Ward Seven is composed of beautiful, stable, and in-demand residential neighborhoods; exciting and active downtown financial, business, and entertainment districts; and Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake. It hosts a plethora of special events including the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Twin Cities Pride Festival, the Basilica Block Party, the City of Lakes Loppet, and Rock the Garden.

There are nine different neighborhoods that are a part of the Seventh Ward: Bryn Mawr, Cedar-Isles-Dean, Downtown Minneapolis, East Isles, Elliot Park, Kenwood-Isles, Loring Park, Lowry Hill, and Stevens Square.

Janne Flisrand

Why are you running for office?

When I look around Minneapolis, I see a city that works for some people, and that is leaving others behind. It doesn’t have to be that way. We need a leader who will see every city action as an opportunity not to build power for themselves or their powerful friends, but to make sure we leave no one behind and deliver on our City’s promise to all of us. I will be that leader.

Tell Us About Yourself

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Party Affiliation: DFL
Do you own or rent your home? Own

 

Let’s Get To Know You

What is your favorite album?

I pull out Tracy Chapman’s 1988 debut album when I need comfort.

 

Who are your heroes?

My heroes are the everyday people who contribute to their communities in their own ways.

 

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

My work experience has taught me the value—and necessity—of collaboration. I helped lead the process at the state level to ensure that all publicly-funded affordable housing will be sustainable and healthy for residents. That success was only possible due to my work to bring stakeholders together from multiple backgrounds. What matters to me is our ability to achieve the outcome, and being accountable to stakeholders is key to achieving the intent. This is how I work.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

The people, and the daily opportunities to learn about people whose lives are different from my own.

 

The Issues

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

I believe that City Hall should serve everybody. We need young people as leaders in shaping the direction of our community’s future.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

The inequities in our city grow from hundreds of years of white supremacy and race-based oppression. In Minneapolis, our long history of racial segregation was baked into our city through restrictive covenants that excluded people of color, indigenous people, and religious minorities from many neighborhoods in our city.

That racial segregation has echoes today in educational disparities, dramatic differences in neighborhood safety, and concentrated Section 8 housing.

 

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

I believe addressing housing issues could have the biggest impact in closing racial disparities in our city.

 

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?

We need to remember that public safety and policing are not the same thing. Community safety is successful people, caring neighbors, vibrant streets and a thriving economy that benefits all people in our city.

We need to put adequate resources into responding to societal problems through non-enforcement means. A city where policing is a last resort is built on community-based initiatives that set positive, mutually respectful norms and hold one another accountable.

 

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

Housing in Minneapolis has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, with many people moving to the City. One result is rapidly rising rents and home prices, and the pace of change is only increasing. The refusal of the current council member to address this long-known issue has resulted in over 12,000 apartments that are affordable being lost to rising rents, and displacing people. We must address this challenge head-on.

We must address the underlying issue that people with greater financial means are bidding up rents and home prices in Minneapolis, forcing lower-income people out of their homes. That requires building significantly more housing throughout our city. Second, we we must make it easier to build housing at lower price points.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

This must be a key goal of the City, and is increasingly important as outstate Republicans continue to try to constrain our community’s ability to respond to pressing local concerns.

I will steadfastly defend local control. I will not give conservative Republicans my tacit support or silence when they try to constrain local control.

And I will fight to remove past preemptions of local control, from issues ranging from guns and other dangerous weapons, to pesticides and single-use bags.

 

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

Housing quality is a primary driver of health, and substandard housing triggers asthma, gives children lead poisoning, and causes carbon monoxide poisoning. I support enforcing housing quality standards consistently, and support just cause eviction to protect renters from possible retaliation when it is necessary to report conditions to the City.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

The City and Park Board recently approved capital funding investments that includes $20 million per year for city streets. This kind of capital investment lasts for 50 years, and we must design them to be the streets we will need 50 years into the future, and not simply rebuild what was designed with now-outdated design standards 50 years ago. This is part of the City’s investment in our infrastructure, and is critical to offering Minneapolitans real transportation choices.

 

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

I believe that all workers should have a fair chance to improve their economic well-being and to have a job with dignity. Safe staffing levels and workplace safety standards protect employees and customers. Licensure helps workers earn a good wage and ensures adequate training, whereas subcontracting makes employers invisible and hard to hold accountable. I will be part of finding solutions to address workplace issues, particularly where they improve the lives of the most vulnerable workers.

 

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 support and will defend the Minneapolis separation ordinance, which prohibits Minneapolis employees from asking about anyone’s immigration status, and will look for ways that it can be strengthened. I am concerned by reports that ICE agents regularly wait at the Hennepin County Jail to deport people who are arrested for other crimes, including simple lack of identification. I will defend our neighbors, whether undocumented immigrants, Muslims, or any other targeted group.

 

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

Minneapolis government needs to be more open to embracing change. We can’t continue to build roads as if the vast majority of trips will continue to be by people driving cars alone, when we know that addressing climate change requires a shift towards walking, biking and transit. We can’t continue to allow the gaps between the wealthy and the poor, and whites and people of color, to grow – without undermining the success of all of our children.

 

Anything else you want people to know?

My approach to engagement and accountability is very different from that of the current Ward 7 council member. Where her door is often closed – especially to racial justice advocates – my door will be open. Where she makes her mind up before hearing from all perspectives (and often even before hearing the information about an issue), I do my best to keep an open mind, especially when I have strong beliefs of my own.

 

For more information, visit www.janneformpls.org.

Teqen Zea-Aida

Why are you running for office?

I am running as a Minneapolitan deeply concerned about issues facing our city and residents. I seek office in order to protect and advance the concerns of my friends and neighbors in 7 and across the city. I am running because I saw the need for a different (POC, LGBTQ, immigrant, small business owner’s) perspective in the race for ward 7. On the heels of losing my home and workplace to gentrification I made the decision to hurl myself into the local democratic process.

Tell Us About Yourself

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

 

Let’s Get To Know You

What is your favorite album?

Butterfly Ball & Grasshopper Feast

 

Who are your heroes?

Benkos Bioho, Anwar Sadat, Malcolm X, Prince Ashitaka, Abe no Seimei, Don Juan and Paul Atreides

 

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

I will stay engaged & accountable by being that council person on the street—immersed in my community all the while never forsaking my morals, values and 612 credibility.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Minneapolis?

Proximity to nature has to be my favorite thing about this city—that and the less than 6 degrees of separation in our close-knit community.

 

The Issues

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

If tomorrow indeed belongs to the next generations, it is essential that our young people be invested in our local political process.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

The deep inequities that have plagued our city for more than 100 years are rooted in racism and inequity. These immoral values play out in the lack of fair access to early childhood development, education, nutrition, jobs, pathways to wealth, our justice system and more. Minnesota and specifically the Twin Cities consistently receives pitifully low marks with regards to racial, cultural and economic disparities. I stand for equity NOW!

 

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

Fair and equitable employment opportunity—as Coretta Scott King said, “civil rights plus full employment equals freedom.”

 

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’m not sure a city can honestly function safely w/out police. However, those police must be actively & holistically engaged in the societies in which they serve. In light of a string of local & national tragedies it is apparent that the current model for public safety must be dismantled & restructured–public service and equity as core values. Militarization is not the way—unbiased service is. We must root out white supremacist/nationalist & anti POC/immigrant/ & LGBTQ+A elements from our forces

 

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

We can grow a Minneapolis in which all can live, thrive and contribute by establishing a balanced-nuanced approach to development and job creation. I advocate a considerate conscious approach to development NOT inconsiderate, unconscious gentrification. A city that rises (lol) yet leaves as few residents behind as possible. This is equitable growth.

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

You fight state preemption by actually and actively being committed to the constituents that elected you and wholeheartedly caring about the city and ALL her inhabitants—thus taking a stand and ensuring that the united voice of Minneapolis is heard in the city chamber at the state legislature & at the front door of the Governor’s mansion.

 

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

One policy idea is to establish citywide urban agriculture initiatives which help fight inadequate nutrition issues, poverty and lack of community engagement.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

  1. Advocate a stronger commitment to local bike culture—safety, city wide right-of-way policy and a review of proposed bicycle infrastructure
  2. Advocating expanded Free-Ride bus zones
  3. Advocating expanded public funding for low income transit riders
  4. Advocating upgraded and climate considerate transit facilities
  5. Working to expand summer ride programs for teens
  6. Exploring greater ride-share programs and access
  7. Exploring light rail expansion opportunities

 

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

Fighting for a true livable wage—taking into consideration business and market factors while incentivizing equity and inclusion. Advocating a fair scheduling ordinance similar to the one adopted by the people of Seattle. Actively working to bring new business to Minneapolis by engaging the public and private sectors.

 

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 welcomes immigrants & refugees w/love and service. I believe that it is a city’s right to determine its relationship with its residents. The people of Minneapolis have determined our city to be a sanctuary for immigrants & refugees. As an immigrant myself, I stand with those escaping war, genocide and totalitarianism. No power should force us as a city to turn our backs on our morals and common values.

 

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

It is the responsibility of city government, in tandem with community leaders, activists and citizens to bring forth policy that proactively shapes an equitable, sustainable “smart” future that is accessible and beneficial to all. The city should be the initiating body that actively engages all perspectives and thus ensures the best democratic outcome and broadest constituent reward.

 

Anything else you want people to know?
The opposite of gentrification is development that is conscious of the neighborhoods and people it is effecting and is considerate of the whole needs of said communities. Often we get a version of affordable housing which in fact destroys current traditional affordable housing by initializing the skyrocketing of rents in the “classic charm” buildings that Loring and Eliot Park and Stevens and Uptown are know for—and that almost all of us have lived or continue to live in. This must end.

 

For more information, visit www.teqenforminneapolis.com

Lisa Goodman, Incumbent

Did not respond.

Lisa Goodman is the incumbent running for the office of City Council for Ward 7. For more information, visit www.friendsforlisa.com.

Joe Kovacs

Did not respond.

Joe Kovacs is a Republican candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 7. For more information, visit http://www.kovacsforward7.com.

This is our city. This is Minneapolis. And we vote.

 

Ringo”

Atmosphere