What issue compelled you to apply for a seat on the Council?
Decisions made by the Council are central to some of the most challenging issues of our time – transportation, affordable housing, clean water. If we are going to achieve the Council's mission of fostering efficient and economic growth for a prosperous metropolitan region, we have to come up with new solutions that lift all boats.
What are you most looking forward to during your service at the Council?
Working with a dedicated team of Council Members and staff to advance our region.
What do you think is most on the minds of people in your district?
Everything we do: transportation, water, parks, housing, planning. We can't take any of these work areas for granted. Affordable housing is arguably the most pressing issue in the district. Thousands of children in the north metro don't have a place to call home. This has a huge impact on their ability to succeed. Unfortunately, our region isn't meeting the goal of 51,000 new affordable units between 2011 and 2020 to keep up with demand, and it's not even close. In fact, we're losing 1,300 affordable units annually during that time. We have to do better.
What will be your priority focus area in 2019?
I'm excited to sink my teeth into the committee work. I'm serving on Community Development and chairing the Environment Committee. In Community Development, we’ll have our hands full reviewing dozens of comp plans from local governments. Environmental Services is laser-focused on the impacts of growth on groundwater, climate change impacts on our region, renewal of aging infrastructure, and keeping services at a high level at an affordable cost.
What changes would you like to see in the Twin Cities region by 2040?
My vision is that in 2040 we've prepared for a growing population that provides for housing that enables people to work productively, for their children to learn, and for families and communities to thrive. These families will live in a region with open space and parks that provide critical habitat and make our communities more attractive and livable. Last but not least, people will be able to move about the region efficiently and economically utilizing a transit system that is second to none.
More personally, what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Any day tossing a line into one of our 10,000 lakes is a good day.