Minneapolis mayoral candidates R.T. Rybak and Sharon Sayles Belton join host Gary Eichten in the studio on this Midday program. The candidates discuss various subjects, including community development, city budget, affordable housing, terrorism, and policing. They also answer listener questions.
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(00:00:00) With news from Minnesota Public Radio, I'm Greta Cunningham Wisconsin. Governor Scott McCollum is in Siren Wisconsin today with a relief package to help the city recover from a tornado Minnesota public radio's Bob Kelleher reports Governor McCallum is delivering a promise and checks for almost five million (00:00:16) dollars to help Wisconsin's Burnett and Washburn counties to (00:00:19) recover from the storms that struck the area June 18th. McCallum says, the money is from the state of Wisconsin and FEMA the Federal Emergency Management agency (00:00:27) FEMA money goes to local government cover the cost of cleanup. We also have Community Development block grants in the state of Wisconsin that money goes to individuals who don't have the insurance or aren't able to qualify for federal aid three people died in the town of siren was severely damaged in the storms in Duluth. I'm Bob kelliher Minnesota Public Radio (00:00:48) charges of anti-Semitism on campus have prompted three professors and a student to file a lawsuit in federal court this morning against st. Cloud State University the lawsuit also names Minsk you system as a whole Cool and for Saint Cloud State faculty and administrators the school has begun several studies on campus the campus climate since the allegations surfaced last year. St. Cloud State says it may comment on the allegations. Once it has reviewed. The lawsuit gas prices continue to drop in Minnesota despite world events. AAA. Minneapolis says gas prices have dropped nearly 50 cents a gallon in the Twin Cities in the last month the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded in the Twin Cities is a dollar twenty four cents the forecast for Minnesota today calls for partly to mostly sunny skies Statewide. It will be Breezy and a bit warmer today with highs from 48 in the north to 68 in the South right now in Park Rapids. It's fair and 37 Duluth reports Fair skies and 40 degrees in the Twin Cities scattered clouds with a temperature of 41. That's a news update. I'm Greta Cunningham programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by Skyway News the community newspaper for Downtown Minneapolis has residential and business communities now published by the Southwest journal online at Way news dotnet (00:02:01) it is 6 minutes now past 11. Good morning, and welcome to midday and Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten glad you could join us. Well, as we mentioned yesterday on this program most voters in Minneapolis. And st. Paul have some catching up to do while City residents. Like everybody else have been focusing on the September 11th attack and all that's followed. They'll also have to decide just three weeks from now who they want to be their mayor for the next four years. It's an important decision in this week on. Midday. We're focusing on the races for mayor yesterday. We heard from the candidates for mayor and st. Paul and today the two candidates for mayor Minneapolis of joined us to talk about the issues and to take your questions incumbent dfl. Mayor Sharon Sales Belton is running for her third term as mayor the city. She was first elected back in 1993 prior to that. She served 10 years on the Minneapolis city council her Challenger is also a dfl RT Rybak. Mr. Ryebeck and internet consultant has never held elective office, but he has been active in neighborhood Affairs for years. He's also artwork for the downtown Council. The Star Tribune and the Twin Cities reader Our Guest this hour are the candidates for mayor in Minneapolis. And if you have a question for the candidates, give us a call here. Our Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free. That number is 1-800-218-4243 or you might try our toll-free line 1-800-288-1560 of Lee working for one of the candidates or already you've already decided who you're going to vote for. We ask that you not call with your question. We would like to give folks who haven't made up their minds a chance to get their questions answered. I know I know it's tempting. But but if you can hold back it would be appreciated because there are a lot of folks who don't know they're going to vote for they only have three weeks to decide in this is a chance for them to get their get their questions answered Sharon cells Belton RT Rybak. Thanks for (00:04:08) Again today nice to Mark our pleasure. Absolutely. Alright 30-second sound (00:04:12) bite to get started here. Mayor Sharon cells belt and why would you make a better mayor? Then mr. (00:04:20) Ryback well because I have more skills more experience and a work record of having accomplished significant things over a long period of time not just in City Hall, but in the community as the mayor of the City of Minneapolis, I was instrumental in bringing the crime rate down getting our property values up and growing the investments in our community as the mayor of City of Minneapolis moving forward. I have the skills the expertise to manage a city of changing diversity a city that needs to focus his attention on affordable housing commercial Corridor development. I have the experience nationally as well as locally to bring the resources to the table to find meaningful solutions to those challenges and the crisis we face in our community and lastly one of the things that we have to do in order to ensure the prosperity of the City of Minneapolis is to ensure that our children are getting a good education and as the mayor of the City of Minneapolis, I'm not only been a local leader, but National leader and facilitating significant educational reform in our community. And so I think going forward we need skills. We need expertise and we need experience and my experience has far outweigh. Our that of my Challenger RT Rybak. Why would you (00:05:36) make a better mayor for the next four years and Sharon Sales Belton? Well, thanks Gary. I think we both bring skills to the table their different skills. And what's important about that is that we're entering some very different times. We can't do things the old way the next mayor is going to have to do much more with much less. And so that's going to mean we need a mayor who can unify City Hall which is divided now, I believe I can unify City Hall but more important can put together the much broader coalition's with the business Community is the neighborhoods and others that can really get things done. We need a layer a meet a leader right now is much more in touch with the neighborhood's much more in touch with the business community and I think has the sort of skills that it takes to put those together I come from the private sector where I've had to meet a payroll without raising taxes. I come from the communities where I've had to Mobilize hundreds of folks. I'm a kid who grew up in the city lived here all my life. And what I believe we need right now is somebody who can say in this new period of time where the city's financial situation is much riskier. We need to get more prudent management at a time when we're tearing down more housing than we're building in the middle of an affordable housing crisis. We need a leader who can attack