Ward Four is located in the northwest corner of Minneapolis. In addition to its many parks, schools, and libraries, the Fourth Ward is home to several new developments with various public and private partners including West Broadway, Lowry Avenue Corridor, and Bottineau Boulevard.

Ward Four includes seven residential neighborhoods: Shingle Creek, Lind-Bohanon, Victory, McKinley, Webber-Camden, Cleveland, Folwell, Jordan, Willard Hay.

Phillipe Cunningham

Why are you running for office?

I truly love my community. As a Black queer trans man, I had a lifetime of facing struggles alone. The warm embrace of Northsiders is unlike anything I had ever known. I want to do my part to build the Northside up. I worked in education, but direct service can only do so much. Systems and institutions often ultimately define the fates of youth. This experience, and my experience in City Hall has provided me with the skills to navigate city government and serve my community with excellence.

 

Tell Us About Yourself

 

Pronouns: he/him/his
Party Affiliation: DFL

Do you own or rent your home? Rent

 

Let’s Get To Know You

 

What is your favorite album?

Radiohead’s “Hail to the Thief” because it’s genius and it was the first time politics and the arts blended in my world.

 

Who are your heroes?

Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Beyonce, and my parents.

 

How do you plan to engage with and be held accountable by community once you are elected?

Northside City Councilmembers are not engaging with the community in healthy or productive ways. I will dramatically increase resident engagement by facilitating the flow of information from City Hall to the community and feedback from the community back to City Hall. I want to develop systems and processes for information and feedback flow, a community visioning process to define a shared vision, and accountability measures.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

I have a quite profound love for this city can only so I can only narrow it down to a top three: the people, the culture, and our future.

 

The Issues

 

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

Local politics is tangible and impactful. It affects young people’s everyday lives in very real ways. The policy made is close to home.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

Deliberate policies put into place by institutions at all levels. From the FHA’s exclusionary mortgage programs in the 1930s and highway construction through communities of color to the War on Drugs and long-term disinvestment from the Northside, all one has to do is connect the dots to our current reality. The inequities of this city exist because of the methodical social and economic isolation of people of color, and are now perpetuated by well-meaning policies that continue to miss the mark.

 

What single issue could have the biggest impact in closing racial disparities in our city?

Housing stability. Everything else is unimaginably harder without having somewhere to sleep every night.

 

Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?

Yes

 

What would you do, as an elected official, to bring us closer to police abolition?

A city without police is one at peace, without inequities or injustice. This vision needs to remain our goal, but it requires a community not facing structural racism and poverty to achieve it. The first step to that vision is scaling the City’s public health approach with increasing investments that one day equal investment in police. Until we create alternative systems that interrupt the cycles of crime and violence and promote community safety,we will need police and we need them to do better

 

How do we continue to grow our city without displacing the people that want to stay here?

By increasing investments in affordable rental units and mixed-income housing, the lowered demand should result in more affordable rent prices and lower socioeconomic and racial isolation. People are moving to Minneapolis in high volume. By not having a large enough housing supply to meet the demand, we are setting ourselves up to push out the middle- and low-income folks who call Minneapolis home.

 

In North Minneapolis something I frequently hear is that folks want to have ownership of something. Northsiders have been robbed of self-determination and ownership for generations. By focusing on investments that increase community ownership, we can help preemptively stabilize my community while the housing supply is hopefully increasing.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

You can count me as an ally and champion-in-waiting in this fight. I am ready be very vocal about it and do whatever I can to make sure the gains we have made in Minneapolis are not lost to corporate interests. As the City Councilmember for the 4th Ward, I will engage and educate my constituents on this issue and work with community organizations and advocates to get new Northsiders involved in policy advocacy and community organizing.

 

What policy changes are necessary to improve the health of all Minneapolis residents?

There are three key areas where the City can step up: environmental health policies, mental health/trauma interventions and long-term supports, and being a partner in building full-service community schools. Increasing our community’s health will require partnerships with the Park Board, MPLS Public Schools, and Hennepin County to build citywide policies and programs. I also want to collaborate with clinics to identify gaps and inform Northsiders about healthcare services in the community.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

The Complete Streets policy should be utilized in all transportation infrastructure decisions. In 2015, the Council created a Penn Ave BRT, disregarding this policy. The way the street has been redeveloped has led to decreased safety. By centering the safety of pedestrians, the City will be investing in infrastructure that promotes safe active transit. The City also needs to have a vocal role in public transit development to ensure we are building accessible, safe transit.

 

How will you work to improve conditions for workers in our city?

The approval of the $15 an hour raise in minimum wage is a great start for improving conditions for workers in Minneapolis, but it is just that—a start. I will fight back any attempts to roll back this and earned sick and safe time. It is important for City leaders to remain engaged with workers beyond these two wins. To systemically create space for the voice of workers in the decision-making process, a small first step would be to create a permanent and empowered workers advisory committee.

