Ward Five has a strong cultural fabric with a remarkable immigrant history that continues to breathe vibrancy into this city. This ward is home to several Minneapolis cultural and artistic gems including the historic Capri Theater, the Minneapolis Farmers Market, and Juxtaposition Arts.

Ward Five includes the surrounding neighborhoods of Harrison, Hawthorne, Jordan (part), Near North, North Loop (part), Sumner-Glenwood, and Willard-Hay (part).

Jeremiah Ellison

Why are you running for office?

I am running to collaborate and engage with the community that raised me, to have our voices be a part of engineering the change we’re fighting for in Minneapolis – the change that we have always deserved.

 

The people of North Minneapolis are owed a responsive and accountable representative. One who supports the small businesses in the community over the large developers looking to give nothing back. One interested in solving issues of community safety. One who sees our needs as a priority.

Tell Us About Yourself

Pronouns: He/Him
Party Affiliation: DFL, Endorsed
Do you own or rent your home? Rent

 

Let’s Get To Know You

What is your favorite album?

Emily’s D+Evolution by Esperanza Spalding

 

Who are your heroes?

Clida Ellison and Elizabeth Brookins

 

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

Given where we stand now – I think the basics are a good start. I’ll have regular community meetings, a newsletter, and open office hours – all are things the 5th Ward does not currently have.

 

But to go beyond that, I want to develop regular trainings and People’s Assemblies. These would be community engagements that go way beyond a simple update or public comment. This would be genuine collaboration – with Northsiders – in shaping their neighborhood, and the policy affecting them.

 

What’s your favorite things about Minneapolis?

I love that people support their local, neighborhood economy when given the option to.

 

The Issues

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

Federal and state governments are tangled in bipartisan gridlock, the local level is where things you want can actually get done.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

When it comes to inequities I think we find ourselves in the same boat as every city – our actions are not as aspirational as our talk. We say we stand against racism, classism, and sexism, yet the people most underserved in our city tend to be black, brown, and/or indigenous, they tend to be working class, and they are disproportionately women.

 

When we get defensive instead of proactive about this reality, we put ourselves in a position to perpetuate these inequities.

 

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

Economic development. When communities have financial power, people have more time, energy, and resources to shape their neighborhoods.

 

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?

There has to be political will. Fear based governance has given places like North Minneapolis little leverage in demanding better service from police, mush less imagining a world without them, but I think we can start by promoting programs that have proven to work in reducing youth violence, and petty crime. Also, I’d lead on public education, most folks don’t know that crime in North Minneapolis is near an all time low. Together, we’ll keep coming up with solutions beyond policing.

 

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

Our government’s past actions have present consequences for our homes, our wealth, and our ability to thrive. But that also means that we can take action through our city government to turn the tide.

 

I will fight for the following and more: a ban on exclusionary zoning, and I’m in favor of inclusionary zoning policies that ensure that affordable housing is being built with every new development in Minneapolis; increasing the Affordable Housing Trust fund; a Just Cause Eviction ordinance to protect renters from displacement pressures; target existing vacant lots owned by the City of Minneapolis for long-term affordability for existing residents of North Minneapolis at neighborhood median income.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

I think this is as simple as supporting our state representatives and senators in winning seats back at the State Capitol. The governors seat is important, as well. The truth is, if state republicans control St. Paul, all the fighting in the world won’t stop them from rolling back every worker protection the city has passed – they’ll make their mission to control Minneapolis from afar.

 

Teaming up with other cities, and doing as much public education as possible will be important.

 

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

I think a Green Zones policy would have a positive effect on the physical health of North Minneapolis residents, and the rest of the city. Greater worker protections play a tremendous factor in health outcomes, and greater police accountability will save residents, especially black, brown, and indigenous residents, a lot of mental stress and trauma.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

As a councilperson, my commitment is to look at transportation not just as means of getting places, but as a vein of life and affordability for North Minneapolis residents. I will fight for: expanding bus rapid transit throughout North Minneapolis; ensuring the high value projects like the METRO Green Line and Blue Line extensions benefit existing Northsiders and not catalyze gentrification; ensure North Minneapolis streets are compliant with the American’s with Disabilities Act.

 

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

I will continue to fight for more worker protections like Fair Scheduling, and create better enforcement against wage theft. I also want to promote and support small businesses who have proven to deliver a high ethical standard to their workers, and to support local entrepreneurs in creating thriving businesses of their own – including worker and community owned cooperative enterprises.

 

How do you define sanctuary city? Do you believe that Minneapolis should fill this role and what would you do to make this happen?

