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Minneapolis Mayoral Hopefuls: Gary Schiff

  • Article by: Eric Roper
  • October 8, 2013 - 1:36 PM

June 19: Schiff drops out of mayoral race

Big ideas: Wants the city to work with contractors that employ Minneapolis residents. Calls for a “complete rewrite” of city regulatory code, examining mandates and duplicative services. Will set aside federal funds to reduce poverty through prenatal home care visits and early access to Head Start, among others.

Big accomplishment: Spearheaded many regulatory changes, including the 2004 smoking ban and a mandate for taxicabs to accept credit cards.

Weakness/baggage: Has icy relationships with some colleagues on the council, who accuse him of grabbing the spotlight for other people’s work.

Personal: Lives in Corcoran neighborhood. Would be the first openly gay mayor in Minneapolis history.

Supporters that matter: Firefighters Union Local 82, Somali activist Mohamud Noor, and Yemane Mebrahtu, president of the Minneapolis Taxicab Drivers and Owners Association.

Stadium position: Was the most vocal council opponent and critical of bypassing a charter amendment requiring a referendum on city spending for major sports arenas.

Quotable moment: In February 2012, regarding his co-authorship of the 1997 charter amendment, “This was where I cut my teeth, opposing taxpayer waste through these mega-giveaways in professional sports facilities.”

Ideas for growing jobs/population: Says transit like streetcars will attract residents and development. Believes police and fire departments need to be constantly hiring instead of managing “through attrition.” Wants to collaborate to help schools.

Suggested cuts/efficiencies: Says he will “hold the line” on spending, but thinks the city needs to reduce payouts for police brutality and other lawsuits. Says building a more diverse police force that “has trust” will help accomplish that.

 Written by Eric Roper, photography by Jeff Wheeler

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