Falls and the Mississippi River, a strong small business community, and an energetic and engaged citizenry. Located in the southeastern corner of Minneapolis, the ward is known for its access to major city and regional parks including Minnehaha Park and the Minnehaha Off-Leash Recreation Area.
It is home to the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and the neighborhoods of Ericsson, Hiawatha, Howe, Keewaydin (northeast part), Minnehaha, Morris Park, and Standish.
Why are you running for office?
I am running for re-election because I love the work, have accomplished a lot over my nearly four years in office, believe I have a lot more I can get done, have a high level of support within the community, and bring lots of passion, energy, and new ideas to the table.
Tell Us About Yourself
Party Affiliation: DFL, Endorsed
Do you own or rent your home? Own
Let’s Get To Know You
What is your favorite album?
Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps – Backyard Tent Set
Who are your heroes?
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Barack Obama
How do you plan to engage with and be held accountable by community once you are elected?
I host weekly open office hours in the community, blog, send out a well-regarded newsletter to nearly 5,000 residents, attend countless neighborhood events, proactively doorknock, attend virtually every neighborhood association board meeting, attend business association meetings as well, work closely with a number of partner organizations, keep the website up to date, leverage social media, and pride myself on quickly responding to constituents, asking for feedback, and being transparent.
What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?
Great people, strong communities, unique local businesses, all the green space and beautiful parks.
Why should young people be invested in local politics?
The younger you are, the longer you’ll have to live with the decisions being made, so help make them.
Where do the inequities in our city stem from?
Inequities stem from policies over decades and even centuries that have in different forms and by design limited access of POCI communities to resources like stable housing, jobs, quality schooling, healthy food, reliable transportation, and banking. Those policies have continued when the people who hold elected office either reinforce or fail to question policies and fail to involve POCI communities in decision making, as policy makers themselves, staff, advisors, or active participants.
What single issue could have the biggest impact in closing racial disparities in our city?
Access … whether to decision making, influence, social capital, education, financial capital, transportation, housing, or quality food.
Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?
What would you do, as an elected official, to bring us closer to police abolition?
We recently passed a resolution on Vision Zero (to eliminate traffic injuries and deaths) and released our Zero Waste draft plan, so setting a goal to eliminate crime and dependence on external force will help drive important changes. This means working to ensure everyone has the resources they need (reducing/eliminating the root causes of many conflicts) and empowering individuals and communities with the support and tools needed to resolve conflicts themselves and hold one another accountable.
How do we continue to grow our city without displacing the people that want to stay here?
There is more housing demand than supply, which has driven prices up. There are a number of ways to address this. More money can be put in the pockets of lower income workers (such as the minimum wage increase or housing subsidies like Section 8). We can ensure housing is created and other housing preserved for those with lower incomes (such as our AHTF and NOAH programs). We can remove barriers for the creation of more supply by implementing policy changes, such as upzoning. We can help reduce the costs to create more housing, such as eliminating parking minimums or implementing form-based zoning code. We also can’t forget that commercial & industrial spaces are subject to displacement of local, diverse, and less affluent users and uses.
How will you fight against state preemption of local control?
At the legislature, in the courts, and through political organizing.
What policy changes are necessary to improve the health of all Minneapolis residents?
Increasing access to healthy and affordable food options, curbing pollution through targeted efforts (both industrial and residential), providing more support for seniors to stay active, safe at home, and socially connected, trans* equity policies and investments, expansion of school clinics, mental health services, and sexual health services, Tobacco 21, implementing existing policies around transportation access and safety to eliminate deaths and injuries, cleaner air and water through infras [over character limit]
How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?
I voted to support our Complete Streets policy (prioritizes safety and accessibility), the historic parks and roads funding deal (accelerates maintenance/improvement), and I also led the effort to change a policy which resulted in accelerated ADA compliance. I believe there is far more work to do, including municipalized sidewalk snow removal (currently a major accessibility issue), rolling out more heated bus shelters, and better prioritizing transit investments in low income neighborhoods.
How will you work to improve conditions for workers in our city?
I was proud to be a lead author on the paid sick leave ordinance (which helps over 100,000 workers), and to have been an early leader on paid parental leave for over 4,000 city employees. I also voted in favor of the $15 minimum wage. Should I be re-elected, one of the issues I am most interested in exploring is how the City can support childcare for working families.
How do you define sanctuary city? Do you believe that Minneapolis should fill this role and what would you do to make this happen?
We should offer more support and protections for residents so that they can better participate in our communities which they are contributing members of. I have voted for the City to join lawsuits opposing Federal attacks on our undocumented residents and I expect we will soon have additional policy proposals before us to help, such as the creation of a municipal ID card.
What is the role of city government in shaping Minneapolis as the city of the future?
Increasingly it is up to cities to lead, whether in areas of racial equity or climate change, and municipal government can help do so through policy, investments, and partnerships. This includes challenging assumptions about how we do business, from decision making to implementation, so that we find the best solutions, even if it means doing it completely differently than in the past. I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of innovation and new ideas. I believe that as government leads, we n [over character limit]
Anything else you want people to know?
For more information, visit www.andrewmpls.com.
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Harrison Bullard is an Independent Health Labor candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 12.
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Will Jaeger is an Independent candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 12. For more information, visit www.willjaeger.com.
This is our city and we will amplify the voices of our neighbors who go unheard.