Ward 6 City Council Special Election Candidate Questionnaire

Our Streets Minneapolis distributed a questionnaire to candidates running to fill the vacant Minneapolis City Council Ward 6 seat in the upcoming special election on August 11th.  The candidate questionnaire contained questions related to our mission and advocacy goals.

We accessed candidate contact information on July 21st from the City of Minneapolis Candidate Filing 2020 website. An Our Streets Minneapolis staff member sent all declared candidates the questionnaire via email. We asked candidates to limit their response to each question to 150 words.

Volunteers from Our Streets Minneapolis followed up with each individual candidate via email and phone. We gave candidates until July 31st at 5:00 PM to respond. We extended that deadline on July 31st to midnight on August 2nd.

Our Streets Minneapolis does not endorse any candidate. This questionnaire is intended for informational purposes only.

We received seven responses from the following candidates:

  1.       Michael P. Dougherty 
  2.       Suud Olat
  3.       Jamal Osman
  4.       Saciido Shaie
  5.       Alex Palacios 
  6.       Abdirizak Bihi
  7.       AK Hassan


Their responses are reproduced below in their entirety in random order that matches the order printed above.

Map of the 6th Minneapolis City Council Ward

Map of Ward 6 accessed via the City of Minneapolis. 

Michael P. Dougherty 


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Dougherty: biking, recreation mostly, some work.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Dougherty: No.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Dougherty: My parents utilized Metro Mobility, and understand how important the service is, how challenging it is for them to manage the operation.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Dougherty: I haven't been involved.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Dougherty: Traffic laws may be managed by an entirely different entity.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Dougherty: Where I am in West Phillips, things are managed fairly well by observation. That said, it would be interesting to know how trouble/repeat failures in prompt response get handled. Make the fines more steep, or attached to the land owners property taxes by assessment.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Dougherty: I don't know of the improvements needed, but driving on Franklin Ave., I could see the importance of making that safe by virtue of it's link to the other side of the river.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Dougherty: Require patrol intervals, and with fair amount of construction on/off Franklin, expediate project dates by easier permitting.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Dougherty: Promote clean and safe pathways/transit ways

Suud Olat


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Olat: I navigate Minneapolis by biking and walking. I have some distant family members who navigate the city with their mobility devices such as scooters and wheelchairs. I know their challenges and what needs to be fixed at this point. It is sad that most drivers do not feel that they need to share the roars with those people with disability. We need to be aware of importance of safety and holding those drivers accountable for their reckless driving practices.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Olat: Yes, I depended on our public transportations for so long. Until today, I take them to get around in town. I enjoy communicating and interacting with our passengers and listen to their ideas and opinions about our transportation system and infrastructure. I am kind of a guy who enjoys chatting with our community and like to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gases and other pollutants. I am keenly aware of the importance of helping our environment clean and pristine by not driving aimlessly around. One of my arguments is that it's way cheaper to use public transportation for some of us to get around the city ……. I also felt that transit ridership has decreased a lot lately due to COVID-19. We need to plan an aggressive plan to revitalize our public transportation now more than ever.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Olat: I will make sure that people with disability to have more disability parking lots and wheelchair ramps. It is our main responsibility to care our young and old population. We need to have reliable transportations for those disabled groups