that at a time where crime rate has gone down all over the country. We need to recognize that Now's the Time Minneapolis should be moving more aggressively to heal the divisions between the police and the communities. None of those issues have been attacked as they should and I've come on the scene as a person who ran this a very different way. I took no money from special interest no money from people doing business with the city. I was outspent 421 and yet we were able to mobilize hundreds of people around this town and I am really proud to say that we won the Primary I think because we painted a picture of a broad new exciting vision for Minneapolis. Both of you are Democrats as I noted at the beginning of the program. Is it fair? For folks who don't follow politics closely. I know I know politicians in general despise labels, but is it fair to describe both of you as liberal Democrats? Yes. No, I would say it's this is Artie talking. I think it's very hard to put a label on on me. I think Democrats in Minneapolis are a little bit like snowflakes to Eskimos, you know, like we come in a lot of different flavors and I'm a person who believes deeply in the issue of attacking affordable housing in the environment. I guess that makes me a progressive. I'm a person who brings management experience to the table at a time when we are losing our Triple-A Bond rating. So I guess that makes me a fiscal moderate. So wherever that puts me on a speck from ideology leaves stays at the border of the city within a city you need a tough decisive strong manager and that's what I believe. (00:08:07) I am, you know, the thing that's really interesting about that is that I watch them, you know from a distance a few of the things that my Challenger is done and let's just think about Democratic politics started out being a Bradley supporter then, you know, Nate or supporters, they widen later coordinator and then two days before the election then decides to be for Gore. I don't make you know, maybe I really don't know where RT stands on a lot of issues and we I don't know where he stands on issues that are important to the Democratic party. What I'll tell you about myself is that I identify as a liberal identify as a progressive and I am Progressive very Progressive on social issues and have been for the last 30 years of my professional life. I think that if you look at the way that I operate the cities of Financial Resources, I probably have been more of a fiscal of moderate wanted to make sure that we try to keep our taxes low grow the tax base capture like that growth and use that the growth to cover the cost of our city services and and I and I think I've done that that well over the last eight years City of Minneapolis has AAA credit ratings by three a different bonding agencies. Even Moody's that the downgraded its Bond said that many apples as economic region for the city and it is a sound fine and as Sound financial position what I wanted people to understand is that I run a billion dollar Corporation RT Rybak. My Challenger has never run an organization that comes anywhere near managing that kind of complexity (00:09:46) sure. And I think it's extremely important for us to recognize especially in these times that we should Elevate this discussion and knock off the personal attacks first off that's inaccurate on the political discussion. I help coordinate Bill Bradley's campaign in Minnesota and not the other way around. Let's address the fiscal issues in the city which need to be addressed for 39 years. Minneapolis has had a AAA Bond rating. Every mayor for four decades has been able to say that they had a AAA Bond rating until this year when Moody's said that Minneapolis was building up too much internal debt. Now I had breakfast this morning with Tommy Thompson the legendary City coordinator who got that AAA Bond rating 39 years ago, it took tough work and it took tough work over those years to keep Minneapolis on solid Financial ground. Moody's warned you that we were building up too much internal debt, you're highly respected Finance director quit warning of the increasingly shaky financial situation. And now we need someone to come in with some management experience. I have run a business that has had to meet the bottom line and you have not what is important is we need someone who can come together and say stop all of the fighting that is divided City Hall bring people back together tough management Innovation new coalition's that's what I'm about. Let me ask you. Let me ask another question here Homeland defense Lord knows a lot of people are worried about another terrorist attack of some sort and the experts say that the real emphasis needs to be on a local response. If in fact there is some kind of a follow-up attack that that's where the where the rubber is going to meet the road here. What if anything does the City of Minneapolis? Need to do in addition to what it's done to prepare. If if there were an attack that would have somehow directly affect the city's there anything more that needs to be done to get the city (00:11:42) ready? Oh, absolutely this just this morning. I we had our weekly meeting with our local law enforcement Public Safety team and at that meeting we were preparing a for a list of our recommendations of for the office of Homeland Security meeting that's going to be taking place in Washington on the 23rd of October and we want to make sure that the City of Minneapolis is contributing to the list of things that we need at the local level all across this nation. So I'm an active member of the US Conference of Mayors task force that's dealing with the issues of Homeland Security. I'm on that task force because President Clinton put me on the first national commission where we're looking at concerns for the critical infrastructure of the nation. What I want you to know is that in our own plan here in the City of Minneapolis. We know that we need additional equipment. Meant to protect our Public Safety officials who will be the First Responders. We also need know that we need to have some medicine so that will help us in the event of a biological attack. We have some resources that we but we believe that there are insufficient to meet our local needs and the well as well the needs of the second responders that might come into the City of Minneapolis to assist us or again vice versa if the attack were to be elsewhere, so we've been assessing our needs and a regional basis and on a local basis and again are prepared to ask the state of Minnesota and the upcoming legislative session for additional resources and also the federal government (00:13:15) RT Rybak Minneapolis has a preparedness plan and I think it's it's appropriate for me to support that and is not appropriate for me to poke holes in that. I'm supportive of the mayor's work in that and the work of all of the other folks involved in that I continue to stay briefed on that and will continue to be supportive on To make sure the transition is smooth on that. I think what we need to do is to look out to the Future to recognize what kind of skills will be needed. As we enter this new era that will require very different issues for the city and certainly Financial issues. Number one is we do need to make sure that the city's fiscal house is in order as we enter uncertain times that will require new tough choices in the city tough decisive leadership is what we'll need. The next thing we need to do is to make sure that