Building a Saint Paul that works – for all of us

I believe we can build a city that works for all of us by betting on the limitless potential of our children, families, workers, businesses, and neighborhoods – especially those who have historically been left out of the opportunities our city has to offer.

Saint Paul’s disparities in education, employment, and income are a direct result of decades of choices that have too often ignored, undermined, and sabotaged communities of color and lower income neighbors.

We can do better.

To build a city that works for all of us, we need to join together to create real change.

Changing Saint Paul’s course means re-imagining the role of City Hall – not just to spend money, balance budgets, or give out parking tickets, but to make a difference in people’s lives.


Our Priorities for the Future of Saint Paul

Build safer neighborhoods from the ground up

Our greatest public safety asset is trust between community and police, and Saint Paul needs smart, comprehensive reform to rebuild that trust.

  • Hire police officers that reflect our city’s diversity, have a stake in our neighborhoods, and protect and serve all of us.
  • Make sure officers are trained in de-escalation techniques and connected to social workers, mental health providers and crisis prevention counselors so they can help people in crisis get the help they need.
  • Hold officers accountable for conduct that doesn’t meet our standards.

 Ensure kids thrive as Saint Paul grows 

Every Saint Paul child has a right to a high quality education – and our city is falling short of delivering on this promise. That’s an unsustainable trend for all of us.

  • Focus on early childhood investments to give every student a strong start.
  • Invest in comprehensive support systems – including essential health services and affordable housing, for Saint Paul children and families.
  • Forge partnerships with colleges, workforce training programs and trade unions.

 Invest in a city that delivers on its promise

As Saint Paul continues to grow, our challenge is to make sure that our growth reaches all corners of our city – especially the areas that need it most.

  • Make it easier to Saint Paul residents to open and run a business.
  • Uplift economic and cultural centers across our city – like Payne / Phalen, District del Sol, Little Africa, and Little Mekong – and invest in the communities, small businesses, and infrastructure that make our city thrive.
  • Support new growth along the Green Line, on the East Side, and at the Ford Site to provide opportunities for current neighbors and new residents.



As Saint Paul City Council Member for Ward One
  • Advanced equity and equal opportunity for all: Led the community process to create the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO)
  • Championed affordable housing, transit, and investment: Spearheaded the creation of a $2.5 million City Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help homeowners in the wake of the foreclosure crisis
  • Fought for high-quality education and safety for our children: Brought together a community-wide coalition to create the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, a broad education partnership among the City, County, School District and community organizations to ensure all children succeed from cradle to career, attracting over $20 million in investments in Saint Paul’s Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods since 2009

As Director of the Minnesota Office of Early Learning
  • Oversaw implementation of Minnesota’s $45 million Federal Race to the Top grant as director of Office of Early Learning
  • Partnered with Governor’s Office and agency leaders to help advocate for and administer over $100 million in increased state investments in children & families
  • Helped create & advance a proposed $500 million package of early childhood investments, including voluntary Pre-K, Home Visiting, and Child Care Assistance Program improvements.

As Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet
  • Advise Governor Dayton on Early Childhood policies and proposals, as well as police-community relations in the aftermath of the death of Philando Castile
  • Engage public and legislative leaders across the state to build energy and will around a transformative vision for supporting Minnesota children & families
  • Lead coordination efforts across state agencies & divisions to streamline efforts & make it easier for families to access resources
  • Children’s Cabinet received “Better Government” award from Lt. Governor Tina Smith for our work to build a statewide “no wrong door,” centralized system for parents to access resources & supports for their children


  • Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter
  • Saint Paul School Board Member Jeannie Foster
  • Nieeta Presley, Executive Director – Aurora-Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Mary Hamel
  • Daniel Yang, Community Leader and Senior Organizer – Children’s Defense Fund
  • Joan Wittman – DFL Activist

Building a Saint Paul that works –

For all of us