This interview was conducted over email.

Southwest Voices: What are your thoughts on Rep. Frank Hornstein not running for office again?

Will Stancil: It's sad to see Rep. Hornstein retire from public office. He's one of the most well-liked elected officials I've ever met. He's certainly leaving on a high note. However, the 2023 session was, as far as I can tell, the most productive single state legislative session anywhere in the country for the past several decades. It was especially gratifying to see Frank score such huge wins on transportation and transit. Whoever replaces him has huge shoes to fill.

SWV: Have you worked with Rep. Hornstein in the past? If so, how? If not, what aspects of his work in the State House of Representatives are you wanting to continue?

WS: I've worked on a number of his key priorities, on the advocacy and policy development side. I work closely with Frank's predecessor Myron Orfield, particularly on issues related to metropolitan planning, housing, and K-12 education. I've spent a lot of my career butting heads with the Met Council over housing policy and over the last year–largely thanks to Frank's brilliant work at reopening the question of metropolitan governance–exploring ways to make the Council much more accountable to residents on the ground, preferably by electing its members.

Southwest Voices: Why are you running for Rep. Hornstein’s seat?

WS: The State legislature offers the best tools to solve the biggest problems and improve the lives of Minnesotans. Compared to a position like City Council, State legislators have more freedom to think at the regional or statewide scale, which is important because many of our problems can't be fixed in the city alone. Also, if worst comes to worst in November, the state government will be Minnesotans' last line of defense for civil rights, reproductive rights, and LGBT rights, against Trump's far-right government. I want to be on that wall and uncompromisingly defend my neighbors' rights and safety.

WS: What would your top priorities be as a House representative?

I'm a passionate advocate for more prosperous cities, public schools, faster decarbonization, and accountable government. Many parts of Minneapolis have struggled mightily since 2020. We need commercial revitalization in the city, we need to address very real public safety concerns, and we need better regional governance and housing policy. I am a diehard supporter of K-12 public education and educators, and want to ensure that all students are able to attend a fully-funded and safe school, and are taught by experienced teachers who are getting the support they need.

SWV: What is something unique you would bring to the table as a Senate representative for 61A?

WS: I'm an attorney and have longtime policy experience, especially dealing with state-level educational, housing, and governance issues. I've spent much of my career studying Minnesota's systems for funding housing and organizing education, and have worked closely with groups like teachers' unions to improve educator pay and working conditions. I'm also truly committed to working in good faith with constituents. I find factional politics exhausting. While it's impossible to agree with everyone all the time in this diverse district, I will sit down with you and hear your ideas, think about them, and tell you where I stand.