we have strong coalition's between a mayor and a city council that can move quickly. I've already built some of those coalition's before I've even gotten to office and deep relationships with the state legislature. I'm proud to say that many of the legislators from Minneapolis are already supporting me because they recognize that at the state capitol Minneapolis has not had a good reputation. I believe I can help build some of those bridges. So what we need is strong decisive leadership new (00:14:23) coalition's one of the things I just say when we're talking about issues of Public Safety or and issues of of civil defense and preparedness. Well, you don't see politicians are engaging in partisan a debate. We didn't see it on the national level. You won't see it on the state level and you certainly don't see it inside City Hall. If you really look at City Hall very closely. You'll find that most of the debates are riffs. If you will have been about development, you know projects like Target or projects like Blackie, but other than that there really aren't any big Rifts in the city hall. So I don't know what the the cure-all is. And what I said would suggest is that there are a number of elected officials from the national level down to the local level that are supporting me and Artie has his list. The bottom line is that it takes experience and skill to get this job done and I present my experience and skills over Artis any day. (00:15:19) Well, I think I'm going to get some listeners involved here because there are a lot of folks here with questions for you, too. We're talking this hour with the candidates for mayor of the City of Minneapolis RT Rybak and Sharon Sales Belton. If you have a question for the candidates, I suggest you try our toll-free line. You'll be able to get through at one eight hundred two, four two 2828 just a reminder a couple of reminders one election day is less than three weeks away. So it is time to Bone up here and figure out who you might want to vote for. If you live in Minneapolis and number two, if you're already supporting one of the candidates, if you'd made up your mind who you're going to vote for we ask that you not call this our simply because we'd like to give everybody else who hasn't made up their mind a chance to get their question answered Darren here first. Go ahead, please. Hello Gary. Oh just like say I love your show you the best my question for the candidates is I live in Minneapolis and I've delivered are frayed locally. Minneapolis forever. I was just wondering how do you stand on fixing the roads around Minneapolis like Washington Broadway and have been Lyndale. They're all getting really bad and that's basically my question. So if you could answer that out appreciate it, I'll take my answer out there today. Thanks Erin. Yep Road repair (00:16:30) greater think of the infrastructure is absolutely one of the critical issues that is facing the City of Minneapolis and what I want citizens to know out there is that the city and the county are working together on road repair and I don't think people know that Lake Street is a county road. I don't think that they know that Lowry is a County Road and the City of Minneapolis through the county as had a project called Hennepin works. And again, we plan and coordinate not just roadway Improvement, but also the revitalization of of those commercial corridors Along on that roadway, the City of Minneapolis about three years ago did an assessment of all of the Deferred maintenance of our roads and our Look works and came back with a report that said there's about 78 million dollars of deferred maintenance that really had been accumulated over the years and one of the things that we've done in the city is to say we're going to move forward and keeping our roadways current following our own 30-year Improvement plan. And then we're also going to reach back and we're going to pull some deferred projects forward so that we can get those maintenance sub-projects improved. We made the commitment each year to examine in critical investments in deferred infrastructure. And for the most part, we've been consistent with the plan. We try to balance that of course against our goal and objective to keep our property taxes in the City of Minneapolis low, but at the same time make critical (00:18:00) Investments RT Rybak if you're elected, what about Road repair? Well the city did do a study several years ago about not only Road repair but basic infrastructure investment, and we are 78 million. Is behind on that a debt were passing on to our children? And in the last couple of budgets the mayor has not advocated the proper amount of money to begin to get that done so caller if you're concerned about the roads out there. I'd like you to encourage the next mayor in the next Council to deliver on fixing the infrastructure. I'm there with you and I want to do that but we need to also recognize. It's a number one putting the money into these basic core services that a city does that we're not doing. I will change that number two. Let's also be a little more customer friendly to the people who drive around this city. I mean try driving around downtown Minneapolis someday and in in the past few years you drive around and one road construction project leads to another to another it seems as if there's no one coordinating these and I really think that we need a mayor who gets out on the street and recognizes that we have to coordinate these things and simply make it easier for people to drive through but then there's also the larger Vision with this as we begin to repair the roads, let's look to larger Visions. How do we integrate a much more Innovative plan for Lowry Avenue? That's not Not the road but tied in with affordable places to live and Shop. We certainly have that opportunity on Lake Street a much more coordinated much more Visionary plan where we don't just have a traffic department isolated in one area but integrated into the large Visionary planning that we can do we can be more efficient with our roads. We can be more efficient with their infrastructure. But also more (00:19:31) Visionary Artie, we've already been doing that with Hennepin County for the last four years. You need to get with it (00:19:37) sure enough. You'll go down Lowry Avenue. I don't people think people will say I (00:19:40) need to master the master plan. The master plan for Lowry Avenue is being developed by the citizens right now. Go look at the Humboldt Greenway go look at the Midtown Greenway. These are all collaborations between the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County that deal with our infrastructure and transportation read the reports are (00:19:57) available. But he drives through downtown Minneapolis today. I would imagine would agree with me that we need someone who can recognize that (00:20:03) driving for well my goodness. It's got two billion dollars worth of investment going on in the downtown and Light Rail under construction. Give me a break these Positive things for our community Jean your next your question, (00:20:15) please. Hi. It's going to sound a little shallow probably but sometimes we take comfort in the way things look and our city is not clean. My favorite candidate is no longer in this race, but I would really like to see Street Suite swept in the residential neighborhoods. It's only twice a year downtown. I think they might do it at night. But yesterday I was eating an apple on the way