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Olat: In the past, I walked around a lot in our ward 6 and the city as well. I am familiar with the neighborhoods and the community. I worked with some immigrant and refugee communities who couldn't understand how to get around in the city with their scooters and wheelchairs. Some of them had no or limited english skills, but I encouraged them to carry their home addresses with them in case they get lost. This has worked and my ingenuity paid off eventually.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Olat: I wil do all I can to make sure no one is targeted just because of his or her skin color. We will hold those police officers accountable for their discriminatory actions. We are not going to compromise. I agree that anyone who violates our city or state law to be held accountable where they are police or the public because I believe no one is above the law.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Olat: I am aware that many of our beloved senior citizens and our community with disability may have some difficult in having their cars towed during snow removing times. We need to come up with plans aimed to help our community access to their vehicles closer to their properties. I will plan to use some other mechanism for removing snow from sidewalks. I received so may complaints related to snow shoveling in the past. I know some of those complaints include that the sidewalks are not properly cleared. We will make sure that does not happen at all. I have seen some cases where property owners shoveled snow into streets and alleys.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Olat: Good lighting, bikers friendly and safety of our pedestrians are important not only in Ward 6, but also in our entire city. We will conduct survey for bikers and asking them what changes they need to see , what worked so far and what failed. I think we will need to fix potholes all over our neighborhoods in Ward 6.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Olat: I think one of the best ways to resolve is to have so cameras erected. Also I will conduct research into why Franklin Avenue has become the least safe street where crash rate hovers around 2.5 times. Streets should have great lightning and patrols so that we will have some safer areas. In the past, I heard some complaints related to some crimes. I will do all I can to talk to property owners and business people around that area to see how we can all tackle the persistent issues related to safety.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Olat: In our ward, we will be continuing to make the city better for biking and walking. I am glad we are bike friendly. I will make sure the safety and our bikers and pedestrians by better lighting and cameras. I will personally make sure we are all committed to creating our ward and the city as well a place where we have safe streets. We will erect new posters and billboards that remind drivers of sharing the roads with bikers and those pedestrians. We will make lines very visible to drivers. For bikers, they will be able to have bike friendly roads on Google Maps. The bikers in our ward or the city as well will be able to choose which route is bike friendly or not. I know I can’t do all these by myself, but I will promise to raise its awareness and work with others. So, I won’t forget this issue at all. I will make sure great laws to be passed for the safety of our bikers and pedestrians.

Jamal Osman


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Osman: Infrequently I will use transit or bussing, but with a large family it is difficult to transport everyone around without a vehicle. When I was younger, prior to having my children, I commuted in many different ways.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Osman: Yes

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Osman: Many of the residents in the building I work in require mobility assistance, whether that comes in the form of a walker, wheelchair, or arranged transportation. As the endorsed candidate of the SR DFL Caucus, I listen extensively to our elder population to understand the challenges that they face in navigating our city. Whether that is how to best develop and manage pathways, parkways, bike lanes, or transit suggestions, I gather as much information as I can so that I am best informed about what changes/refinements need to be made to have the most accessible, mobile city possible.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Osman: As a resident services provider in Seward Towers I was able to partner with Cycles for Change for their program "Learn to Ride" to teach our resident the basics of how to ride and pedal a bicycle for adults who have never learned, or for whom it’s been a long time. I have also spent time connecting our residents to resources for free or low cost bikes.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Osman: This is indicative of the larger persecution that BIPOC individuals face at the hands of the police, cyclists or otherwise. The relationship between the police and our citizens is broken, and needs to be repaired. This can only be achieved by reform of the way that we have policing in our communities today. My platform for police reform does have a section that specifically discusses this issue - that "broken windows" style policing is misguided, misinformed, and ineffective. Targeting people for minor crimes and infractions such a loitering or moving violations does not effectively improve our city. Police need to shift their focus away from these issues and focus instead on major crimes and violence, instead allowing community driven policing solutions to plan and develop strategies that will more conclusively deal with individual issues that arise in each neighborhood.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Osman: The snow clearing protocols in the city need to be changed - how people are alerted, where the snow is cleared to and how much is done. A re-examining of our snow clearing policies is in order. I think that we are capable of a more effective solution for how we deal with the snow and ice on our sidewalks to ensure that those who rely on them have safe surfaces for traveling.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Osman: Franklin and 25th along Bethany Lutheran Church needs a crossing pedestrian light controlled walkway where people can cross Franklin to get to the shopping center on Franklin. We have had many issues with cars speeding and people not able to cross safely throughout the Seward neighborhood, but it is especially bad in this area.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Osman: If I am elected I will focus on improving pedestrian and bike safety along Franklin Ave. Franklin is known to be dangerous for bikers and pedestrians. Some of the improvement could include changing parking regulations, including looking at semi tractor trailer parking in the neighborhood, and examining where more/better bike lanes should be built/redesigned throughout the neighborhood. Either through a commission or through the research that currently exists, the relationship between parking, car/vehicle transit, bikers and pedestrians on Franklin avenue needs to be examined. This includes the condition of the road itself, the accessibility in the winter with snow and snow removal, as well as the signage, road markings, and visibility concerns.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Osman: In my term, I will speak to as many community groups throughout Ward six as possible to learn their priorities and challenges, whatever they may be - accessibility, transit/transportation, livability, etc. Through speaking and learning from groups and organizations whose main focus is ensuring Minneapolis' ease of transit, I hope to learn what I can do to improve walkability, bicycling, and general transportation in Ward 6. Through the people I have spoken to in the neighborhood already, I have learned some of the challenges: snow removal, problem areas with speeding cars, dilapidated roadways, parkings challenges. I look forward to continuing to hear what residents find problematic, and dealing with all of these issues in turn.

