Governor Walz announces intention to appoint Metropolitan Council members

Date: Monday, February 25, 2019

Metropolitan Council under Walz-Flanagan Administration will be most diverse to ever serve, reflects commitment to increased community engagement

Governor Tim Walz today notified the Minnesota State Legislature of his intention to appoint 16 local residents to serve on the Metropolitan Council. When seated, the nominees would represent the most diverse Council in its more than 50-year history. Per statute, the Governor must notify the legislature of his intention to appoint five days prior to the deadline of March 4, at which time the appointment becomes official, pending confirmation by the Senate. The new Council Members will be sworn in at a special Council Meeting on Wednesday, March 6.

“These 16 individuals reflect the people of our metropolitan region,” said Governor Walz. “They bring with them deep experience in the Council’s core work areas, a history of public service, robust business experience, and strong connections to community. I am confident in their commitment to servant leadership and public engagement.”

“There were many wonderful and qualified candidates for the Metropolitan Council,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “I want to thank everyone who put time and energy into applying for the Council and their willingness to serve on behalf of the region. I also want to thank the nominating committee for their time and commitment. By adding more people to that committee we helped bring more voices to the decision-making table who have a history of being underrepresented. The result is the most diverse Council in history, and I am proud of that result.”

“I can’t wait to get to work with this group,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Nora Slawik. “I know we all have a lot to learn from one another, and that our region will benefit from their many areas of experience and passion. By re-appointing two current Council Members, we will have a level of continuity to help guide the many new voices and channel their energy to the benefit of the region.”

About the appointees

The appointees include seven people of color or indigenous people (POCI), seven women, two incumbents, and two immigrants. The outgoing Council had 25 percent POCI, but the incoming Council will have nearly 50 percent POCI. This bipartisan group includes former and current local elected officials, business owners, community organizers, arts and education professionals, and more. Three of the appointees are current local elected officials – two mayors and a city council member. They will resign their seats prior to becoming seated as a Metropolitan Council member, due to the incompatibility of office doctrine.

Appointees, listed in district order:

  • Judy Johnson

  • Reva Chamblis

  • Christopher Ferguson

  • Deb Barber

  • Molly Cummings

  • Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson

  • Robert Lilligren

  • Abdirahman Muse

  • Raymond Zeran

  • Peter Lindstrom

  • Susan Vento

  • Francisco J. Gonzalez

  • Chai Lee

  • Kris Fredson

  • Phillip Sterner

  • Wendy Wulff

Community prosperity focus

Over the next four years, the Metropolitan Council will be tackling many issues critical to the region’s community prosperity: The Council is in the early stages of reviewing the nearly 200 comprehensive plans from counties, cities, and townships, which is required every 10 years per statute. The Council will also embark on a new regional forecast, which will guide planning for regional infrastructure.

The Council will continue to work with partners on addressing the region’s housing needs, as an adequate supply of housing for all incomes is necessary to enhance community prosperity. The new Council will also oversee the construction of the state’s largest infrastructure project, Southwest LRT, in addition to advancing many other transit projects, including Orange Line and Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit, Bottineau LRT, and the continued build out of the region’s Bus Rapid Transit system. It will also face continued growth of Metro Mobility and the strain that growth places on the ability to maintain and expand the bus system.

Posted In: Council News