to the bus and I had to carry the core for three or four blocks before I could find a basket to throw it in and whoever takes a sincere effort to clean up the city will get my vote. Okay, (00:20:50) really want you to look at the the cleans of City initiative and I want you to know that for the past two years. This is one area where I have been in big disagreement with the city council. I've advocated more resources to clean up the city than they were willing to accept last year. I push for a $600,000 dollars in additional spending and clean. They cut it back to about a hundred again. I disagreed with the city council on their removal of of the trash receptacles from the corner. They wanted all of them to be adopted. I didn't think that that was work a workable solution. I continue to disagree with them on that and I think also the wind support of uh, some City Council Members. We went out into the private sector and gotha funding and develop Partnerships with everybody from our regional government down to the local units of government including our business Community to assist us with our own clean City initiative in spite of the council. We have a public education campaign that we're developing with our Public Schools. We've got information Billboards and kiosks has that going up all over the city. I am as the mayor of the City of Minneapolis committed to making sure that this initiative in spite of all the lack of support of the city council goes forward and we build those Partnerships with the private sector to get it started. (00:22:11) Imagine the caller's favored candidate was marks tangling who I think did a great job during the campaign of focusing us on these basic issues of litter and how do we deal with that? We do need to build a consensus on the city council and add and I think I can do that. I've already worked on that. There's something wrong if we're putting up kiosks and billboards but we're not putting garbage cans back on the street. We've got to do that. We have to move quickly on that but it goes to the larger issue of trying to make sure that these basic core services that a city delivers can be delivered. Well and efficiently we need to move toward 24-hour snowplowing like they have in other cities instead of taking three days for us know quote unquote emergency. These are the basic core things that a city does and the next mayor is going to have to make some very strong very decisive choices that are going to say, we'll have to do fewer things. But the ones we do better and the ones we should be doing are these basic services like pick up the trash plow the (00:23:01) streets are see you again. Just know that if you're following the city council, you know that the trash receptacles. I have a bit improved and they're going to be out on the street. So Follow the follow the work is Sharon. I don't plan to steal my counsel who you follow you follow the work and you'll see that we are again getting the results that I'm looking for and the citizens are demanding in the City of (00:23:26) Minneapolis. If anyone out there feels they need a garbage can on the street. I hope they don't have to follow the city politics and Minneapolis. The bottom line is that you've not been able to deliver on that consensus and I want us to keep this an elevated discussion, but you need to be able to say that for over 18 years. We've lost the battle on garbage. Let's take it over and win it and clean up the city Paris your question, please yes mirror Artie. First of all, I'd like to comment on the drug problem in Minneapolis that still persists despite the decrease in crime. There's still open air drug sales in certain neighborhoods in Minneapolis. It's moved from Chicago and Franklin down to Lake Street and Franklin. And me recently you were involved in their arrest of a drug dealer from out of state who apparently thought Minneapolis because of its reputation as a pretty easy place to sell drugs if it's that easy for someone to come from out-of-state and so drugs or try to sell drugs to the mayor of Minneapolis. Why aren't we cleaning up the neighborhoods? And I'd like to remind you that back when the ktw be reporter Kabhi was out on the street and two undercover squad cars came to escort him out of the neighborhood because it was dangerous for him yet. There were school children standing around on the street corners waiting for buses and there were no police to escort them. All right. My concern is it doesn't seem to have changed. I'd like to ask the mayor what has been done what she plans on doing in the next term and I'd like to ask Artie what he's going to do differently. All right mayor, (00:25:16) thank you. First of all, let me just tell you that those citizens of that live in Ventura Village of the Phillips neighborhood are doing things differently. They're out on their own black patrols. They are out there along with me and other members of the police department and the community targeting households that continue to be a sources of problems in the neighborhood. I was just out at the PV Park which is in the heart of this neighborhood as well on a Sunday afternoon celebrating with the citizens of their Community the fact that they have taken the Streets back. It isn't, you know, they haven't achieved all of their goals and objectives, but they believe very strongly that they're winning the battle and I'm out there with them. To help win it in order to address the issues of drug dealing and drug use in the City of Minneapolis. There are several things that we have to do course be ever Vigilant in our law enforcement and I think I've got a strong record on that. I also believe that there are things that we can do. Do do more differently intervene and with the dopa dealers and users that are in our communities and I want to say communities because we forever see people driving in to the inner city neighborhoods of from all over the the region looking for drugs and our strategy to fight drugs has got to be broader as got to be broader than just law enforcement. So what are we going to do in the next term to be more successful continue our initiatives with the chemical Health Community to try to improve our intervention that with those Use drugs container our intervention now with the Mental Health Community again to address are the issues associated with people who have emotional problems or out on our streets using drugs and keep our law enforcement officers on the street and work to strengthen and rebuild our inner city neighborhoods. That's a number one agenda for me as the mayor of the City of Minneapolis to deal with the economic justice issues and the poverty issues in our community (00:27:38) RT Rybak. What if anything would you do differently to regarding the drug? Well, the caller asked about the the corner of Chicago and Franklin. I know a lot about that corner, that's where my parents drugstore was as I was growing up and I watched that neighborhood deteriorate my stepfather work there every day of his life until he died a year and a half ago and he every night he'd come home and say I know that there are drug dealers out there in the corner. Why can't they be put away and part of the issue here has to do with the We need to move more aggressively to really tie this link together between those people out in the neighborhoods who are trying to fight crime the pleat people. They're protecting them the police. Well, I'm very proud are supporting me and then do a tighter link