Saciido Shaie


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Shaie: I walk and rideshare daily.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Shaie: Right now, I share transportation with multiple people. As a result, public transit is often times more convenient for everyone. With more families than ever before resorting to ridesharing and public transportation as primary means of transportation, I will continue to support those that believe our public transportation system should be probono to those most marginalized in our community and be 100% energy efficient within the next decade.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Shaie: Vulnerable populations, including Black men and women needs more resources surrounding being able to travel safely. As a Black mother of three, I worry for mothers of color. Children, seniors, and people with a disability should not have to pay for public transportation and it should always be readily available and accessible to them. All adults should automatically be enrolled for a valid driver’s license and we all should have one.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Shaie: Not directly but I certainly try to stay abreast with grassroot organizations that are out here, on the ground, doing the work like Our Streets Minneapolis, Saint Paul Bike Coalition and Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, to name a few.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Shaie: Addressing this issue at its root cause calls for us to Defund, Dismantle and Rebuild the Minneapolis police department. Let’s work together!

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Shaie: I think we should allocate additional funds to Public Works so that our alleyways get plowed and every carve-out is shoveled at least 5ft in every direction of a carve out. The City should also consider alternatives to using salt to de-ice our roads, considering the adverse effects that it has on our drainage system and quality of life.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Shaie: While I understand that there is a long way to go regarding sharing our roads in Minneapolis, I think we should prioritize increasing the number of carve-outs for those with limited mobility. I want to learn and progress with you.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Shaie: As of now, I will commit to learning more about the issues pertaining to this particular corridor.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Shaie: When elected, I will commit to increasing the number of carve-outs in Minneapolis on behalf of those with limited mobility.

Alex Palacios


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Palacios: I walk or take public transit just about everywhere, unless my roommate gives me a ride.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Palacios: I don't have a car and never learned to drive, a byproduct of growing up working class in New York City. I depend on transit, my legs, or carpooling all the time.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Palacios: I understand what it's like to have to plan out a ride in advance, and the anxiety that can sometimes come with that; I can relate to the laborious task having to walk long distances, or having to walk over obstacles like ice/snow or construction; but there are many other things I can only be sensitive to.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Palacios: I still have my nice ride app, as I really enjoy biking places in the spring and summer. It can sometimes feel unsafe to ride along bike lanes that are not protected. As for walking, a corner on my block, the 2800 block of Portland, is incredibly dangerous due to speeding cars, and sometimes pedestrians are involved in incidents. It is alarming!

