Story by: DYLAN THOMAS / [email protected]
A second candidate emerged in April for the Ward 8 City Council seat Elizabeth Glidden plans to leave after three terms in office.
Terry White, a marketing operations manager in the healthcare industry, is making his first run for public office with the backing of the local Green Party. White will go up against Andrea Jenkins, a DFLer who once worked as Glidden’s aide and now leads the University of Minnesota’s Transgender Oral History Project.
“A large part of why I’m running as a Green is to ensure that ecological wisdom is incorporated into city policies,” White said. “In particular, I want to ensure that the city’s Climate Action Plan is implemented and fully funded.”
The plan, adopted by the City Council in 2013, sets a goal of reducing the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025 from a 2006 baseline. It also sets targets for waste reduction, increasing recycling and composting and growing the proportion of Minneapolis commuters who walk or bike to work.
White said he began contemplating a run for office in late 2012 after city and state DFL pols — aided by Republicans in the legislature — pushed through a bill to fund U.S. Bank Stadium’s construction, bypassing an amendment to the city charter that many interpreted to mandate a citywide vote on committing $10 million or more in city funds to the plan. He described the tactic as “underhanded and disempowering for the people of Minneapolis.”
White said the “tone needs to change at City Hall” and that he’d bring the cooperative and collaborative approaches required in his private-sector work to public office.
“I’d like to bring my ability to listen and build consensus to the table so real progress can be made on economic and social justice issues,” he said. “There’s a nonviolent way to solve problems that I want to help lead.”
White’s other priorities, if elected, include committing more city funding to affordable housing and seeking policy solutions that would encourage developers to build more affordable units. He’d also raise the city’s goals for contracting the services of women- and minority-owned businesses.
“I’d also like to produce a scorecard on socially responsible procurement, which I think will promote greater transparency,” he added.
White, who lives in the Field neighborhood, is married and has two boys, aged 10 and 11. He and his wife relocated in 2006 to Minneapolis from the New York City area, where they both worked for nonprofits.
White plans an official campaign kickoff April 22, and he said his campaign website will launch that same day. He and his family plan to spend that morning picking up trash at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Kingfield as part of the citywide Earth Day Cleanup event.
The City Council currently includes one member from the Green Party, Cam Gordon, who represents Ward 2 and is unopposed in his bid for a fourth term. In addition to Gordon and White, the party has endorsed Samantha Pree-Stinson in Ward 3.
White said ranked-choice voting, a balloting system used in Minneapolis municipal elections since 2009, benefits the party’s endorsed candidates.
“Ranked-choice voting allows people to vote for the candidate they feel best represents them, regardless of party,” he said. “That means people can vote Green first, and if I’m not elected, their vote will still count.”