Tenth Ward City Council candidates answer your questions online

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Do you have questions you want to ask the 10th Ward candidates for Minneapolis City Council?

Five candidates are running this year: challengers Lisa Peterson Bender, Ken Bradley, Nate Griggs, Kendal Killian, and incumbent Meg Tuthill. 

The Twin Cities Daily Planet has invited all of them to participate in an online forum about the issues facing the 10th Ward, and the city of Minneapolis, where you get to ask the questions.

(We did not receive a response from Nate Griggs, who is currently on active duty in Iraq. If we hear from him, his responses will be added to this article. You can read more about his candidacy on his campaign website, http://www.abetterminneapolis.com/.

To get the ball rolling, we’ve asked the candidates to supply a bried bio, and answer one 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. Post your questions as comments, either using Facebook or our in-house commenting system, and the candidates will give you their replies. 

Lisa BenderLisa Peterson Bender’s bio: I am running for Minneapolis City Council to provide stronger, more proactive and inclusive leadership in Ward 10. I have over a decade of experience providing innovative leadership as a transportation advocate, city planner and public health professional helping cities become more sustainable, equitable and healthy.

Lisa Peterson Bender’s top priorities:

In Ward 10, we need a City Councilmember who can bring our community together, who will say yes to good ideas, and who can get government working for our community. On the Minneapolis City Council, I will provide leadership to 1) create a safe and balanced transportation network, 2) champion health equity and 3) support economic opportunities for all.                           

Transportation: We need a transportation system that offers choices and connects people to where they want to go. I will work to improve transit access to downtown, reopen Nicollet Avenue, and build a network of safe, accessible sidewalks and protected bikeways that work for people of all ages and abilities.

Health: Our community is one of the healthiest in the country, but we have high disparities between rich and poor. I will fight so that the tools for good health are a right available to all, reduce toxins in our environment and champion changes to make it easier for urban farmers to grow and sell food. 

Jobs: There are too many barriers to economic growth. I will work to support Ward 10’s vibrant businesses by cutting red tape and attracting new jobs close to where people live. I will support changes, in partnership with our business and neighborhood communities, that make our sidewalks and public spaces more vibrant, like sidewalk cafes, farmers markets, Open Streets events and parklets.

Lisa Peterson Bender’s website: http://www.votelisabender.com/

KenBradleyKen Bradley’s bio: I’m an energy and environmental organizer by trade, and an advocate for providing financial assistance for college students in need. I will provide fair, open, progressive leadership by listening to the concerns of our neighbors, ensuring transparency in the decision-making process, and being a voice for the under-represented.

Ken Bradley’s top priorities: 
We need to work together to solve the greatest debt being left to future generations: global warming pollution. Minneapolis can be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while attracting emerging industries and creating good paying jobs.
 
1) Support entrepreneurs, new businesses and emerging industries. The cities that will be stronger in the future will be the cities that attract and develop the new businesses of tomorrow.
 
2) Ensure development reflects the character of our neighborhoods. We need to repurpose historic buildings rather than tearing them down and not follow an inefficient development model. I will be a strong advocate for finally re-opening Nicollet and Lake Street and reconnecting our neighborhoods.
 
3) Build inclusive government through partnerships and community collaboration. One example: Families that are dealing with inequalities in jobs, transportation and housing often have children that are struggling academically. It is time, to resolve these inequalities so teachers can put their focus back on the classroom.
 
4) Support alternative transportation and infrastructure that is pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Enhanced bus service on Hennepin, modern street cars on Nicollet, expanded transit services, on Lake St or Midtown Greenway and more designated bike lanes will improve our quality of life.
 
5) Reduce our dependence on polluting energy by supporting energy efficiency and local renewables. Minneapolis should not renew franchise agreements with stock market traded utilities if they don’t comply with our city’s global warming emissions goals.
 
Please support me on April 16th at the caucuses!
 
 

Kendal KillianKendal Killian’s bio: I am a progressive advocate and organizer. I know how to advocate for progressive change and get things done, both in the halls of government and in the community. I have led Minneapolis voter turnout efforts since 2004 and I serve on the Board of Directors of OutFront Minnesota.

Kendal Killian’s top priorities:

Police, fire and public works are the top priority for any city and they’ll be my top priority as well.  I was disappointed that the Council did away with the independent civilian review authority. Now the police themselves will have more involvement in investigating complaints of wrongdoing. When I am out campaigning, I sense real unease in some communities about this change.

Secondly, we need to look for ways as a city to close the severe disparities in our community by focusing on jobs, transit and affordable housing.

We have lost nearly 27,000 jobs in Minneapolis since 2001. I disagree with the notion that restaurants and daytime office jobs can’t coexist. In Uptown and Eat Street we can create jobs by supporting restaurants and bars. Fun, vibrant communities attract daytime creative jobs – like advertising firms.

In terms of transit, we must build a next-generation system that can get people to work. Connecting Eat Street and Nicollet Mall will is really important to me.

Housing is a real issue. Nearly 80% of low-income families in Minneapolis can’t find affordable housing. We need to develop sustainable affordable housing solutions. 

A more equitable city will benefit all of us, by reducing property taxes on folks who today are shouldering a disproportionate part of the tax burden.

Finally, democracy should never be on the chopping block. For the 2012 election, the Council reduced the number of voting precincts, making it more difficult to vote. We have to fix this.

Click here to read more: http://www.votekillian.org 

Meg TuthillMeg Tuthill’s bio:
Council Member Meg Tuthill is a longtime 10th Ward homeowner and community activist. Meg brings a private sector, small business perspective to the Council. She provides prompt constituent service and is an advocate for city taxpayers, basic city services, public safety, small businesses, neighborhood livability, and sustainable city policies.
 
Meg Tuthill’s top priorities:
 
Great Neighborhoods. I am passionate about our neighborhoods. To keep neighborhoods great, my first priority is public safety. We need to hire more police and fire fighters to increase staffing and prepare for retirements. I will continue to work with stakeholders to address neighborhood disruptions. We need to achieve balance – our community thrives with vibrant businesses and livable neighborhoods. Development must be sustainable and sensible.
 
Economic Opportunities. Availability of good jobs and small business successes are critical for the city’s success. I have worked to hold down property tax increases that burden homeowners, renters and small businesses. New hires for city-supported development should come from Minneapolis’s poorest neighborhoods and be trained for high-paying, skilled jobs. I will continue my work to attract and support a variety of businesses that contribute to a vibrant community. We need to open up Nicollet Avenue to link up downtown and Eat Street to South Minneapolis.
 
Green Minneapolis. All city policies must reflect our values of sustainability and environmental consciousness. I will continue to work to protect our air and water quality, and to achieve a Utility Franchise Agreement beneficial to the City. I will continue my work to create safe transportation options for pedestrians and bicycles. I have pushed to put bike lanes along 36th Street; the City is now in the planning process. Minneapolis must increase recycling by its residents and businesses. Expanding single sort recycling citywide and implementing curbside organics collection are good first steps.
 
For more information, please check www.megtuthill.com.
 
Got questions? Post them below. 

Bender, Bradley, Killian and Tuthill will also participate in a candidates’ forum on environmental issues on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Bryant Lake Park, 3010 Bryant Ave. S. co-sponsored by the CARAG and East Calhoun neighborhood Green Teams, East Harriet neighborhood Parks, Environment & Schools Committee, LHENA Environment Committee and the Whittier Alliance.