Ward Nine’s diverse and vibrant communities boast beautiful parks, a number of thriving small business corridors, the Midtown Exchange, world class hospitals, thriving faith communities, and an informed and engaged community of changemakers, artists, and activists. The Ninth Ward is also a cultural hub, playing host to the May Day Parade, Porchfest Concert, Mercado Central, and the Little Earth of United Tribes community.

 

Ward Nine consists of the Central, Corcoran, East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, and Powderhorn Park neighborhoods.

Alondra Cano, Incumbent

Why are you running for office?

It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of the Ninth Ward as the first Latina ever elected to the Minneapolis City Council. Together, working shoulder to shoulder, we have lifted up the voices of low-wage workers and raised the minimum wage, we changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, fought for funding to combat climate change and to implement racial equity programming at the City. We have made progress for our communities and City and we have more work to do. I’m ready.

Tell Us About Yourself

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Party Affiliation: DFL, Endorsed

Do you own or rent your home? Own

 

Let’s Get To Know You

What is your favorite album?

Depends on my mood – To refuel my Imperator Furiosa rig I go to Maria Isa’s “Dragonlady” and to unwind I play The Pines “Dark So Gold.”

 

Who are your heroes?

The everyday sheroes, top among them my mom, my grandmother, and Cece McDonald.

 

Why are you running for office?

It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of the Ninth Ward as the first Latina ever elected to the Minneapolis City Council. Together, working shoulder to shoulder, we have lifted up the voices of low-wage workers and raised the minimum wage, we changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, fought for funding to combat climate change and to implement racial equity programming at the City. We have made progress for our communities and City and we have more work to do. I’m ready.

 

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

I work to make policymaking as accessible as possible to those who have been excluded. From our first City Council meeting in 2013, where I moved to suspend the rules and allow the community to address the council about our worst-in-the-country racial disparities to the dozens of community forums on policy, almost always co-hosted by community groups and featuring community voices, engaging with and remaining accessible to the people of the Ninth Ward has been and will continue to be a priority.

 

What’s your favorite things about Minneapolis?

Bike rides on the Midtown Greenway. East Los Lake Street and the Mayday parade. Our beloved community of artists and organizers.

 

The Issues

Why should young people be invested in local politics?

If you care about climate change, police reform, battling white supremacy or resisting gentrification local politics is a tool for change.

 

Where do the inequities in our city stem from?

White supremacy is embedded in every institution we have – it has persisted since our nation was founded stolen Indigenous land and the exploitation of the labor of enslaved African people. Since then, policy decisions from denying POCI soldiers returning from WW2 equal educational and homeownership benefits under the GI Bill to racist restrictive housing covenants to siting polluting facilities in POCI communities to the way we fund schools have reinforced this pattern of economic dispossession

 

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

We need to pursue a complex of reparations- based community wealth building strategies from community land trust to cultural corridors.

 

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?

As the social safety net has disintegrated we have asked police to become social workers, to address mental illness, addiction, and hopelessness. To some it is fine for government to invest in the police and frivolous to invest in human services for our most challenged community members. We have made small investments in community-based violence intervention and mental health co-responder programs but we need to take a comprehensive look at the police budget and find other opportunities.

 

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

 

How will you fight against state preemption of local control?

As the vice chair of the Intergovernmental Relations committee on the Council, fighting against preemption was one of our top priorities of the last legislative session. Losing these battles at the capital impedes our ability to implement policies that will improve the lives and well-being of the residents of MPLS. We must deploy all of the lobbying resources that we have at our disposal and partner strategically with other cities and groups like the League of MN Cities to fight preemption.

 

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

Our Health Department has many innovative public health programs that I support as a member of the City’s Health Environment and Community Engagement committee. POCI communities in south and north Minneapolis suffer disproportionately from the health impacts associated with environmental pollutants. Long term I support phasing out heavy industrial uses in environmental justice communities and short term I favor interventions that bring down elevated blood lead levels and asthma rates.

 

How can the city improve our transportation infrastructure?

The communities that use public transit every day providing the reliable revenue that keeps the system moving are passed over for the best amenities and the biggest investments in favor of attracting so called choice riders. I reject this as it reinforces existing inequities in our city and region. We should target transit investment in low-income communities of color, beginning by working with our County, Met Council and federal partners to build out the Bus Rapid Transit system.

 

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

As the Council Member who expressed the earliest support for $15 for all workers I am so proud that we passed a minimum wage ordinance and adopted paid sick and safe time policy during my first term.. I look forward to working collaboratively with workers and advocates to continue to change our policies and practices to improve workplace conditions for all workers, including fair scheduling and increased enforcement of wage theft laws by the City.

 

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 am the child of undocumented immigrants and I represent of the heart of the Immigrant and Refugee community. Minneapolis police and other employees may not ask about the immigration status of anyone they interact with. But the fact that elected Sheriff Rich Stanek’s jail processes MPLS arrestees means that our residents are still subject to a deportation pipeline. We must do more and this is why I am working with immigrant advocates to implement a City ID Card and other protections.

 

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

With a demographic shift in motion and Minneapolis poised to be majority POCI by midcentury we have no more urgent task in front of us than rooting out racial disparities which is why it has been the guiding principle of my first term. We have a moral imperative to do this work but we cannot remain economically competitive when our schools are failing to graduate POCI students and estimates are that unemployment for black men in our City is 25%.

 

Anything else you want people to know? 

I echo the calls to action you’ll be hearing in the coming weeks- this election is important. We have achieved a lot as a community mobilizing for progressive change but it has been hard to move policy through the current City Council. Across MPLS there are young people, POC, Queer and trans people, organizers, and artists running to represent you on City Council and Park Board. Help us shape the future of our city. Together, we’ll bring forth our shared radical vision of love. Adelante!

 

For more information, visit www.alondracano.org.

Mohamed Farah

Did not respond.

Mohamed Farah is a DFL candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 9. For more information, visit www.votefarah.com.

Ronald W. Peterson

Did not respond.

Ronald W. Peterson is a Republican candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 9.

Gary Schiff

Did not respond.

Gary Schiff is a DFL candidate running for the office of City Council for Ward 9. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GarySchiffWard9.

This is our city. It is a place that smells like the river, wet rain on concrete, wildflowers and taco trucks. Like sambusas and sage.

 

“Bonnie and Clyde”

Grieves