The next EDC Business Forum is scheduled for Thursday, September 17, from 11:30 a.m., to 1:00 p.m., at the Hyatt Place Hotel – 425 7th St. South.
The title of this month’s event is, “East Downtown through the eyes of the Minneapolis City Council: A conversation with the three Council Members representing the East Downtown regarding development, district identity, and economic aspirations.”
The cost to attend the forum is just $20. Attendees can pay by cash or check at the door.
Please RSVP for the event by sending an email to [email protected] by no later than noon on Monday, September 14.
- What is front of mind in your leadership priorities?
- Our members have expressed passion to become a full and sustaining neighborhood: local schools so families move in, places to dine and shop, parks, places to work, public realm improvements. Besides all the development that is already underway or in planning stages, what do you see as the next opportunities that we (the EDC) should be advocating for the city to push for within this district?
- Many areas of the city have very specific identities. What do you see as a cohesive narrative for this district that includes Downtown East and Elliot Park?
- Our district spans a wide spectrum of living standards and business types: it is vastly diverse. How do you see the EDC, neighborhood groups and city staff and leaders working together to continue planning for the district to reach its full potential by keeping what and who live here now and making opportunities for new people and businesses to move in?
- 11:30-Noon Networking and Lunch
- Noon-12:10 pm Introductions and EDC Update by Paul Mellblom and Christie Rock Hantge
- 12:10-12:20 pm District Development Spotlight (TBD)
- 12:20-12:55 pm Panel Discussion with Three Council Members Facilitated by Dan Collison
- 12:55-1:00 pm Closing Announcements
7th Ward Council Member Lisa Goodman
Ward 6 Council Member Abdi Warsame
Abdi Warsame was born in Somalia and grew up in the United Kingdom of Great Britain where he studied and attained a BSc in Business and a Masters Degree in International Business. He moved to Minneapolis in 2006, shortly landing a job in the financial sector.
Mr. Warsame was the founder and spokesperson for the Citizen’s Committee for Fair Redistricting, which took part in the redistricting process that aimed to create a more equitable and representative political map of Minneapolis, with the intent to create better opportunities for all residents of the City. The Citizen’s Committee lobbying was a historic success and today’s current map of the City including Wards 6 and 9 are a testament to their hard work.
After emerging as a strong voice in the community, Warsame was urged by friends and neighbors to run for public office. With their support, Warsame was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in November 2013. In winning the seat, Warsame became the first Somali-American elected to the council and the first in the nation to win a municipal election.
Mr. Warsame was the former Board Chair of the Cedar Riverside-Neighborhood Revitalization Program (CR-NRP) as well as the Executive Director of the Riverside Plaza Tenants Association (RPTA). As a public servant, Warsame will focus on the city’s most pressing issues: Jobs, Housing, Safety and Community Development.
Abdi Warsame, is a Somali-American and a practicing Muslim. He lives in the Seward neighborhood of South Minneapolis.
Third Ward Council Member Jacob Frey
In 2013, Jacob Frey was elected to represent the new and incredibly dynamic Third Ward. As the first annual recipient of the City of Minneapolis Martin Luther King Jr. award, Jacob has repeatedly shown the ability to work in collaboration with a team to positively impact our diverse community.
Jacob grew up in Northern Virginia, and received a track scholarship to attend the College of William and Mary. After graduating with a degree in Government, Jacob received a contract from a shoe company to run professionally, and successfully competed for Team USA. He simultaneously attended law school at Villanova University from which he graduated cum laude. One of the races Jacob ran was the Twin Cities Marathon, and Jacob immediately fell in love with Minneapolis. The day after graduation he moved to Minneapolis to begin his legal career and the rest of his life.
While practicing law at Faegre & Benson (now Faegre Baker Daniels) and then Halunen & Associates, Jacob established a strong commitment for community organization, and helping those who are less fortunate. Since moving to Minneapolis, and before taking elected office Jacob championed a wide range of causes from founding The Big Gay Race to representing employees experiencing discrimination in the workplace.
His commitment to our community continued with his 2013 campaign for city council, which broke records from caucus attendees to fundraising. As a candidate, Jacob promised to trigger growth, reduce the achievement gap, improve environmental sustainability, and help those in need. As a council member, Jacob’s leadership has resulted in a thriving Third Ward that accounts for more that 65 percent of the growth in the entire city. In addition, the affordable housing trust fund has been brought to record levels, pushed for additional methods to improve downtown safety, and we have a new school to serve Third Ward families. Jacob championed new transportation options like Uber and Lyft, lead on public realm improvement projects like the Nicollet Mall redesign, the Commons, the dramatic reduction of surface parking lots, and a fully connected Mississippi trail in Northeast. Additionally, as Chair of the City Council’s Elections and Rules Committee, Jacob has pushed for programs to increase voter registration and engagement, and has increased the number of voting precincts to improve access to the ballot box.