Do you have a burning question for the First Ward City Council candidates? Here’s your chance to get a closer look and engage the candidates in a direct and unique way. Twin Cities Daily Planet has invited all the candidates to participate in an online forum where you get to ask the questions. To get started, we’ve asked the candidates to supply a brief bio, and answer the following question:
“What would be your top three priorities as a member of the Minneapolis City Council?
Read the bios that they provided, and their answers to the question, posted below in alphabetical order, and then it’s your turn to ask a question. Post your questions as comments, either using Facebook or our in-house commenting system, and the candidates will give you their replies.
We will continue to update the site with the candidates’ information as we receive it from the candidates. Mark Fox was the first of the Minneapolis City Council candidates to reply. We’re waiting for responses from:
Mark Fox’s Bio: I am an activist and organizer, a product of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. I earn a paycheck managing pull-tabs for the Northeast Lions. I also do advertising and admin work for small businesses. I own a little house with an unkempt yard and wish I still had time to ride my bike.
Mark Fox’s Priorities: The first priority of every officeholder should be community engagement. This is means more than holding an occasional open house. It means going to the people where they are and asking them about their concerns. Outreach must be persistent and relentless.
When people have a say in the decisions that effect their lives, government works a servant instead of an obstacle. My job is to give everyone a voice in City Hall
City government is charged with providing a set of basic services. These are listed in the City Charter. Keeping care of stuff like streets and sewers should be done before building new amenities like stadiums and streetcar lines. So my second priority is to re-establish priorities in City Hall.
Putting core services ahead of municipal imagineering is not sexy, but essential. Lives depend on it. That means a fully-staffed fire department, and a police department that works with the public to keep crime low. It also means building an environment where human needs are met and all people can live with dignity.
Our civic ethic should be service and cooperation. Which leads to my third priority: Community empowerment.
Let’s find and nourish the seeds of service inside our neighborhoods. This means shifting power–and money–away from City Hall. Let’s embrace our own ability to solve the problems we see. This is what I have done as a community volunteer. It transformed my life. It would be an honor to pay that gift forward as a Council Member.
Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation.