Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has hired a new chief of staff after losing his first one to a run for Congress.
Gia Vitali, a deputy assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, will help Frey run his mayor's office, Frey said Tuesday. Joe Radinovich, Frey's campaign manager and chief of staff, is stepping down to run to replace retiring DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in northeastern Minnesota. Radinovich is a former Iron Range state legislator.
Vitali, who has worked as a staffer for DFLers U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, will start in the job March 5.
"Local government impacts people's lives directly — and I know that the City of Minneapolis is positioned to be a vehicle for positive change," Vitali said in a statement. "Mayor Frey and I share that vision and we are both committed to making sure that every bit of potential in our city is realized. I am proud to call Minneapolis my home, and I can't wait to get to work with this excellent team to advance Mayor Frey's agenda for the city."
Vitali and Frey have worked together before, in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage. She helped lead Minnesotans United For All Families, the campaign that successfully defeated the state constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage in Minnesota, while Frey founded the Big Gay Race to support the campaign.
After the marriage equality campaign, Vitali worked for two years as communications manager for Medica, then took the job with DHS.
"I am thrilled that Gia Vitali and I will once again be working together to help improve people's lives," Frey said. "Her experience, her talent for coalition-building, and her fierce commitment to justice and equality make her the right choice to lead our office's push for expanding affordable housing, improving police-community relations, and growing Minneapolis's economy through inclusion."