The case for Jacob Frey


The Minneapolis Mayoral race is an incredibly crowded field in both number of candidates and ideologies, and it is made even more difficult by the fact that those ideologies are crowded toward the left. While Minneapolis has plenty of problems that I believe can be addressed with more effectively run systems, the answer, to me, is not to push farther left, but to adapt to our unique political problems.

My worry is that Minneapolis risks responding to Trump’s election and GOP control of Congress by overreacting to the left. The city finds itself in the middle of a debate not unlike the 2016 Democratic primary between the far left’s Bernie Sanders and the middle’s Hillary Clinton. While I absolutely believe change is needed, it’s important to look at the problems facing the city and how to address them rather than responding by attempting to buck a national trend. The candidate I feel is best suited to respond to those problems is city councilman for the third ward of Minneapolis: Jacob Frey.

Frey came to political prominence by organizing Minneapolis’ first “Big Gay Race,” an event to raise money to advocate for marriage equality. As a civil rights lawyer, he has worked with the victims of the 2011 Minneapolis tornado to help reestablish the community. For his efforts, he received the inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the city of Minneapolis. Frey may not represent diversity at face value, but he has demonstrated care for all citizens of Minneapolis through his career — something every mayor should.

He has also worked as city council member to create more affordable housing in Minneapolis, one of the biggest problems in the city, by increasing money available for the development of mixed income rental housing. The ward he oversees, the North Loop, has seen a tremendous amount of development, and I believe a similar approach will benefit the city.

Promoting public transportation options both downtown and to underserved communities will also help that development. Frey has put expansion of bike trails and Metro Transit as his main priority to make Minneapolis a more accessible city.

While overseeing the third ward, Frey has also seen a record amount of small business growth since taking over as city councilor, and this is something that should be considered as Minneapolis attracts high profile events like the X-Games, the Super Bowl and the 2019 Final Four. He also supported the minimum wage hike to $15, and he recognized that wages as they currently sit are too low to achieve financial stability.

The candidate pool for mayor is incredibly crowded, and ranked choice voting will be a large factor in the outcome for mayor. It is crucial to understand not only who a candidate is but the vision they represent for the city. Jacob Frey represents dedication to the wide-ranging demographics of Minneapolis with the goal of a business savvy, inclusive city that operates for the benefit of all the people who live in it.

This article first appeared in the Friday, October 20, 2017, Edition of The Echo.