With the 2023 Election right around the corner on Nov. 7, the MSR took to the streets to ask prospective voters in the Twin Cities: What issue do you most want your city council representative to address? Crime seemed to dominate the sampling of voters we spoke to. The answers were compiled by MSR contributors Nikki Love, Cole Miska, and H. Jiahong Pan.
The issue I would like my City Council representative to address is crime. Prior to 2020, or shall I say prior to George Floyd, I felt safer in the city than I do now. I found myself being fearful in a way I have never experienced in my whole time living in Minneapolis. There are tons of carjackings and assaults on people. I would really love to see crime addressed in a way that is meaningful and impactful. People who commit these crimes should not be released the next day and allowed to do it again to someone else. Definitely crime!
I guess safety is number-one because of the things that have been going on. I used to be a Lyft driver, now I’m doing something else…. I did it for a couple of years. Four thousand rides and when COVID was over, it was like, “I’m not going back to that.” Too much risk in getting pistol-whipped or having your car taken away.
And also, I think making cities more pedestrians friendly, more bike-friendly. Even though we’re pretty high up in the rankings of most cities, I think there’s always room for improvement in design of the cities so people feel comfortable and also want to spend time in outdoor areas in the cities.
People are having a hard time finding good-paying jobs. If there could be some type of connections to some of these jobs that the city has and maybe they could coordinate with people who have idle time on their hands. I believe it would help stop crime.
I feel like getting things together and getting community together would start with well-paying jobs. People can enjoy financial security and not have to resort to other things to make ends meet. They say you have to rob Tom to pay Paul. If people had good-paying jobs, they would not need to rob nobody. Keep your heads up and vote! Put people in office who actually care about us. Be watchful and vote always!
I want my representative to address the policing in my community. They are not policing right. They are sitting around not doing what they are supposed to be doing. Do more! Police our neighborhoods correctly.
I would like my representative to address the safety in our neighborhoods. I think it’s important to be able to walk the streets or go shopping and feel safe. I want them to make sure we have a safe neighborhood not only for us, but also for our children.
They should focus [on the] marijuana bill, help small businesses succeed a lot more by making licenses more affordable, also lower prices for application fees, and not having strict rules and regulations.
I’m more into a retail marijuana-type thing, but not looking into that until 2024-2025.[Also] the drug issue we have going on. Figure out how to make the community safer. [The] drug issue is out of hand. People doing drugs in front of kids these days.
I would like to see better control of the drug use on the trains, for sure. It’s bad. I’m a drug addict myself. But I’m in recovery and I’ve been in recovery for a while now.
I’d like to see more outreach, too, try to get some of these guys into detoxes and stuff like that, or just encourage a change in their futures. I know people do what they can already, but it just would be nice to see a little bit more of that.
I would love for my representative to address public transportation. I think we need more transportation, and it would be beneficial to everyone if transportation were a safe way to travel.
I would like crime to be addressed. It’s out of control. I’m from Detroit and I know what crime is all about, and it seems like it is getting out of control here. It’s out of control!
Affordable housing is what I would like my representative to address. There are so many people that want or have money and are able to help people out, but can’t for whatever reason. Housing is unaffordable and unreasonable. This is an issue that has been going on for a long time. When will it end?
Muriel St. Urbain
I would like my representative to address on-the-job training and partnering with different businesses and schools to teach people a trade and give them on-the-job training. People need to go into the workforce whether they are in school or not. There should be a commitment to continue an ongoing training. In the sixties they did on-the-job training, but did not make a commitment to train the next generations. This is why we are where we are—no training. Keep on showing up, writing and talking. Things are not going to change unless we stick together and keep pushing on.
We want to see progress. We want to see help. A lot of homeless people in the street—no food. America, from the time that [COVID] came, it’s not like before. The shelter is full, people sleeping in the streets. I live in Brookyln Center. I take the bus to come to work. This morning, people were lying out in front of the transit in the cold. So, we want the council members to provide more shelters, houses to put the homeless people, people [who are] not working, people who have health issues.
I would like my representative to address education. Education is big in Minneapolis. The teachers need to be paid more and have more support. The students need to be supported too. I do appreciate my community. We need to come together to support each other. If we continue to do that and elect officials that have our same interest, we should be all right.
Editor’s note: Public schools are governed by local school boards. There are no school board elections in Minneapolis this year, but there are candidates running for the St. Paul Public School Board and in other school districts in Minnesota this November.
Clearing up some of these people who are on this fentanyl. They’re on this fentanyl real bad, downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis and it’s real disturbing. Polluting the air, it’s just horrible. So, if we could get that fixed, that would be great.
Safety is a big thing. Right now, we’re trying to get people to come back to downtown Minneapolis post-COVID, get folks to fraternize, go to the restaurants and entertainment downtown, and start to take advantage of amenities here again. We’re trying to get the community engaged and more people involved again. That’s probably the largest priority we have right now.
I am voting for sure. One of the biggest things for me having a young son, one thing that has directly affected me is the cost of healthcare—accessible care and affordable healthcare for the community. Get out and vote, it is important who is in these seats and how they affect our community.