Messages from the Council Chair

March 2021
Charlie Zelle

I’m on board the bicycling trend

As we continue to plan and build the region’s transportation system, we are adding more choices for people to get around. People should be able to choose between driving on excellent roads, taking world-class transit, or the joy of cycling to work on a well-maintained bikeway. This approach is friendly to changing lifestyles.

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February 2021
Charlie Zelle

Livable Communities Act has changed lives and our cities

Any city in the seven-county metro area can participate in the LCA program. It has helped build new supermarkets on Saint Paul’s East Side and in Oakdale. In Hopkins, it helped to connect the city’s downtown to the new Southwest light rail stop across Excelsior Boulevard. And the program has supported the creation of thousands of affordable housing units across the region.

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January 2021
Charlie Zelle

Ensuring transit safety and enforcement

We have formally partnered with the Citizens League to engage our customers, employees, and communities in conversations about their experiences with the Metro Transit Police Department. It’s one aspect of our commitment to bolder action on racial equity and more directly addressing its impacts on our region.

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December 2020
Charlie Zelle

Safe shelter in a pandemic

Too many people living in our region don’t enjoy what should be a basic right — safe, dignified housing. Expanding affordable housing opportunities is a Council priority. We’ve been doubling down our efforts in 2020.

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October 2020
Charlie Zelle

Investing in people’s lives

Transit is part of a comprehensive transportation system, and transportation connects people to the destinations they need to live their lives and is foundational to our economy. The investments in D and B Lines aren’t just bus projects, they are an investment in people.

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September 2020
Charlie Zelle

Looking forward to a thoughtful debate

The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Committee is taking a hard look at the Met Council: what works, what doesn’t, where can we do better? No idea is off the table.

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August 2020
Charlie Zelle

Engagement in the time of COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic has dulled one of our best tools – the ability to go out into neighborhoods and communities to meet with people where they live – we have not stopped our work to engage the public. I’m proud of the work all of the Met Council’s divisions are continuing to do to maintain the ongoing regional discussion.

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June 2020
Charlie Zelle

Metropolitan Council planning review of Metro Transit Police Department

This review will require robust and authentic public engagement. We will rely on people across our region to ensure the review is informed, comprehensive, and substantive. We all look forward to hearing from community members, policymakers, and staff who regularly interact with and depend on transit police.

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June 2020
Charlie Zelle

We need bold action on racial equity

We cannot continue to set lofty goals to include people of color and indigenous people in our region’s prosperity by doing things the way we always have. What’s clear about this current crisis in our community, particularly on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, is that there is no acceptable normal to return to.

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October 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Equity: 'the superior growth model'

Much of the region is recovering from the recession, but poverty continues to increase in communities of color. Together, we can alter employment and income disparities by taking a regional approach.

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August 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Southwest LRT: Building a line that stands the test of time

The Southwest light rail line offers us an opportunity to accelerate the already positive economic momentum of the greater Twin Cities region while simultaneously moving our regional transit system closer to being the modern, intermodal system residents desire.

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June 2013
Chair Susan Haigh

Moving forward on transit and highway funding

The 2013 legislative session is over and although many great legislative accomplishments will positively impact the work we do here at the Metropolitan Council, many of us are disappointed that the transit sales tax did not become law.

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