We are really happy to bring you news and information from Council President Amy Brendmoen! Here are her answers to our questions:
Why did you decide to run?
I first ran in 2011 when there was only one woman on the Saint Paul City Council plus a combined 68 years of incumbency among the members. I believed that the perspective of someone who started her life in public housing with a teenage mom and little sister, found her way through college and worked in all three sectors, and then had three little kids in the SPPS would be a welcome and needed addition to this important, local decision-making body. It turned out that many others believed that too. Today, only 8 years later, I serve as the council President with the first female-majority council in the history of Saint Paul. I am still an energized change-maker now with the experience and chops to make things happen.
How do you see your ward 30 years from now?
Saint Paul is changing and growing at a rapid pace. I think as soon as the 2020 census is completed, we may see dramatic changes in the size, shape and number of wards in the city! By 2050, I imagine a clear, healthy Como Lake thanks to the advocacy and efforts of neighbors. I envision a large, thriving community campus on Rice Street that serves a wonderfully diverse community. I picture a near East Side with transit connected neighborhoods. And I see Railroad Island as a thriving downtown neighborhood.
How do you plan to govern in a way that is inclusive, creative and equitable?
I am constantly seeking, creating and implementing ways to meaningfully engage community members in governing. Some examples: I have walked with community members over 200 times around Como Lake, listening to their great ideas or concerns and making plans for action. I seek out new leaders from my ward’s diverse, youthful community and help connect them with leadership and growth opportunities. This year I instituted a public input session at the front end of the city’s budget process so folks could meet with their Council Members in person to discuss the budget to allow plenty of time for their input to make an impact. These examples are the tip of the iceberg.
What’s the last book you read?
After toting it around for two years, I finally devoured “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond. A must read.
Favorite restaurant/ dish in St. Paul or your ward.
I love to sample menus at our many Ward 5 Thai/Karen/Vietnamese restaurants – everything on their menus is satisfying and delicious. The best modern cuisine in the metro can be found at “Tongue in Cheek” on Payne Ave.
Tell us a fun fact about your ward.
There are exactly zero coffee shops in Ward 5. Help me change that, all you entrepreneurs!
Amy’s campaign website is: https://www.amyforcitycouncil.com/ and she is on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmyBrendmoenForCityCouncil/.