2020 Platform

This page is under construction and if there is something you would like to see where I stand, let me know because I want your vote, but I want it after you know where I honestly stand on issues. There are some duplicates which is to be expected as many of these policies have far reaching affects.

Sustainability

Climate Change – I am not a climate denier; I am committed to leading on climate solutions. I support clean energy and a shift to electrification of transportation, heating, and industry.

Clean Energy – I made the successful motion to end coal burning in Rochester. I also made the successful motion to only support 100% renewable energy for RPU after our supplier contract ends in 2030.

Accessible Housing – Helped create over 1000 units of structured affordable housing in the last 12 years. Approved a new comprehensive plan that will make the creation of new affordable units much easier. Supported progressive zoning like R2x and TOD which will make the creation of different housing options easier.

Transit – I support a build out of 2nd street rapid transit beginning in 2021 with operations to start in 2025. I support the eventual conversion of public transportation in Rochester to a free to use system. I support the continued expansion of transit routes and hours of operation to serve all users. I support the creation of mixed use walkable neighborhoods along major transit lines.

Biking & Walking – I support complete and safe pedestrian and bike networks. I support continuing to close unsafe gaps in our system. I support the continued creation of safe pedestrian & bike spaces around transit and in our downtown. I support lower speed limits and safer road designs to protect vulnerable users.

Urban Forestry – Won an 8 year battle to create a boulevard street tree ordinance and will protect if from those suggesting it be removed. Support the creation of a tree preservation ordinance and invasive species management ordinance.

Heritage Preservation – I support a strong and independent preservation ordinance and downtown district.

Governance

Servant Leadership – Always make myself available to my constituents, provide honest answers, commit to learning and being persuaded, make data driven decisions. My goal is to set the gold standard for responsiveness to neighbor questions & comments.

Taxes – Less reliance on property taxes. Shift revenue sources to more equitable utilities & fees. Eliminate subsidies for market rate developments that perpetually consume more resources than it creates. Oppose sprawl and other inefficiencies that raise infrastructure and public service costs. The property tax rate for the City of Rochester has been flat for nearly a decade and this should continue to be a goal. This means that the only cause of increasing City property taxes is increasing property values and this function is controlled by the state.

Open Meetings Law – All meetings should be accessible and archived for the public, ban closed meetings like the former dinner meetings and the unrecorded “committee meetings” I authored the Transparency Act which passed at the very first meeting with our current Council & Mayor. Other levels of government must be held to the same standards.

Fair Elections – The City of Rochester will create fair districts but also commit to fighing other levels of government who attempt to gerrymander districts in a way that “packs” or “cracks” the voice of the people of Rochester. I authored the Fair Districts act of 2019. I also oppose “Dark Money” and those who organize it in Rochester.

Ranked Choice Voting – I am committed to bringing ranked choice voting to Rochester. This is a better system of elections that prioritizes local issues over party influence. Campaigns under Ranked Choice Voting are more issue focused and less personal.

Equity – The City Council is more than a full time job. The roles must be compensated in such a way that a person can serve in the role without independent wealth. I am committed to continuing the 50+ hours a week that I spend learning, engaging, and leading local government.

Independence – I am not tied to Mayo Clinic or any other employer in the community that takes positions on local issues. I fight against the kind of conflicts of interest which previously created financial disarray at the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Rochester Civic Theatre.

Partnerships – I am a supporter of Public Private Partnerships (P3s) I believe that TIF and similar tools should be leveraged to meet community needs such as affordable housing and libraries.

Equity

Black Lives Matter – They sure do and our policies should reflect that.

Human Rights – I will use my voice and my vote in support of immigrants, children, religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ community and any other marginalized or underrepresented voice.

Boards & Commission – The make of of our Boards & Commission should match the rich diversity of our community. This was a point of contention with the previous Mayor. I will work with Mayor Norton to make sure we do better.

City Workforce – The workforce of the City of Rochester including the Police Department should reflect the people we serve. In some cases this means we will have to invest additional resources in disadvantaged communities to develop talent. I specifically want to create a program where we can encourage children of color to consider policing through development program that doesn’t require outside wealth for qualification

Community Policing – The Rochester Police Department should continue to adopt best practices in use of force. We should continue to fund a full set of non lethal options for our officers. We should continue to be leaders in funding alternatives to policing in situations where a “gun and a badge” are not required. Data must be made public and oversight should not reside in the Police Department.

Affordable Housing – The city must commit to building and preserving affordable housing at all price levels. Housing should be created in a sustainable manner and offer transportation options and meet accessibility needs for an aging population and people with disabilities.

Transit – I support a build out of 2nd street rapid transit beginning in 2021 with operations to start in 2025. I support the eventual conversion of public transportation in Rochester to a free to use system. I support the continued expansion of transit routes and hours of operation to serve all users. I support the creation of mixed use walkable neighborhoods along major transit lines.

Biking & Walking – I support complete and safe pedestrian and bike networks. I support continuing to close unsafe gaps in our system. I support the continued creation of safe pedestrian & bike spaces around transit and in our downtown. I support lower speed limits and safer road designs to protect vulnerable users.

Schools – While schools are largely the domain of the School Board, we must site schools in equitable, sustainable locations. The public transportation system should be able to meet the transportation needs of middle and high school students for both school and related activities.

Homelessness – The homeless must be treated with compassion. We must provide effective housing in collaboration with Olmsted County. We must not pass laws that criminalize behavior associated with the actions of the homeless.

Broadband – I helped blow up the Charter Monopoly. Every household in Rochester deserves affordable world class broadband access. We are not there yet, but Metronet technology has been a huge step forward.

Quality of Life

Arts – The City of Rochester should continue to fund and promote the arts. Our facilities, including Mayo Civic Center, Rochester Civic Theatre, and Art Center should play host to the many arts groups. The city should provide the facilities and allow artists to maximize diversity and usage.

Parks – I support voting Yes on the parks referendum. I have seen major improvements to ever single park in Ward 2 except Younge Park (coming this year still) and Judd Park (a priority for my next term). I want to see more parks funding go to our parks and less to facilities management. Every person should have a park within 10 minutes of their home. Every park and school should be connected by a safe bike and pedestrian route.

Downtown Development – I support Heart of the City in its goal of making downtown more walkable in all season. I support the downtown bike lanes, city loop, and forthcoming Discovery Walk. I am excited to connect Peace Plaza with Soldiers Field and eventually the SE waterfront.

Chateau Theater – I support the full rehabilitation of Chateau Theater as a phase II or III DMC project in conjunction with private development. The facility must become a performing arts center constantly activated year round.

Age Friendly Community – I support a fully funded senior center and safe transit access community wide. I support safer speed limits and a diversity of housing options to let people age within their own neighborhoods.

Library – I support a reconstructed Central Library to meet the needs of our community. I would like to see partner agreements with schools to open up libraries, gymnasiums, and media centers to the community in non school hours.

Broadband – I helped blow up the Charter Monopoly. Every household in Rochester deserves affordable world class broadband access. We are not there yet, but Metronet technology has been a huge step forward.