Jenn Strater (I)- Minnesota – Robbinsdale City Council Ward 3
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Jennifer “Jenn” Strater is a Robbinsdale homeowner (since 2014), former Biden campaign staffer, world traveler, and professional software engineer. She is a reliable, empathetic advocate for change who brings unique life experience. She’s been a renter, home-owner, and landlord. She’s lived in 5 U.S. States and 2 foreign countries and seen how some city policies can work really well or fail miserably. She is an active member of the Minnesota DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) party as a board member of the LGBTQIA+ caucus and web director of her local senate district.
Why are you running for office?
I’m running for city council because I hope for a more accessible and progressive Robbinsdale — one that’s more transit-friendly, safer for bikes and pedestrians, more affordable, and inclusive.
What are the three biggest issues facing your community?
The top three issues facing our community are the Blue Line Extension to bring more transportation options to Robbinsdale, affordability, and public safety.
How do you propose to solve those problems?
I propose resolving the transportation issue by making sure the city council is working with, not against, the Metropolitan Council. Continuing to stall will make it so that Robbinsdale gets no say in where the stops, crossing, and pedestrian walkways will be.
Affordability is a broader topic. The first step is ensuring that all city workers are making a living wage of about three times the average cost of rent. That includes part-time firefighters and park employees. City workers should be able to afford to live in the city where they work. The second part of my plan is to set a 10% cap on rent increases so that renters can stay in their homes.
Public safety is a big concern in many places and I don’t think there is a single solution. One I’d like to see is a focus on community outreach and programs and a focus on prevention rather than a reactionary police force. The police department has a lot of responsibilities and having officers trained in all of them is a lot to ask. Shifting some of those responsibilities including mental health and vagrancy calls to community programs may do a lot of good for Robbinsdale.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
The biggest environmental and climate changes in Robbinsdale are a reduction in rainfall and increasing temperatures. I’d like to see a push for more Minnesota native plants and drought-tolerant lawns. I’d also like to see the city invest in more solar energy.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
Unfortunately, there isn’t too much I can do at the city level. I can support safe storage advocacy, gun safety courses and adherence to business license requirements for the gun shop and range in my district. I can also support community programs that work to prevent gun violence.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Criminal justice reform is a rather broad topic. In general, problems like high minimum sentencing and the exploitation of the poor with cash bail for non-violent offenses are ones I think my community could deeply benefit from. I would also like to see a focus on equity in our criminal justice system.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
One way to directly protect reproductive health (for non-binary and trans folks too) is to ensure access to the abortion clinic in my district. I will show support for their business licensure and promote sign and nuisance ordinances so that patients can safely enter the building.
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
In Minnesota, we have some of the best voter programs. I continue to support early voting, absentee voting without having to show cause, and no voter id laws. At a city level, I would like to see ranked-choice voting, but there is a state law that needs to be amended first.
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