Excerpts from an interview about conversations with Al McFarlane Monday leadership meetings on Facebook Live | news

“I moved from Duluth to Minneapolis about 25 years ago, a city where my family has built a political presence. I understand the important concept of public service. My grandfather was elected Duluth Public Safety Officer in the 1920s .;

“I’ve lived in the city and in the community for a long time. I have invested a lot of time in our church as a pastor and common sense advocate. Given the major problems we are currently facing with the rise in violence, racial segregation and the ongoing pandemic, I have decided to chase after George Floyd’s murder to challenge the city council’s clumsy and delaminated actions. They don’t know how to get together and they work hard for the people of Minneapolis.

“I was a councilor and ran for mayor while I was in Duluth. I have pastored Hennepin Avenue United Church and other churches across the state for 30 years. I have run nonprofits and been a director for several nonprofits. It will take time. Non-profit organizations, religious groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and a mayor and city council come together and join forces for the benefit of the people.

It’s not going to happen just because we have a small government program. We need the police. The MPD needs transformation. There is a long history of racism that is unacceptable. We’ll likely have to change some state laws so the authorities can legally discipline and remove some of the bad actors. We need some wonderful new people from different backgrounds who are trained in de-escalation. I would like the city to offer other incentives to encourage police officers and perhaps other city workers to live in Minneapolis. When I was a councilor in Duluth, it was required. Then the legislature abolished it.

I firmly believe in the executive mayor. I grew up in Duluth, a strong mayoral city. St. Paul is a strong mayoral city. We all know Chicago is a strong mayoral city. It actually works and works a lot better. In Minneapolis, one of the problems is that the mayor has most of the responsibility but almost no authority, and the city council has all authority and almost no responsibility.

“This divisive and dysfunctional situation has to change if we are to move forward. We need outstanding leaders, a newly reformed and functioning police agency, and recognition of the urgency the city is facing on so many levels.

“I am not in favor of the rental price limit. Instead, I would like the city to start creating well-educated, well-paying jobs so that people are encouraged to move into their own homes. We need to create well-paid jobs and move people into home ownership. Business and investment need to come back so people in underserved communities can make $ 20-25 an hour.

“I decided to run because the current council is not working. I had dysfunctional advice in Duluth. When I was on the city council, people had to sit down and work things out. You have to work together. I think I have the temperament, the experience, the background to bring together a really different group of people. I want to spend an hour or two with every single council member and really get to know them for the first week or two of the semester. I want to be able to negotiate with them, understand what moves them and not just political stuff or games. What does it take to get our city back?

Station 10 is a very diverse station. I live in East Harriet. There are other residential areas such as the former Echo, South Uptown, The Wedge and Whittier. Unlike some people, I actually answer phone calls, emails, copywriting. I think you have to do that. What is going on in our churches now is too important to not pay attention and be informed. I am not going to concern myself with a specific constituency group. I intend to be a councilor for the entire city of Minneapolis.

About Ellen Lewandowski

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