Ward Two occupies the eastern-central part of Minneapolis and straddles the east and west banks of the iconic Mississippi River gorge. It includes a diverse mix of residential, institutional, industrial, and commercial land uses including major corridors like University Avenue and East Lake Street. It is also home to the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
The Southeast Como, University District, Prospect Park, Seward, West Bank/Cedar-Riverside, Cooper, and Longfellow neighborhoods are located in Ward 2.
Why are you running for office?
I want to help make this a more peaceful, just, democratic and sustainable city, focused not only on our immediate needs, but also on the future we want or generations to come. I reject the politics of bigotry and hate, and know we can succeed with hope, courage and vision. We can heal the damage done to the Earth and to each other through historical exploitation and oppression. With engaged people we can make this a healthier more loving place for everyone.
Tell Us About Yourself
Party Affiliation: Green Party
Do you own or rent your home? Own
Let’s Get To Know You
What is your favorite album?
My favorite album today is Still Riot by Ferron
Who are your heroes?
Mandela, Ghandi, MLK Jr, Helen Caldicott, Mother Theresa, Medgar Evans, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm
How do you plan to engage with and be held accountable by community once you are elected?
I will be transparent about what I do & why I do it. I will be a coalition member, a facilitator, sometimes a coalition builder, but always someone to be utilized as part of a larger community effort. I will bring motivated people together to work towards common goals. I will gladly be the elected ally for community-initiated policy change & will also initiate ideas, build coalitions of supporters & seek guidance from community allies. I will listen to both those who agree and disagree with me.
What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?
I like our urban wilderness: creeks, woods, lakes & river – & the sense of community that comes from the caring & involved people.
Why should young people be invested in local politics?
Your actions can make a big difference. Local gov’t affects your life. Decisions made without you reflected in them are worse decisions.
Where do the inequities in our city stem from?
The inequities in our city come from generations of exclusion, exploitation, oppression, slavery & genocide, built on the Doctrine of Discovery that established a spiritual, political, & legal justification for colonization & seizure of l& by Europeans & the immoral & false system of white supremacy that the United States was founded on: a complex legal, cultural, economic & political system of white (male upper class) supremacy that has been institutionalized throughout the city and country.
What single issue could have the biggest impact in closing racial disparities in our city?
Understanding is key. We need to focus on racial equity in all we do. Forging a more just local economy might have the biggest impact.
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?
Our goal should be to build a support system of trusted people who are seen as a constructive part of the community, without any of them seen as a hostile, separate force. Whether or not any of them are called police seems secondary. To eliminate the policing functions we need to eliminate the need for them & eradicate the root causes of crime & violence. I favor a research-based public health approach that looks at the roles injustice, poverty health & our flawed economic mode play.
How do we continue to grow our city without displacing the people that want to stay here?
Use Community Benefits Agreements to gain good jobs, housing, infrastructure improvements & env. benefits. Allow more housing types. Allow Mpls Public Housing to receive Affordable Housing Funds & levy dollars to fix & build more homes so that all who qualify can access public housing. Require inclusion of affordable housing into more new projects. Amend our charter & pass rent control laws. Require a right of first refusal so that tenants can purchase the buildings they live in. Better use grants to support shelters to meet unmet needs. Use intentional communities & cooperatives to get more resident owned affordable housing. Target resources to those most in need like those returning from prison, treatment, and the military.
How will you fight against state preemption of local control?
I have been to the legislature to fight preemption of local control on a number of issues, most recently to fight the bill preempting local control on single-use bag regulations. There are a number of issues where local control has already been preempted that I will continue to fight to have overturned, including on pesticides, handguns, rent control & immigrant voting rights. Unlike some of my colleagues, I will not remain quiet when the legislature attempts take away local control.
What policy changes are necessary to improve the health of all Minneapolis residents?
Stronger measures to ensure clean healthy air, water, & food for everyone. Address violence (youth, sexual, domestic, gun, etc.) as public health epidemics. Clean up lead, mold & other health risks in housing. Enforce rules requiring healthy food in grocery stores & roll out enforcement of limitations on flavored tobacco products. Increase support for local food growers. Make it easier for people to walk, bike & take transit. Make every neighborhood “complete” & walkable.
How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?
The City has put new resources towards repairing & rebuilding our streets. We need to implement our Complete Streets policy in all projects, prioritizing people walking, biking & taking transit. Build our protected bikeway network. Build transit: better buses (including arterial BRT), streetcars, BRT, LRT. Create & implement a pro-equity Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities. & for all of these investments, we must focus first on communities that have faced past disinvestment.
How will you work to improve conditions for workers in our city?
One step is taking up the fair scheduling ordinance that the Council majority killed in ‘15. I will work to extend worker protections & the right to organize to contract, gig & on-demand workers & explore establishing a local Health & Welfare fund for small independent business operators, independent contract, taxi & other gig & on-demand workers. Pass a Socially Responsible Procurement policy that makes social & environmental considerations part of every city spending decision.
How do you define sanctuary city? Do you believe that Minneapolis should fill this role and what would you do to make this happen?
A sanctuary city has separation between City employees & ICE, & other protections for immigrants against persecution & deportation. Let’s strengthen our separation ordinance, create a municipal ID, establish a legal defense fund, explore litigation & start an office for new Americans to implement other ideas. I am concerned by the cooperation between the Henn Co Jail with ICE & believe that we need a city-run jail facility to prevent arrests or detentions by Mpls. police resulting in deportation.
What is the role of city government in shaping Minneapolis as the city of the future?
City gov can play a positive role in shaping our future if its goals, plans, policies & laws reflect the best values of its people. It can help us repair the damage & heal the wounds of the past, & live healthier, happier lives in harmony with nature & each other. But for that to happen, we need thoughtful people in office who are free from the undue influence of developers, lobbyists & the wealthiest few but are instead influenced by known core values and the people they are elected to serve.
Anything else you want people to know?
We need a city government that values transparency, respects diversity, & believes in the power of well-informed, deeply-engaged people to meet the challenges we face today while also focusing on the future & the long term impacts our decisions will have of our communities, city, & planet.
I couldn’t share all my ideas & plans here. To learn more & share ideas with me: [email protected] or 612 296-0579, secondward.blogspot.com/, www.facebook.com/camgordonward2, twitter.com/CameronAGordon.
This is our city. A city that honors the dignity of all people.