The Time Is Now
Over the last five years, I have watched ward nine change right before my eyes. I have felt the heartache and pain of justice not being served and families not feeling safe in their own neighborhood. I have witnessed homeless people being abused by the authorities. After the city of Minneapolis closed most of the homeless shelters down during the pandemic, my fellow neighbors felt like they were prisoners in their own home because the city allowed the utility companies to rip up sidewalks and streets for months at a time. Leaving our most vulnerable neighbors with no access to get medical treatment or access to get something to eat.
As an activist, I needed to stand up and help my fellow neighbors, so I added my name to the 2021 ballet. Malcolm X once said, “ A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. “ I want to stand by my neighbors with my head up high, because silence is not an option for me. I was here in the 90’s when they called ward 9 “Murderapolis, I was here in 2006 when they changed the name of ward 9 to Midtown. I was even in the streets in 2020 when they tried to burn our ward down, and I will be in these same streets when we turn this area back around!
I know this will be a challenge for all of us. But I insist, if you are a believer like me, we can see the diamond in the rough.
My Goals For Ward 9
I plan to restore ward 9. I believe the time is now to start the healing of our community. I know some days will be harder than others but if we all work together, we can rebuild ward 9 better than before. I would like to start by opening the line of communication with the homeowners, renters, and business owners of Ward 9. I believe NOW is the time we should be transparent with each other. I would like to set up a community quarterly meeting where there is a space to communicate with our council leaders and vice versa. I will have an open-door policy at all times. I believe in giving the time and space to listen to each other irregardless of our opinions.
Public safety- I think the first step of rebuilding public safety is going to the source. I would like to build a relationship with Chief Medaria Arradondo and the Commissioner John Harrington of public safety, because these are the two African-American men that is responsible for our safety in our community. As an African American man, I know the task can be difficult but the manner in which safety is approached is disappointing. I believe sitting down with them to have a difficult conversation to see what changes are going to be made to make the community, trust, and believe we can feel safe with their officers on the street. I would like to know how they are going to change and how they are going to take responsibility of the safety of our community. What protocols will be put in place to protect the civilians against misconduct? Who is overseeing these cases? What will be the repercussions? These are only a small portion of the questions that need to be answered. The Police Department should have their own liability insurance . This will protect the citizens of Minneapolis. Minneapolis citizens should not be responsible for bad behavior of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Renters – I would like to start a program , so our long-time renters in ward nine can become homeowners. I would like to see some of the apartment buildings being developed to offer 25% of their units to programs where they offer to rent these units for a 5-year term at the same rate. After the 5 year mark if there is no problem with the renter their deposit could be used as a downpayment to purchase their units and start the process to own their condominium.
I would also like to open a program called 2nd Chance for renters who may have something on their background that holds them back from renting any apartment in their name. This program could help a lot of people receive a safe place to stay . We should offer property owners who take a chance on this kind of renter a property tax discount.
homeowners- I would like to keep the homeowner in their home. I would like to start a property tax break program for disabled, veterans and owners over the age of 62.5 and older .
This time of your life, you should be enjoying your life not worrying about losing your home to increase property taxes. I believe you should be able to apply for this tax break once a year. This break should lower your taxes by a certain percent to make it affordable for the property owner
Long time property owner- I would like to see the city be more transparent with their residents. I have seen several projects that I felt were unnecessary that were approved by the city officials. These projects affected your property taxes and your wallet. You should be informed about these types of projects and told how these projects will affect your property taxes. I would also like to see more property owners voice their opinions about their property taxes to the city. Your voice counts. Things can change if we all work together, I believe everyone should have a place called home.
Business owners in ward 9 - You are the heart and soul of ward nine. You make our ward shine. I would like to see more small businesses start to progress and thrive. I believe if we have more small businesses in ward nine, we can get more visitors to ward nine. I want to start a program to open more multicultural businesses in the area. I believe having a more diversified business in the area will bring lots of visitors. I want business owners to feel safe having a business in ward nine. I want you to feel safe to have a business in ward 9
Children and Education - What I would like to see is more after hour school and weekends programs for our children. Programs like computer programming so they can learn to code, auto mechanic, carpentry, welding and basic crafting. These kinds of programs for our children would allow them to grow mentally and see their true potential. This will help our children stay off the street and have a safe place to go. The goal and main objective being to teach useful skills that can translate into their daily life.
Most young children are not awarded much aid and scholarships to help them ease their mind and time while studying. If skills are developed much earlier on then the opportunities will be there later.