Community Relations staff connect Council members with local officials, residents

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024

Partnering effectively with local elected officials and community members is a cornerstone of the Metropolitan Council’s work in the region. Members of our policymaking board are eager to listen to the concerns of local officials and community members and together create solutions that achieve local and regional goals.
 Two people sitting at a desk with a map of legislative districts between them.
Council members have visited counties, cities, and townships across the region to build connections and discuss ways to collaborate on a wide variety of topics, including Blue Line Extension planning, regional trails, transportation infrastructure and economic development, and the 2050 regional development guide.

Working with partners to build a vibrant region

“Met Council members are committed to working together with our partners to build a vibrant, equitable, and resilient region, which is the vision guiding us as we plan for 2050,” said Sam O’Connell, Met Council’s director of Community Relations. “Together, we can address critical issues like water quality and supply, safety and security on transit, affordable housing, and other topics that are too big for any one community to tackle alone.”

Two Community Relations staff at Met Council—Michael Sund and Elias Montesa— support the Council members in their work, including outreach to local governments. Council members serve in a part-time capacity, and the full-time Community Relations staff work with the Council members to identify emerging issues and seek appropriate answers and solutions for regional stakeholders.

Met Council also has Local Planning Assistance staff who work with city and county staff members to answer questions and interpret technical details of regional policy. While Local Planning Assistance staff remain a great point of contact for technical assistance, Sund and Montesa are focused on helping Council members build partnerships with local policymakers and facilitate policy discussions.

“Council members want to be visible, transparent, and accountable, bringing a regional view to supporting local government work,” said Sund. “We’re here to help. Get in touch with us if you have a concern where the Met Council might be able to support, or if you’d simply like to connect or reconnect with your Council member.”

Connect with Met Council members Person speaking at a podium.

Michael Sund assists Council members Deb Barber, Anjuli Cameron, Judy Johnson, Robert Lilligren, and Peter Lindstrom. He can be reached at [email protected] or 651-421-5996.

Elias Montesa assists Council members Toni Carter, Dr. Tyronne Carter, Dr. Gail Cederberg, Tenzin Dolkar, Chai Lee, Diego Morales, Yassin Osman, John Pacheco Jr., Susan Vento, and Wendy Wulff. He can be reached at [email protected] or 651-602-1727. 

Sam O’Connell assists Council Chair Charlie Zelle and Vice Chair Reva Chamblis. She can be reached at [email protected] or 612-237-0756.
See a map of Council districts and learn more about Council members.

Posted In: Communities

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