We heard from people that felt like the last council wasn’t able to find ways to work together often enough. Is that going to be a priority of yours, and if so, how do you plan to work with people that have different political views that you do?
I want to really connect with each of my colleagues to understand who they're representing. I hope that they will come to the 11th Ward and I can introduce them to constituents and business owners and vis a versa, and I can go to their Wards and they will connect me to their constituents, business owners, and property owners.
I feel that when I understand who each of us are representing, it'll give me a strong understanding of the votes, how they are thinking, and what policies they're trying to create and push forward. You're really getting to know them as individuals and also trying to really understand their Ward. That’s going to be important to me.
It’s also going to be important for us to recognize where we have our differences and different points of view, but also about where we align. I think on paper we look like we could be oceans apart on some things, but I think in the end most of us are much closer than we think, and recognizing those similarities is important, too. I'm looking forward to building the relationships and those connections.
You talked a lot in the campaign about “being a voice for our community.” What does that mean?
I believe that this role isn't about me. This isn’t about what my intentions are, or necessarily everything exactly that I believe. I am that connection to City Hall and that connection to our local government for our community. That's how I feel.
That’s my opportunity to be the voice for this Ward and part of that is making sure that everyone is feeling like they're listened to, especially as we move out of this pandemic. We all want a sense of belonging and feeling like we're connected as a community, and that we've been seen and heard. So it's my responsibility to bring that voice and those needs of our Ward 11 constituents to the city.
Also, recognizing that we are one of 13 communities and Wards, and having that full understanding that we're bringing that voice to the city as a whole, but we're just one part of it.
What do you think the relationship between the City Council and businesses in the city should look like?
Well I think it's collaborative. I think when you say businesses, in the 11th Ward, we're comprised of a lot of small businesses. We don't have any large Fortune 100 organizations here, which is different than other parts of the city. But, I think it looks collaborative, I think it looks open, I think it means that we are working together and understanding the needs and meeting people where they're at.
When it comes to small businesses, it's really helping to take down any barriers for individuals who want to start a business here in Minneapolis and then helping and guiding them through that process of understanding what it takes to to get through those hurdles and those regulations. Some that have to be there to make sure that we're keeping our community safe, but just making sure that people can navigate it really well. So, I think it's collaborative and it’s strong communication so that our businesses can thrive and really excel here.
If you could only tackle one issue this term, what would it be?
I think that what I've heard through and through door knocking and connecting with our constituents is that public safety was number one on people's minds.
When you go back to that question of being the voice of the community, what that looks like is really listening to them, and right now I'm hearing that people in the 11th Ward and across our whole city want to make sure that we tackle public safety, and making sure that we get that right, but also that we work together across the city and amongst colleagues and amongst experts to do so. That is definitely a top priority because it has been what the community has been asking and yearning for.
If you could snap your fingers and make one change to our public safety system in the city, what would it be?
Well, I think of public safety as an ecosystem. That's the language that I used on the campaign trail and that seemed to resonate with Ward 11 residents. It’s visual, right? When we think of an ecosystem and we think of public safety we know that there are many parts of this. That's also what I heard from people.
You know, public safety isn't just our Police Department, it isn't just our Fire Department, it’s mental health support, it’s our Office of Violence Prevention, it is our 911 call center, it's 311.
I think that if you could just could snap your fingers, it's really making sure that collectively that ecosystem is connected, and understanding that it’s part of something bigger than itself. Each of these areas are part of an entire ecosystem, and how do we make sure that they are working like a well-oiled machine, together, and connected with communication and with actual projects and policy?
What is special about Ward 11?
What I love about Ward 11 is the people here. I may be an anomaly in this, but I loved door knocking. The connection to the people, and the kindness I was able to receive back, and the connection that I was able to receive back, and the stories that were told to me.
There's a lot of people in the 11th Ward who have lived their entire life and raised their children here, had businesses here, and I think that's really incredible. On top of that, we are in a really amazing space in the city. We have Lake Nokomis, we have Minnehaha Creek, we're lucky to have those natural resources around us as well.
I think that does make us unique, but the people here are really incredible and it's been really fun to connect and get to know everybody, too. They care really deeply, not just about their own neighborhoods but they care about our whole city. I found that door-to-door, and I heard that over and over .
Are there policies or ideas that Jeremy Schroeder pushed during his time on the Council or in the campaign that you’d like to adopt during your term?
I think Jeremy has an immense amount of passion around climate change, and we’re in a climate crisis. I absolutely want to make sure that that lens is continued on and that as we continue to move forward with any decisions that we make, we always have that lens on. That’s something that I will definitely hold with me and I'm grateful that Jeremy has always put his foot forward in that way.
What’s your message to the people that voted for you?
My message is, thank you. I’m beyond grateful for the support, and I am honored to be able to be your voice at City Hall. I'm going to work hard to do that.
What’s your message to the people that didn’t vote for you?
I would say the same. Thank you for participating and being a voter in Minneapolis. It is an incredible honor that we have this ability to do that.
I also want to say that I'm excited to connect more deeply and get to know you. I’m excited to have conversations around where we can continue to to meet and move and push policy and projects forward together.
What’s something about you as a person that you wish more people knew?
I enjoy winter running. My favorite is a dark morning when it’s just snowed, and it actually feels very light out because of the snow. People know I'm a runner, but I don't mind the cold running.
But I don't do it alone, I do all my runs with a buddy. I am not a solo runner, I always like to have a buddy with me. I like to chat it out.