Economic Development and Building Community Wealth

Our city’s prosperity is not only possible, but dependent upon building the wealth of all residents, no matter their starting point. In addition to passing policies that put more money in people’s pockets, we need to proactively support equitable community-informed development on a wide range of projects to make sure our community benefits from projects that developers pursue here. Our neighborhood businesses are also at the heart of our local economy, and we should do everything we can to help them succeed and make our city the unique and thriving place it is.


  • Voted to raise the city minimum wage to $15 an hour, giving a significant increase to over one-third of workers in our city or nearly 56,000 people

  • Leading efforts to support minimum wage phase-in beginning in 2020 and structuring a sound enforcement process, including engagement with local businesses, the city department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity, workers, labor and other community partners

  • Voted for the creation of an Office of Financial Empowerment, which helps provide financial services for the nearly 11% of Saint Paul residents who are unbanked and connects residents to fair housing resources

  • Voted to fund Cultural Corridors in the 2019 budget to support a year of community events throughout the city showcasing the uniqueness and vitality of Saint Paul’s ethnic/cultural corridors and businesses of color

  • Continuing to support and invest in city-level workforce training programs that help address the skills gap that employers face such as Right Track

  • Advocating for continued strong funding of the Cultural STAR Program, resources for local art institutions like Mu Performing Arts and the Creative Enterprise Zone, and other efforts that nurture our local creative economy

  • Continue expanding successful small business initiatives like the Neighborhood STAR program to help new family-owned businesses grow

  • Continue engaging with businesses on University, Selby, Como, Marshall, Snelling and other business corridors throughout Ward 4 to highlight the many great business stories that make Saint Paul unique

  • Working to leverage city resources through designations like the Commercial Vitality Zones districts to bring much-needed public investment to targeted areas throughout Ward 4 such as North Snelling

  • Convening a regular workgroup of neighborhood businesses to engage with DSI on how we can streamline permitting, mitigate fees and other processes so that doing business in Saint Paul is easy and effective

  • Working closely with community partners, Hamline Midway Coalition, Union Park District Council, MN United FC, RK Midway and other key stakeholders to develop a community benefits fund to support equitable development and stadium-related transition throughout Midway for years to come

  • Leveraging leadership roles like board membership of the Port Authority to shape community vision for industrial and other zones of opportunity around Ward 4 that build for the housing, commercial and new industrial needs of tomorrow