 

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” is one that does not go out of its way to enforce federal law against individuals and families who are undocumented or who are in between immigration category statuses. Despite the national rhetoric peddled by Trump, being a “sanctuary city” has been shown time and time again to increase public safety and is the morally right path. It is vital that Minneapolis fill this role. I will fight any attacks on the separation ordinance by a hostile federal administration.

 

What is the role of city government in shaping Minneapolis as the city of the future?

City government has a REALLY BIG role in shaping our future because institutions like it exist to literally organize society and put it on particular trajectories. Right now, the City of Minneapolis is developing the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which will define the priorities for the City of Minneapolis moving forward for the next twenty years. We need innovative leaders now who have an understanding of where we are going rather than stuck on where we have been.

 

Anything else you want people to know?
You can think of me as a Black, queer, and trans Leslie Knope for Minneapolis.

 

For more information, visit www.cunninghammpls.org

 

Dana Hansen

Why are you running for office?

I am running because I believe I have a different approach than most when it comes to solving issues that plague our community. I believe in the libertarian philosophy, and I would like to work toward implementing libertarian ideals in Minneapolis. I believe in common sense, pragmatic solutions to many of the issues the city faces, especially in Ward 4.

Tell Us About Yourself

Pronouns: She/her
Party Affiliation: Libertarian Party of Minnesota
Do you own or rent your home? Own

 

Let’s Get To Know You

 

What is your favorite album?

If I have to pick just one, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.

 

Who are your heroes?

My grandma was the most giving and charitable person I’ve known thus far in my life.

 

How do you plan to engage with and be held accountable by community once you are elected?

I plan to be open to any input or solutions proposed by residents. I would hold public forums if necessary, but also be accessible by as many other methods as possible. I plan on being as transparent as possible in my decisions, by not only making public statements about my votes, but also my reasoning behind them.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

My favorite thing about Minneapolis is the many different people and ideas I can encounter on any given day. I also enjoy the city’s parks.

 

The Issues

 

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

Being involved empowers us all to have our voices and opinions heard, rather than allowing others to assume what we want or what is best.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

I believe inequities in our city stem from many factors, including but not limited to government programs that had good intentions but did not have the intended results (sometimes opposite results), the war on drugs (which I explain further in my answer to the next question), and historical factors that have not been fully overcome yet.

 

What single issue could have the biggest impact in closing racial disparities in our city?

Decriminalization of marijuana. Drug convictions often make it difficult for individuals to obtain employment and secure housing.

 

Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?

No

 

What would you do, as an elected official, to bring us closer to police abolition?

The police force needs to shift its priorities and make a drastic change as to HOW it polices the community. Positive community interaction is imperative to earning and keeping the respect and trust of the community. Use of excessive or deadly force is a very real fear for many in the community, which needs to be addressed immediately with updated training and genuine consequences when invoked.

 

How do we continue to grow our city without displacing the people that want to stay here?

I believe this is achieved through community building and engagement. People want to stay where they have roots and neighborhood relationships. Instilling pride in the community allows community members to feel valued and included, which in turn leads to more neighbors contributing to the betterment of the community from within. This includes supporting local small businesses.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

I believe that decisions can and should begin at the local level, I would work against state preemption through any means available, such as court decisions or legal changes at the state level.

 

What policy changes are necessary to improve the health of all Minneapolis residents?

I believe the best policy changes would be to move away from bans and restrictions and allow people to make their own decisions about their health.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

I believe the city’s transit system is already very much available and accessible throughout the city. As far as other methods of transportation and infrastructure needs, I would be open to hearing proposed solutions.

 

How will you work to improve conditions for workers in our city?

I believe the city council has already voted on several issues in an attempt to improve conditions for workers in the city. Whether these decisions will have the intended results remains to be seen. I believe the best way to improve conditions for workers and businesses is easing restrictions, not adding new ones.

 

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 is a city that is willing to shelter immigrants from overreach from federal agencies that may seek to deport them. I do not believe the Minneapolis police department should be used to help enforce deportations.

 

What is the role of city government in shaping Minneapolis as the city of the future?

As the city of the future, the role of city government should be to move toward more freedoms for individuals.

 

Anything else you want people to know?
I support personal freedom of lifestyle, strong defense of all civil liberties, a genuinely free and open marketplace, and foreign non-interventionism and peace. Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement in support of individual freedom on all issues, all the time!

 

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/DanaforWard4.

 

Stephanie Gasca

Did not respond.

Stephanie Gasca is a DFL candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 4. For more information, visit www.votestephaniegasca.com.

Barbara A. “Barb” Johnson, Incumbent

Did not respond.

Barb Johnson is the incumbent running for the office of City Council for Ward 4. For more information, visit www.barbjohnson.org.

This is our city. We will vote because we dream big. Because we demand better from people in power.

 

“Directors”

Dilated Peoples