From the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Where Every Story Has Three Sides
By Ken Bradley
I am running for the 10th Ward City Council seat because I believe I can create the partnerships necessary to ensure Minneapolis is a leader at reducing global warming pollution while growing an economy that is clean, unique, sustainable, and rich with opportunities for all our residents.
I’m a father, a husband, an energy and environmental organizer by trade, and an advocate for providing financial assistance for low-income college students. I will provide fair, open, progressive leadership by listening to the concerns and expertise of the people in our diverse neighborhoods, ensuring transparency in the decision-making process, and being a voice for the under-represented.
Global warming is our biggest debt
There is no bigger single government debt being left to our generation’s children than global warming. Our dependence on fossil fuels affects every part of our daily lives here at home, and it will only be solved with the combined efforts of individuals, businesses, and federal, state, and local governments. Twelve of the past fifteen years have been the hottest on record. We already feel the impact of expanding droughts across the Midwest. Our response to this crisis has been too slow and our policies too timid. The change we are seeking has to come from within our community, because global IS local when it comes to the well-being of our residents.
Reducing our dependence on polluting energy
Minneapolis spends hundreds of millions of dollars importing dirty energy every year. I will be a champion for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by supporting energy efficiency and local renewables.
• I strongly support the Minneapolis Energy Options’ campaign to give our city the power to directly negotiate for clean, local, affordable energy.
• Minneapolis needs to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Whatever small financial gains we might reap from oil and coal now will be repaid many times over in the future.
Preserving our neighborhoods
As a child in the 1970s I remember my father driving us down Nicollet Ave toward Lake Street and grumbling, “Who would ruin a perfectly good road by building a store in the middle of it? Someone should drive a bulldozer through that thing.” My father’s feelings then about what is now the Kmart building remain the sentiment of this community today.
The worst thing we can do to this beautiful city is to take cues from the same generic and inefficient development mindset that did such a disservice to many of our suburbs. Our quirkiness and our local, sustainable focus are what make Minneapolis a city worth protecting. That’s why I will ensure that development reflects the character of our neighborhoods. I will
• champion the protection of our historic buildings.
• create a more transparent and proactive approach to development. This starts with ensuring projects provide the greatest community benefits by encouraging feedback and participation from all stakeholders.
• advocate for the highest energy efficiency standards in our buildings.
Supporting Entrepreneurs & New Technologies
As chair of the Solar Works for Minnesota Coalition I understand the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, new technologies and emerging businesses. I will work with others to develop a proactive approach for recruiting new industries that will shape our city for generations to come, by
• creating Minneapolis’ Innovators and Entrepreneurs Contest.
• developing Entrepreneur Centers to help trailblazers bring new products to the marketplace.
• making Minneapolis a hub for developing the clean energy technologies of the future.
Partnering with Schools
Through my work serving on Minneapolis Community & Technical College’s Foundation Board I have seen firsthand how inequality in housing, jobs, and transportation puts a terrible burden on children that weighs them down socially and academically. This contributes to an educational environment that is ineffective and unsustainable for students and teachers alike. I will
• listen to the teachers on the front lines of Minneapolis public schools and partner with them to ensure safe, good-quality schools.
• work to alleviate the inequalities in our city that contribute to students’ academic struggles.
• support energy efficiency and “solar on schools” programs that help schools reduce operating expenses and put more dollars back to work in the classroom.
My goal is not to get into the education business but to ease social and economic inequalities so that teachers aren’t confronted with solving these problems in the classroom.
Supporting alternative transportation
I have been a card carrying bus rider for most of my life and if I am honored with the 10th Ward seat, I promise to bus, bike, or walk to work each day. When bussing, I will tweet my route, and I look forward to impromptu meetings with constituents while riding Metro Transit. I will promote alternative transportation and infrastructure that is pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. I will
• support modern street cars on Nicollet, enhanced bus on Hennepin, and am open to enhanced bus, modern street cars, or LRT along the Midtown Greenway.
• advocate for 40 additional miles of safe, dedicated bike lanes in our city by 2023.
• encourage the promotion of Minneapolis as a vacation destination for bicycle enthusiasts to attract tourists from around the world.
We want a city that embraces the creativity of entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and dreamers, a city that listens to and provides opportunities for all residents, empowering those who have been left behind by politics as usual. As a community organizer I know that inclusive, informed engagement can solve any problem, from bringing community gardens to underserved communities to dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
I can only do this with your support! Please check out my website at www.kenforten.org, and email or call me (612.367.6715) to talk to me about any issue that concerns you. Then commit to be a delegate for Ken Bradley at the April 16 caucus and April 27 ward convention. All of this is within our reach. Let’s make the right decisions together.