I believe a sanctuary city is a place that does not collude with a nationalistic federal government to target and deport its their residents. I could go on, but that’s the shortest definition I could come up with. I do think Minneapolis should fill this role. I would partner with various immigration law firms, religious institutions, and intergovernmentally to ensure families know their options when they targeted by ICE. I would also explore every legal option to reduce ICE’s presence.

 

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

A real answer to this question would need to be book length, but, in short, we need good government to collaborate with its residents. The city of Minneapolis has taken on private sector speak – the “market” says this, the “market” says that – but public service has always been about collaborating with the people. It seems so basic, but, in this day and age, for a city to listen to residents – who don’t want to be displaced, work low wage jobs, or be aggressed by police – would be innovative.

 

Anything else you want people to know?

We need to be rooted in what works. We need to advance public policies and strategies that are targeted specifically to address how communities of color, Indigenous communities, and immigrant communities are situated in our neighborhoods. This might be in relationship to public safety, housing, education or jobs.

 

We cannot achieve racial equity by recognizing differences in outcomes among different communities and then ignoring those differences when we implement interventions.

 

For more information, visit www.jeremiahforward5.com.

Raeisha “RA” Williams

Why are you running for office?

I have a passion for the people, and my community. My passion combined with my political experience of working in the mayor’s office Washington DC, motivates me to move forward in my campaign. I know how to navigate government agencies, and politics, but most importantly how to work for and with the people. How to bring their desires and wishes into flourishing.

Tell Us About Yourself

Pronouns: Ra-eisha

Party Affiliation: National Democratic Party

I’m running for: City Council Ward 5

 

Let’s Get To Know You

What is your favorite album?

I have two favorite albums. It would be split between Anita Baker’s and Luther Vandross. I’m old school at heart.

 

Who are your heroes?

My grandmother Adelia Nevils, and Mother Rosemary Nevils, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters

 

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

I plan to have office hours once a week in North Minneapolis right on Plymouth Avenue at the Urban League. My door will be open for eight hours every week so community members can engage with me directly in the community. Ward 5 residents will have to travel to downtown which is not convenient for most of my constituents. I will be accountable by holding quarterly Town Hall meetings that will inform and update residents and also see what concerns and or goal they would like to set as a community.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

The fact that we have such beautiful weather in the summer, and wonderful parks that we can enjoy.

 

The Issues

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

Decisions made today, affect the tomorrow. And since we are tomorrow; young people have to be engaged and how their lives will be affected.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

Racism, Classism, Ageism.

 

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

Raising the minimum wage. When people make more, they can live better.

 

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?

I don’t want to abolish the police. I want them to do what they’re paid to do. Which is to protect and serve.

 

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

We ensure that there’s affordable housing created for them. I’m talking about real afordable housing, based off of their income and where they fit financially.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

I will work with congressmen and women, and elected officials at the state level to advocate for local control.

 

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

We must make sure that quality care, and specialized Health Services aren’t only placed in affluent privatized hospitals. That public hospitals recruit and train some of the best medical workers in their fields.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

I would like to see more bike Lanes created in North Minneapolis. But I would also like to see speed limit enforced, and Highway 55 speed limit made more safe for pedestrians

 

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

I will fight for the $15 wage increase to take place a lot sooner than 5 years from now.

 

How do you define sanctuary city? Do you believe that Minneapolis should fill this role and what would you do to make this happen?

I absolutely support Minneapolis being a sanctuary City. We have a lot of brothers and sisters who have built families and lives in Minneapolis. We must protect them because these individuals contribute morally, economically, and culturally to the great Twin Cities.

 

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

Making sure that all of the communities across Minneapolis are prosperous, safe, and receiving equal treatment and services.

 

Anything else you want people to know?

I want you to know that my passion for the people of Minneapolis goes beyond my qualifications. Yes I’m qualified for this role because of my background in politics. But what makes me the right candidate is my commitment to making sure that Minneapolis is a great City for not just a few, but all. And Minneapolis will not be great until North is as strong as the rest of the city. I commit to making North Minneapolis the gem of the city.

Cathy Spann

Did not respond.

Cathy Spann is a DFL candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 5. For more information, visit www.cathyspannforward5.com.

Blong Yang, Incumbent

Did not respond.

Blong Yang is the incumbent running for the office of City Council for Ward 5. For more information, visit www.yangfor5.com.

This is our city. We’re fighting to make it better for all of us. Into a place where everyone can thrive.

 

“Ice Cold”

I Self Devine