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Palacios: I am a proponent of defunding the police, including eliminating the force and establishing a community safety task force, one that is extensively trained in anti-racism, implicit bias and trauma. One that understands the power of their actions and is accountable to the communities they serve.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Palacios: I believe the city places too much ownership on property owners to clear public walkways and other areas. This, coupled with the fact that, often, regulations are not enforced makes for dangerous, impossibly narrow and inefficient infrastructure during the winters.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Palacios: I would work with the county to make Park and Portland Avenues, for example, safer by creating small pedestrian islands intermittently between 15th street and Lake Street, bringing the speed down just a bit and making it safer for pedestrians to cross and walk along streets. I would also add reflective paint and dividing infrastructure to further protect bike lanes.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Palacios: Again, I would restructure Franklin Avenue, implementing green infrastructure and revisiting things like turn lanes, traffic signals and the implementation of bike lanes to both slow down traffic, make it flow better and make it safer for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Palacios: All of the above actions sum up my vision for safer infrastructure across the ward.

Abdirizak Bihi


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Bihi: Yes I do. I bike and walk on a daily basis for work, errands and recreation purposes.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Bihi: Yes.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Bihi: I live in highly dense neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside with a lot of elders and families who use Light Rail Trains and MetroTransit buses. Since I am a community advocate, they bring their concerns of safety of public transportation to me. Several times I have facilitated community conversation with MetroTransit and Metro Police to address issue such as safety and cultural and language barrier. I ended up helping MetroTransit recruit Somali and Oromo speaking operators as well as Metro Police to eliminate cultural and language barriers.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Bihi: In 2017, I have notice so many kids asking me to borrow my bike, then I noticed lack of bikes among the kids of Cedar Riverside Neighborhood where I live thenI started I started asking for donations of bikes on social media. After several donations of kid bikes, My good partner, Alison Pence, Community Engagement Director of Alina Health, offered me 100 bikes and over 150 helmets with staff and volunteers to distribute for the the 2017 summer. 2018 summer we distributed 260 bikes and over 300 bikes. My other partner, Claudia Kittock of Friends of Mill District donated locks also. 2019 summer, we distributed over 300 bikes, helmets and 150 locks. Unfortunately, i and my partners couldn’t distribute bikes this summer because of the contagious Covid19 Startribune https://m.startribune.com/minneapolis-somali-american-kids-get-wheels-thanks-to-bike-giveaway/434696673/ I also was an outreach partner with City of Minneapolis project teach East African women biking. It was very successful.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Bihi: Police reforms have constantly failed. I have been part of those advocating for reforms since September 11 2001. That is why I support defunding the MPD to strategically transform our City’s safety apparatus and it has to be transparent and decided by the residents in order to stop Police brutality and discrimination.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Bihi: Many seniors and folks in my neighborhood break limbs in the winter because of delayed snow removal. I would put in amendments to enforce timely snow removal by our City.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Bihi: Franklin St, Cedar Ave, lot A corridor, Chicago and Franklin. I would hold town hall meetings to hear from the residents and neighborhood organizations before I impose my idea.

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Bihi: Consultations with residents, pedestrian and biking along with neighborhood organizations would be an ideal start.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Bihi: Carry the collective voice of these communities, that I am part of, to the City Hall and and take the appropriate actions that address their concerns.

AK Hassan


1. Do you navigate Minneapolis by biking, walking, or with a mobility device like a wheelchair or electric scooter? If so, for what purposes (commuting, recreation, errands) and how often?

Hassan: While I have a car and use this as my primary mode of transportation, I am a lover of bicycles and use them often. On of my favorite times of the year is to get on my bike and attend various Open Streets events in the summer, and to meet neighbors on National Night Out. Biking brings us together and connects us with our neighbors and urban landscape in ways that cannot be achieved in a car.

2. Have you ever depended on transit to get around, or not had a car?

Hassan: I have relied heavily on the bus system here in Minneapolis before owning a car, and it is crucial for so many people for their families and livelihoods. This is a valuable experience to have, as we must recognize that not everyone has the financial cushion to have and upkeep a car. This requires strong and intentional investments and treatments to our public transit infrastructure and bikeway systems.

3. How do you understand the experiences of residents who don't have the option to drive - particularly children, seniors, and people with a disability?

Hassan: As I said, I know this experience firsthand. My parents who live in the Sixth Ward often use public transit. My father has had health issues recently, and making sure his ability to travel freely and safely is very important to me. The elderly and people with disabilities need strong ADA access, not only on public transit but on our roadways and sidewalks as well.

