With 24 years of service, the Seventh Ward's Lisa Goodman is the longest-serving Minneapolis City Council member. And though some might argue that it's time for a new voice, Goodman's experience, institutional memory, practical governing style and exemplary constituent services are needed now more than ever.
Here's why Goodman won the Star Tribune Editorial Board's strong endorsement: It's a pivotal time in Minneapolis — especially with rising rates of violent crime and the roiling debate over public safety and policing. Grounded, well-informed leadership is needed. The Seventh Ward is one of the most economically diverse areas in the city, with everything from large and small businesses to the most affluent homeowners to the homeless.
Goodman, 55, has repeatedly been re-elected because she does her homework, engages with residents and is deeply knowledgeable about city operations. She has built good relationships with business and neighborhood groups as well as social service agencies and nonprofits. She's also been a solid leader on economic development and affordable housing issues.
The veteran council member is especially tuned in to the public safety and policing concerns citywide and, more specifically, downtown. Well before the ballot questions were developed, she wisely favored the strong-mayor system offered in City Question 1. And she strongly opposes the direction of Question 2, which would take the Police Department out of the city charter along with minimum requirements for the number of authorized sworn cops.
Instead, Goodman wisely supports making significant changes in the department as well as increasing the number of officers.
Drawing on her housing expertise, she calls the rent control Question 3 a "blunt instrument" and says that the most effective way to stabilize housing costs is to increase incomes, invest in rental assistance and produce more affordable housing.
The other candidates in the race are Teqen Zea-Aida, 45, a former art gallery owner and entrepreneur who ran unsuccessfully in 2017, and Nick Kor, 32, a manager for the Coalition of Asian American Leaders and former civic engagement director at the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Neither made a strong case for replacing Goodman.
Also running is Joanna Diaz, 37, who did not participate in the Editorial Board endorsement process.
Opinion editor's note: The Star Tribune Editorial Board operates separately from the newsroom, and no news editors or reporters were involved in the endorsement process. To read all of our endorsements, go to startribune.com/package-opinion-endorsements/.