- Blog Post by: Maya Rao
- October 23, 2013 - 5:17 PM
Occupation: Owner of GreenMark, an environmental marketing firm. Former Hennepin County Commissioner (1983-1999).
Andrew would expand the scope of the Youth Coordinating Board to provide more opportunities for children outside of the classroom. He would leverage private dollars to make that happen.
Andrew has recruited attorney and education advocate Mike Ciresi as well as Louise Sundin, an executive vice president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, to head his Mayor’s Council on Education. Ciresi has supported some of the initiatives that Andrew once raised doubts about, such as seeking legislative changes to “last in, first out” for teachers. And while Andrew once questioned Teach for America, Ciresi helped fund the campaign by Josh Reimnitz, a Teach for America advocate who set a spending record in his successful defeat last year of a union-backed candidate.
He has expressed skepticism of charter schools, but has also offered support for school choice in other venues. Somali Public Radio recently endorsed him, noting that East African parents consider charter schools “viable alternatives” to public schools for their children, and that Andrew understands that choice. He clarified that the city should learn from the good charter schools and shut down those that don’t work.
Additionally, Andrew wants to put more money in the city’s affordable housing trust fund to target homeless and highly mobile children.
Andrew believes that greening the city is key to boosting economic growth and population in Minneapolis. He also has proposed offering incentives for companies to locate in north Minneapolis and employ workers from that area.
Andrew frequently highlights his small business experience, as owner of French fry and s’mores stands at the state fair as well as a green marketing firm, and says he’ll expand assistance to aid entrepreneurs in writing business plans, navigating regulations, and securing financing. He wants to create a green business incubator. Like many of his opponents, he wants to streamline business regulations.
Andrew wants to invest more in bike infrastructure, particularly in North and Northeast. He also supports the Central-Nicollet street car line and a proposed second line for West Broadway-Washington Avenue.
Andrew advocates for expanded light rail transit. He has written that he would like to see the Southwest light rail project follow an agreement drafted during his time on the county board in the 1990s to move freight-rail traffic through St. Louis Park in exchange for the county cleaning up a Superfund site there.
Andrew has said that the city must address racism in the Minneapolis Police Department, and wants tougher consequences for police misconduct.
He also has said he would work with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to train 311 operators to help seniors who are the victims of scams.
Andrew supported several double-digit tax hikes during his time as Hennepin County commissioner in the 1980s and ‘90s, but has said that government money is much harder to come by now and that property taxes must be the funding of last resort. He wants to bring in more private dollars to support government programs.
Andrew also says he wants to look at consolidating city libraries into the Hennepin County system and address “where the city and county are running parallel programs.”
Key Endorsements: Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, the firefighters union, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan, Tina Flint Smith, former Vice President Walter Mondale
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