Top priorities: transit investments, affordable housing, economic development
I am thrilled that Gov. Dayton has appointed me to chair the Metropolitan Council and advance his agenda for a stronger state and region. As the metropolitan agency charged with planning and operations for transportation and transit, water quality, parks and open space, affordable housing, and community development, the Council will play a critical role in infrastructure investment to get people back to work and advance the economic vitality of our region.
I have much to learn as I begin this new leadership role and look forward to working with all of the many partners who help to make this Twin Cities region a wonderful place to live and work.
I am pleased with the appointment of Pat Born as the Council’s Regional Administrator. He has deep background in finance and strong leadership experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a capable and seasoned leader.
The Council is a complex organization with many important programs—I have been drinking from the proverbial fire hose as I learn about its reach and impact. I intend to focus on three top priorities as I begin my work here: transit investments, affordable housing and economic development.
Since I represented St. Paul as a Ramsey County commissioner, I have been an advocate for the Central Corridor LRT line and look forward to working with our congressional delegation and the Federal Transit Administrator to secure the federal funding for this essential investment in our region. I am also a strong supporter of the bus rapid transit improvements in the I-35W and Cedar Avenue corridors, as well as the proposed LRT line in the Southwest Corridor.
As the president and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for the last six years, I have led an affordable housing organization that not only produces affordable housing, but also advocates for more resources for others to develop housing throughout our region. I am convinced that housing is the bedrock for stable families, stable neighborhoods, and a healthy and vibrant region.
Governor Dayton is committed to putting Minnesotans back to work and economic development will be a key focus area for his administration. Coordinating land use, transit and housing investments can contribute significantly to economic development and job creation. Certainly, the Central Corridor LRT project is one of the most significant job creators we will see in the next few years.
I look forward to working with the Governor, the legislature, the new Council members, local elected officials and all of our stakeholders to set an agenda to advance the economic vitality and health of our region.