Seldom does a first-time candidate for Minneapolis City Council offer the possibility of a transition as seamless as does Andrea Jenkins in the Eighth Ward. She’s well-equipped to succeed council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, who is stepping down after a dozen years of strong representation of her south-central ward’s neighborhoods.
Jenkins, 56, served as a senior policy aide to Glidden for 10 years and to former Council Member Robert Lilligren for three years. She was often at Glidden’s side at meetings in the ward, gaining familiarity, trust and a reputation for service to people seeking help from city government.
“I learned that constituent service isn’t a big part of the job — it is the job,” Jenkins told the Star Tribune Editorial Board.
True enough — but Jenkins offers more. She has a passion for social justice, born of her experience as a transgender African-American woman and deepened through her work as head of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota. She possesses a vision for neighborhood improvement that she helped bring to life at the transformed intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue S., where she worked with small-business investors, arts initiatives and neighbors to turn around decades of blight. She’s an empathetic and gifted communicator, capable of giving voice to the concerns of her ward’s diverse residents.
In a year when the DFL Party was sorely divided in many parts of the city, Jenkins ran unopposed for DFL endorsement, and she has scored the endorsement of a broad coalition of DFL-allied organizations.
Jenkins would get our first-choice vote on the Nov. 7 ranked-choice ballot. Among the other three candidates on the ballot, we’d make the Green Party’s Terry White our second choice. A marketing manager at Prime Therapeutics, White, 46, has made advocacy for environmental and social justice an avocation for more than two decades. He’s better versed in the key issues confronting the City Council and a more active candidate than the Libertarian Party’s David Holsinger, 45, a software developer. A fourth candidate, April Kane, declined our screening invitation and does not appear to be actively seeking the office.
For additional information about the candidates, including links to their websites, news stories and an explanation of ranked-choice voting, go to the Star Tribune’s 2017 Minneapolis and St. Paul voters guide at http://strib.mn/2yJxgmk. To read all of our endorsements, go to http://startribune.com/2017endorsements.