with the people who are putting them away. So we don't get repeat offenders coming back on this I support the work of Amy Klobuchar at the county attorney's office, which is really worked on this issue of trying to assign specific attorneys to specific neighborhood. So there's at tight link between the citizens between the police between the attorneys and also on basic livability crimes that don't involve drugs, but do involve some of the basic live abilities. We need the city attorney's office much more linked into that too. We do need to attack the structural issues of crime and poverty no question about it, but we cannot wait on these issues for those long range Upstream Solutions. We need to get much tougher on the street day-to-day to not only put people away but certainly to to make sure they are not repeating we're talking this are with the candidates for mayor of Minneapolis RT Rybak Sharon. Belton again, if you have a question for the candidates, give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight two more of your questions here in a couple of minutes. (00:29:16) This week of Prairie Home Companion (00:29:18) comes to you from st. Paul from the Fitzgerald theater with a couple of great singers. Stephanie. Davis is here from her home in Montana and great R&B country and blues singer Delbert McClinton and his band which dworski the guys All-Star shubin guy Noir radio private eye news from like woebegone all coming up this (00:29:37) week Saturday afternoon at 5:00 and Sunday at noon on Minnesota Public Radio (00:29:43) this week Minnesota Public Radio begins our fall regular regular fall membership drive, and we do hope you'll be able to join us this week online. So we don't have to interrupt our programming online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org news headlines. Now, here's got a Cunningham (00:30:00) Greta. Thanks Gary. Good morning, New York, Governor. George Pataki says Anthrax spores have been found in his office in New York City Pataki says the spores were found in a room that he's used by his State Police security detail. He says the tests that were taken Monday night came back positive this morning attack. Complex of offices is on 38th and 39th floor of a building at 6:33 Third Avenue. It has been closed for further testing and DeKalb County come to contamination work Pataki says the offices would reopen Monday. No employees in the governor's office have tested positive for Anthrax, but all of them including Pataki will begin taking the antibiotics Cipro as a precaution US House speaker, Dennis hastert says 29 people in the Senate have tested positive for exposure to Anthrax many work in Majority Leader. Tom. Daschle's office were an Anthrax laced letter was opened. This week has stirred says the latest findings in the Senate are prompting safety measures in the house. He says anthrax was found in the Senate mailroom and in the ventilation system Hazard says the house is shutting down at the end of today until at least Tuesday that will allow officials to do a thorough sweep for more Anthrax Senate leaders are also considering a shutdown but there's been no official word yet President Bush says, he can't neglect the rest of the world as a nation tighten security at home. He told Asian news. Leaders this week that International fairs are important to making the world safe for set out today on a trip to China for an Asian Pacific Summit in Regional news Governor. Ventura will begin notifying the media of public appearances. Ventura had stopped the practice last week citing security concerns from now on the governor's communication office will release the governor's public schedule the day before any events. The information will be provided to reporters located at the Capitol press room, but it will no longer be posted on the state's website the forecast for Minnesota today calls for partly to mostly sunny skies Statewide. It will be Breezy and warmer today highs will range from 48 in the north to 68 in the South right now in Duluth. It's fair and 40° Fergus Falls reports Fair skies and 43. It's fair in Park Rapids and 37 and in the Twin Cities some scattered clouds with a temperature of 41 Gary. That's a look at the latest news. (00:32:07) Thanks Greta 24 minutes know before noon. This is midday on Minnesota Public Radio and today great opportunity for those of you interested in the race for mayor In Minneapolis election day just three weeks away. Now, if you're interested in the race, here's a great opportunity to learn more about the candidates. So the to folks who want to be the next mayor of Minneapolis Sharon Sales Belton incumbent mayor and her Challenger RT Rybak. I'm not going to give you the phone number right now because all our lines are busy, but hang on here and we'll get some lines cleared and then we'll get your question on as well. Again, the only stricture we're asking if you're already decided as to who you're going to support we ask that you not call in because we'd like to give everybody else who's not yet made up their mind a chance to get their question in Jesse your next go ahead, please thank you for having me. I am so far undecided but I would like to know how the two candidates if elected plan to deal with two problems one is racial profiling and the other is the affordable housing crisis. Okay. Thanks Jesse now we Be here certainly for the rest of this hour talking about both of these issues. Let me see if we can narrow these down just a tad. Let's take the the housing issue. Can you explain to us the two of you how you differ on dealing with the affordable housing crisis, you know each other's position well enough to so, how do you what's what's different about your approaches to this issue? Well, I think we both care deeply about affordable housing, but the fact the matter is over the past few years. We've been tearing down in boarding up more houses than we've been building something needs to change and I believe people on all sides of this care about it. But what what I think I bring uniquely to the table is a plan that does a couple things one increases City investment in that I do believe we need to do that to Leverage is much more private investment in this. I was a son of a small landlord in Minneapolis and I recognize that week the government can't do all of this alone. So we need to change regulatory reform and create some incentives to reopen those boarded up and vacant properties. Three, I believe uniquely can tie together the faith communities the nonprofit's the others to come together and make this the one big mission for our city. We're going to have to get help from the legislature which battled Minneapolis badly last time. I can build that Coalition from the neighborhood's I Believe I Can Build That to from the private sector which hasn't been engaged in this and we need the city to stop tearing down and boarding up buildings Sharon Jones about and how did the two of you differ on this (00:34:41) issue. First of all, we differ on the facts. First of all, the City of Minneapolis used to have a number of boarded up properties and vacant lots that it had and it's in its inventory at the McD a it's down to 38 border property 17 of them are already moving in the hands of the nonprofit's that's an initiative that I Advance as a mirror the City of Minneapolis years ago the board of the properties that are out there now for the most part are in the hands of the private sector and what we have to do is