4. Have you been involved with biking, walking or rolling issues in your community before? Please describe any work or accomplishments you’ve had in this regard.

Hassan: I have been a strong advocate for bike access as the current Park Board Commissioner in the Third District. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we made sure to expand access to our green spaces in the city by extending the closure of portions of West River Pkwy all the way to Minnehaha Falls. This ensured that sure residents who are outside to enjoy the parkway and trails will be able to maintain safe social distancing guidelines in the wake of this pandemic. I am proud to have worked on this as the Commissioner for the Third District on the Minneapolis Park Board.

5. In 2016, we published a report that suggests black bicyclists face greater threats of police violence than white bicyclists, especially for small infractions like failure to use a light or riding on the sidewalk. We also found that between January and June of 2019, 45% of people stopped for moving violations in our city were Black or East African. 70% of those whose bodies were searched during these traffic stops were Black or East African. With these factors in mind, how would you, or would you not, change how police enforce traffic laws in Minneapolis?

Hassan: Inequity in police stops are one of the many reasons why there are calls to defund MPD. Minor traffic infractions, whether in a car or bike, lead to inequitable outcomes for communities of color. Period. I fully support the charter amendment process to remove MPD as a charter department, to be replaced with a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, the first step to defunding MPD. Should this pass the ballot in November, this will allow the City Council to have greater oversight to examine and create meaningful change on this important topic.

6. What changes, if any, would you advocate for in how our city addresses snow and ice removal from sidewalks during winter?

Hassan: While I do not know if the City has the budget to create a fleet of snow removal vehicles city-wide to handle this important mobility issue for our elders and those with disabilities (I need to learn more about this issue), I do think we should continue to examine how to keep major transit hubs and bus stops clear through city contracting. This is clear to me. One issue I do want to examine is how we can better incentivize everyone to keep our streets clear without impacting lower income residents with fines for not shoveling their walkways. While these fines may create some incentive, they are regressive in nature and not the kind of measures we should be passing on to our lower income neighbors.

7. Is there a specific corridor and/or street in Ward 6 do you feel is most in need of improved pedestrian and/or bicycle infrastructure? What kinds of improvements would you envision, and why is this particular connection important?

Hassan: I believe 24th avenue in Phillips is in need of safety treatments and bike infrastructure. We need to make sure there are changes to the built environment that limit idling cars near businesses along 24th, and protect bikers with their owns lanes. This is important for our bikers and patrons of businesses, as this is a highly residential area, very low income, with also a large and growing population of diverse and Somali owned businesses along this corridor near the Somali Mall. Cedar Avenue (while this extends into the Ninth Ward as well) is in need of great improvements. It is not equitable to see these streets remain in such poor condition. I am open to more ideas!

8. Franklin Avenue is among the least safe streets in Minneapolis for people, no matter how they get around (its crash rate is 2.5 times what engineers consider “critical”). How would you approach addressing safety and access concerns along Franklin Avenue?

Hassan: I would work directly with Public Works and Traffic to see what there immediate plans are to help improve this corridor, and see how we can more quickly bring to life the recommendations from the City's Vision Zero plan. While this has become an all two present reality in our ward, I do not think we should resign ourselves to thinking it cannot be improved upon in the near term.

9. What actions, if any, will you take to make Minneapolis, and Ward 6, better for biking, walking and rolling by the end of your term, if you are elected?

Hassan: I will work to make sure we are holding ourselves to the recommendations of the Vision Zero plan. Further electrifying city vehicles, and expanding public transit and bike infrastructure are goals that our next council member should have. I want to see this work expanded so we can have beneficial impacts on residents in the near-term. In addition, we need to make sure our long-range capital improvement projects are happening equitably across the city. Sidewalks that are sometimes 40 years old need to be updated, as ADA guidelines have changed. I will be a strong partner in this work, and will communicate with residents closely on the specific issues they are experiencing to help inform this work.

 

 

 


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