What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Johnson says she has votes to retain presidency

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: December 26, 2013 - 8:52 AM

City Council president Barb Johnson appears likely to retain her leadership role after seven new council members are sworn in next month.

Johnson, who has been president since 2006, said Tuesday that she believes she has secured support from a majority of the council.  Several incoming council members, as well as incumbent Cam Gordon, had publicly supported Elizabeth Glidden to be the next president. 

“I have had enough folks … my new colleagues and my old colleagues, tell me they’ll support me that I feel fairly confident that I will be council president,” said Johnson, adding that she will support Glidden as vice president.

Glidden declined to say earlier this month whether she was running, when approached by a Star Tribune reporter.

The council president influences committee chairmanships, presides over council meetings and often acts as the public face of the body. The president is also first in line to be acting mayor if the mayor cannot execute their duties.

The election of the new president will take place at what may be a crowded first meeting on January 6. More than 100 activists have RSVPed to a rally “to demand a change in leadership.”

The event was initially sponsored by supporters of Glidden’s presidency, but the sponsor was later changed to Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.

“It's time for a change in priorities from a city council that has put the needs of billionaires and corporations over the needs of low income communities of color resulting in worst in the country equity gaps across the board,” reads the online invitation.

Johnson said they are still discussing the details of committee structures, which she expects will be altered to shift some of the workload.

She expects council member Kevin Reich will chair the transportation and public works committee, council member John Quincy will chair the budget committee and council member Lisa Goodman will stay at the helm of the community development committee.

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