hold them accountable to get their properties back online and those cases where we'd like to see those properties in the Hands of people who are living on limited incomes. We need to work with them to identify the subsidies to get those rinse down to a level. That's affordable. Now what how we differ is where RT is talking about doing these things. I'm already doing them. I'm providing leadership on the national level through the conference of Mayors to bring other federal government closer to Bringing or advancing tax credits and make it possible for us to finance low-income housing at the regional level. I went to the Met Council and asked if I could help but to chair a group of Mayors across the metropolitan area so that we could go together in math to the legislature to get their attention on this subject and to give us some relief so that affordable housing proposals could Advance. I'm pleased to say that last year the agenda that we took forward to the legislature was adopted and now there are greater opportunities than there were previously to do affordable housing not just in the city but in the suburbs and then Lastly the big issue is about where does the money come from to subsidize the rent in the City of Minneapolis? I have a concrete proposal that helps the City of Minneapolis to ensure that it can indeed put two units of affordable housing on the street of the city every day for the next three years cash in hand know how to do it. The difference between my plan is that the money is there and then artiste planets an idea racial (00:36:44) profiling obviously you both opposed to the concept of racial profiling do you differ on how you might address that (00:36:50) issue? Well, I don't know if we differ on how we might address the issue because I'm not really clear and I don't know what the exact things that are teach talking about. What I can tell you is what I'm doing. We have a task force that is in place a right to now that continues to work directly with our Police Department made up of members of our communities across the City of Minneapolis Multicultural multi. Ethnic and again, our specific task is to inform our public policies in the City of Minneapolis and come out with some very specific recommendations that the communities who feel like they're victimized want to do not listening to some legislators telling us what they think but actually getting information from our citizens seven recommendations will go forward to our police department and will be implemented by them posthaste the City of Minneapolis unlike st. Paul didn't have to have the federal justice department bringing us all together. In fact when the justice department called me and said, you know mayor maybe we can do some of the things we did in st. Paul I said, you know what we're on our way. We're on our own way. We're moving forward with our plan directed by our community will keep you informed as to our progress and you put it in your inventory of what things that you help cities across the country. Do we feel good about the direction we're moving in bottom line is that racial profiling cannot will not be tolerated. It and officers in the City of Minneapolis will be held accountable for their conduct and for their behavior (00:38:22) RT Rybak any difference in your approach to this issue. When you move around the city of Minneapolis, there are people in this city agree on most issues across Geographic lines and racial lines except for one and it's on policing issues the more diverse the neighborhood the poor of the neighborhood the deeper. The problem is with the police community relations and that includes racial issues certainly more than anything else. So when I look at a way for a city to respond, I do believe for instance the chief any and st. Paul did a very good job of stepping up front admitting the issue to the community bringing all communities together with the police and getting in a much more constructive dialogue earlier and coming up with specific actions. That's a good start good tough leadership by Finney I support and think that's a good idea and we should be moving more aggressively on that Minneapolis, but we also have to recognize that we are never going to be able to get over this issue until we diversify our Police Department. He has become increasingly diverse in recent years and yet our Police Department is not moving in the direction that we needed to so we need to be recruiting many more kids out of our schools out of our neighborhoods who are part of the communities in Minneapolis who can Bridge those divides better and at this is an issue that also reaches very deeply into our immigrant communities are Somali immigrants are immigrants from from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, raise these issues constantly and we need to begin to not only talk about it, but bring them onto the police force in a much more aggressive way because that's the only way we can really cross this divide every officer needs to be sensitised. No question about it, but we also can only do that if the department reflects the true faces of Minneapolis yes or no answer if you would please unfair as always but police chief Robert Olson. Is he doing a good job? Yes. I haven't had a chance to meet with them. So I can't make a commitment on that until I meet with him Keysha your question, please I was actually have recently moved to Minneapolis and I'm not super familiar with exactly how the city government works. But I've heard about the weak mayor system and I was wondering if you could explain a little bit more about how the weak mayor system works and how that affects the mayor's relationship with the city council and how each of the two candidates would deal with that situation and I'll take my answer off their thanks. Okay (00:40:44) weak mayor system or even if you go to the textbook and look at a weak mayor system it just suggest to you that the mayor has a veto and they Council plays a strong administrative role and the operations of the government when I look at the system of a government in the City of Minneapolis having been on the city council and having been the city council president. I think that the words are in some ways a meaningful. At the not not not totally as they quote unquote the mayor of the City of Minneapolis in a weak mayor system. You still have the ability to use, you know, your voice your vision not for the city in a key role in moving the City of Minneapolis forward. We did that in the areas of Public Safety not because the charter said we could are we couldn't but just because it was the right thing to do. We did it in the City of Minneapolis on issues of Education now because we had any Authority but just because we thought we needed to do this. I thought I needed to do it as a city and I knew how to get it done. So you just do it. There are some things that are structural to the weak mayor system in the City of Minneapolis that I think must change. I think the mayor the city mini episode of point of the department heads of that will leave the city during the term of the mayor. I think the mayor's office and the should be the administrative arm over the city and those administrative issues should not be in the purview. Daily purview of the Minneapolis Star City Council or any other you know city council. Those are things that I think we ought to be changing right now, but leadership is really about individuals and about individual skill and I think