One of my first priorities as mayor will be to implement a plan to increase business and the number of quality jobs in Minneapolis. As mayor, I will
1. Ease requirements of entrepreneurs wanting to start businesses
2. Work with leaders in specific areas that have experienced disinvestment and encourage business owners to locate in these communities
3. Provide more opportunities for youth to gain experience in the workforce.
As mayor, I will make it easier for entrepreneurs to be successful in starting businesses by getting rid of red tape that currently exists at the City. As a real estate professional, I’ve built and managed projects that have helped spur economic growth in Minneapolis. My experience in real estate development and management has shown me how difficult it can be to establish businesses in Minneapolis. I’ve seen firsthand how cumbersome the processes can be to get approvals, permits, variances, etc. Instead of making it difficult for small businesses, we must work to improve the business climate in our city by treating businesses more like customers, and encouraging businesses to locate in specific areas. Better job opportunities will help strengthen communities and improve public safety, especially in low-income areas.
As mayor, I will work with business to encourage location on Broadway Avenue and create requirements regarding hiring workers from the community. One corridor that deserves the mayor’s attention is West Broadway Avenue on the North side of Minneapolis. Broadway Avenue has many assets and opportunities exist to improve the corridor. I will meet and discuss with major businesses about what it would take to bring them to Broadway and what are the considerations we need to know. Of course, we also need to focus on attracting business to other major corridors such as Lowry Avenue and Lake Street, so that people living in these communities can work meaningful jobs and invest in their neighborhoods. An example of business to attract is business that ties into high tech or other related use that can use the technology at the University of Minnesota.
As mayor, I will specifically focus on attracting businesses and increasing jobs in neighborhoods that lack investment and have high unemployment rates. We need to provide incentives to private industry to locate on the north side and hire locally. It is essential to offer jobs for people in the communities in which they live so as to cut down on transportation costs for workers and encourage overall investment and economic vitality in these communities. Our focus must be on living wages. The more times a dollar circulates in a community, the healthier it is; providing opportunities for people to live and work in their communities will produce this effect. We also must provide affordable housing for people of all income levels. I will offer incentives to developers who devote at least 20% of their units to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.
As mayor, I will partner with businesses to expand job-training programs so youth gain experience and self-confidence while learning marketable skills. Minneapolis suffers from a devastating achievement gap. By providing opportunities for low-income kids to gain the necessary skills and experience to be ready to enter the workforce and have meaningful jobs, we will ensure our city’s economic growth and vitality. Programs such as Step-Up should continue to be supported and expanded to reach more youth. By increasing partnerships with the private sector, I’d like to grow youth job training programs to offer year-round opportunities to more kids throughout the city.
Finally, business and job growth require the police to refocus their efforts in dealing with crimes against persons and property to ensure people feel safe living and operating businesses in our city. When more businesses fill vacant storefronts, attract consumers, hire local workers, and give youth opportunities to learn, neighborhoods experience economic prosperity and decreases in crime. As communities throughout the city experience increases in job opportunities and higher rates of employment, the whole city prospers. The future of Minneapolis is dependent upon focusing on improving every area, especially high unemployment areas on the north side. As mayor, I will spend time in North side neighborhoods, meeting with leaders who have been working long and hard to improve their communities.