that as a mayor of the City of Minneapolis, I've been using that skill to get things done in the City of Minneapolis at the citizens believed that we needed to get done. So it's about you know individual and again, you have to work within the confines of the structure but the structure doesn't keep good things from happening (00:42:43) or do you Ryback whether we have a weak mayor or a strong mayor system we can have a very strong mayor if we have a leader who understands how to use that office to build a much deeper consensus. The mayor of Minneapolis needs to work more aggressively with a city council than you do in st. Paul. Well, I've already shown that I've can build a coalition with that Paul auster. Oh who I believe will be the next council president and I are in close communication as I am with existing a new council members before we It office, we will have a 90-day plan in place that we can agree on and begin to get those City Hall moving again, which it hasn't been in recent years, but it doesn't stop there. The mayor needs to be a spokesman and a salesperson for this town. I've done that work for this city. I've done that work in the private sector the mayor needs to be strong visible seen decisive out on TV the visible person were seeing in Minneapolis could be a strong leader. I can do that work to the mayor needs to go over and unify the legislative delegation. It's deeply divided now I've again had many of the best people in the legislative delegation come forward and support me. So when you really look at this issue about who can be the next mayor who can be that strong mayor don't look at the charter. Look at the kind of leadership. Somebody brings to the table. Look to see who can be the person who stands up there on television who works the battles and City Hall. Here's the collected wisdom of the city and gets it moving. Again. Minneapolis has not been moving because we've had passive leadership. I believe I can provide strong decisive leadership. Andy your question, please yeah, I was wondering what the candidates were doing or planning on doing as far as attracting young people to the downtown area interested in are planning on moving to either st. Paul and Minneapolis and downtown area in the near future and wondering what their plans are. What they're looking to do to attract people to the downtown area and keep them there. Okay RT Rybak. I was the development director of the downtown Council and I've spent a lot of time working with small businesses downtown and one of the things that's important about that especially for younger people is that I don't want us to have a downtown that's just a matter of big big stores big chains, but really those unique funky hip stores that attracted me as a kid to downtown Minneapolis. So that's a first first step in doing that as a more Innovative downtown the Second Step. I really believe is we need to really look at what is public space. Where does everyone belong? I think we need to be especially sensitive to this on issues along. Shh lines try to be an African-American boy walking through City Center in downtown Minneapolis and really see where you belong one of the reasons. I've been such a strong proponent of the new Central Library is it could be great common space But as we really look at downtown in the kind of area we want to want to grow we need to think about the kids at the mayor and I saw over yesterday at Washburn High School who talked about wanting to come down wanting to feel welcomed and safe and others are teenagers in this town. I think are real special special need and we need to make sure that they're not just given a Suburban style mall, but much more Innovative places that welcome them Assurance Hills Belton. (00:45:46) Well, first of all, I don't know what you mean our tune. You say where did African-American young men belong they belong, you know the same place that you belong and I belong that's where they want to be. And the thing that we've got to do is to make sure that young people period regardless of them being African-American or whatever race have places that they can go to and downtown where they can have fun. And that's what I To do as a mere the City of Minneapolis is to create a downtown regard to have a downtown now that the meets the needs of the diverse needs of the citizens of our community and we've done that Hennepin Avenue didn't look like a much 10 years ago the state of North Korean theater Investments of revitalized. It not only bought us entertainment, but also help to build housing and again, I think housing that attracts that the young professionals that are working in our D-Town so the caller, you know has a some new choices in onion have been able to actually live in the middle of all of the excitement and activity that's going on. I think our initiatives in the city to again revitalizing strengthen the warehouse district and again make it exciting fun and funky for young people and older people like me, I think speak so well to what we've accomplished in the city I think blocky is going to also be a tremendous of being a To not only the hospitality industry, but those of us who live in the Twin Cities area. We're looking for a nice place to go and have fun every weekend good things are happening in the downtown because we have advanced strong and bold leadership that says a downtown that's a strong and healthy and works 24 hours a day is the kind of downtown. We want to have we don't want the carpenter roll up at 4:30. Like it does in other cities. And again, we got a good thing going and we're going to work it hard and make it and help it work for all of (00:47:45) us. If Andy makes twenty five thirty thousand dollars a year. Is there a place for him to live downtown or are all the places downtown too expensive for (00:47:55) and he there's a place where I am to rent a downtown but there's not a place that downtown currently for him to own. One of the things that we want to do is they downtown continues to grow to the east side of the central business district is to really push hard for The developers to really help to create housing that's at a variety of different price points. I want to see actually families living the downtown. I'd like to ensure in the city's policies that they adopted the Gary require that if you take City subsidy, you have to have a percentage of the housing units that you build will be affordable to people at thirty fifty percent of the median income. I think that's the right thing to do. I want young professionals to be able to come downtown you want to know something that is interesting originally a river station. They thought that at $90,000, you know, a salary of $90,000 to young people combine their income so they would be able to get day a townhouse or in River Station people are so excited and enthusiastic about moving back to downtown Minneapolis moving back to the city that it's driving of the the price of those that units out of there. We've got a great City. Once again people are coming back to it. And we're going to work hard to continue to grow (00:49:16) it. I think your question Gary was can somebody who's an entry-level worker downtown really find a place to live and I think increasingly the answer to that is no employers tell us that and certainly more than anything else the people you see on the street who are trying to do that can't do that. My parents met when they were both workers who lived at the old Continental Hotel and that was a great part of downtown because people from all income levels could afford it. We've done some great work on the central Riverfront to have housing their share and I both in our different ways of we're part of having that done me at the downtown Council her at the city and yet is the city's executed those plans in recent years while we've done some great things to get folks from other cities in who have means that I'm happy about that. We haven't done a good enough job in making sure that the basic workers the people who do the work who await Us in the stores are teachers and others can also be part of this great new downtown. So I think diversifying the housing options downtown and frankly across the whole city is a high goal of mine. Not a lot of time left, but let's get at least one more. Our on Craig question. Yes. I'm a local. I live in South Minneapolis and I own a home and I wanted to know what both candidates would you do if elected to assist homeowners who are having service issues with the with my own personal experience with the inspections of departments where the homeowners are held to one set of standards and contractors are seem to be waived through on the second set of Standards. I look I recently had an experience that I'm currently trying to pursue where I had an inspector who waved my contractor through without having had the proper permits pulled and only after a second inspector came out that I find out that the first inspector waved the whole thing out and it actually has failed and now I have to go the whole the whole process of having my home torn torn up again. So I was wondering if either candidate would offer a citizen's task force such as the one for the police department where a collection of citizens and supervisors and maybe City Council Members would Able to address Property Owners concerns with improprieties and see (00:51:22) offices. Oh, I think it's a great to question. I just want you to know that I was that a coffee party dinner last night in the Nokomis not neighborhood and two of the people attended the raised the question and actually told their story about what had happened to them. And one of the things that I said was first a know that we put together regulatory or task force on one occasion to do make a series of recommendations. We implemented them. We created a One-Stop shopping environmental in Minneapolis to again try to make some additional Improvement and I said last night it's time for us to go back and take a look at all of those things and find out again where we need to go next in order to make the kinds of changes and improvements and get to the level of customer service that this color of Demands and I to add Amanda as a citizen of this community. And as an elected official for Minneapolis, so task force commission's getting the job done as what we want to do in the customer has got to be (00:52:26) served task forces and commissions are nice, but it's really time to stop talking about this and deliver true customer service to the citizens of Minneapolis II believe that involves customer surveys and and others to get this done, but let's really unify some of these these departments we have in the city certainly the ones that touch us. I've heard stories like yours about residential cases also about small business where two or three different inspectors from different areas come in and talk to people about this. Let's have one single customer place that a person can touch City Hall get the satisfaction they need with a smile and make sure it's predictable. We can move much more aggressively on getting customer service and I think that's in large part about just recognizing that the next mayor of Minneapolis is going to have to do things in a more efficient way more businesslike way and recognize that you're paying the taxes. We should be delivering service with a smile. May I ask you a couple of quick? Questions before we wrap up here. If if you're faced with a choice over the next four years, basically no wiggle room. If you're faced with a choice between spending public money on a new stadium for the twins of the Vikings or losing the team's what your choice, (00:53:36) you know, I think in the in the upcoming environment where our primary focus right now is on the public safety. I'd have to go with protecting the public safety. (00:53:49) I don't think we have a lot of money to be thrown around at the City of Minneapolis. Right now. We have a good site for the stadium that already has its infrastructure investment. And that's really what we need to be able to do but I don't think the city can step forward in the short term on that when we have a great site for a stadium that the pub the private sector can support if you're elected RT Rybak. What's the very first thing you would do I'd implement the 90-day plan that will have planned already by the time I hit office will know about five key things to do. The number one issue I'm going to deal with is for financial stability. And the number one development issue we have is to attack the affordable housing crisis Sharon Jones Belton of your re-elected. What's what's the first thing you do in your new term. (00:54:30) The first thing that I knew in my new term is success of the issues are with regard to Public Safety and Homeland Security will know a lot though better in a few weeks. I where we are. We have already spent additional $1 or to ensure our Public Safety, and so that will be first and then I'll start on my conversations with the citizens of this community about the election that just took place and we'll let chart our course or for the future. This is about listening to Citizens. This isn't about six dudes coming in with their plan for what it is that they want to do with the City of Minneapolis. This is a partnership. And again, we need to move forward (00:55:14) together. Well, good luck to both of you. Thank you. So For coming in today appreciate it and we'll be hearing more from you. Of course. There's a lot more forums in Minneapolis that you'll be appearing at and we should note mark this on your calendar those of you listening that on November 4th. This is the Sunday right before the election RT Rybak and Sharon cells. Belton will be appearing at the Minneapolis downtown lot downtown library. Seven o'clock looks to be the last debate before the election and will be will be moderating. The bait will have it on live should be a good interesting discussion and you'll be able to attend. Hope you can attend in person will have it on the radio will be on our website as well. So that's November 4th Sunday 7:00 p.m. At the Minneapolis downtown library. Now, if you missed part of today's discussion, we will be rebroadcasting this program at 9:00 tonight. So another chance to find out more about the candidates. (00:56:10) On the next all things considered the latest diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State Powell in Southeast Asia. It's all things considered weekdays at 3:00 on Minnesota Public Radio, KN o w FM 91.1 in the Twin (00:56:23) Cities. You're listening to Minnesota public radio. Right now. We have a sunny Sky 45 degrees at Kenner wfm 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul the sky should remain Sunny through the afternoon with a high reaching the mid 50's than there's a chance for some light rain tonight with a low in the low 40s tomorrow good chance for rain high temperature in the low 50s. It's a minute past 12:00.