Cam Gordon for Ward 2 City Council

The interconnected mesh of problems facing University students will take years to solve. In the wake of the largest tuition increase in recent history and in the midst of one the nation’s worst housing crises, students’ pocketbooks are being hit hardest. Meanwhile, a proposal being considered by University administrators that would require special approval to enroll for fewer than 13 credits could leave students with less time to work the hours needed to pay for it all. In this crucial time, those living in the University community must elect someone as Ward 2’s representative to the Minneapolis City Council who can be trusted to look out for students’ interests.

We endorse Green Party candidate Cam Gordon. During the past year, Gordon has demonstrated an understanding of and willingness to act on the most pressing issues for University students, as well as a desire to get more students involved in local politics. After University administrators announced the 13 percent tuition increase, Gordon organized and led a rally in front of Folwell Hall to address student concerns and urge legislators to rethink their funding approach.

Gordon also recognizes that students are among those hit hardest by the housing crisis and has spoken out against the city’s decision to spend $62 million on a new downtown Target store, given the depressing scarcity of low-income housing units. As part of his solution, Gordon recommends the city require 25 percent of its housing projects be affordable. In addition, his neighborhood-based approach to city planning issues and push to sell more than 800 city lots for housing development combine to form one of the most comprehensive affordable-housing plans pushed by any City Council candidate.

His opponent, DFL nominee Paul Zerby, focuses more of his policies with permanent residents of Ward 2 in mind. While Zerby recognizes many of the issues confronting students, his approach to those issues suggests that in some cases he views the University community as part of the problem. Both candidates have expressed a willingness to support local merchants over franchises, and both have stated the importance of keeping their money and resources in the community. However, Gordon takes the economic aspect a step further by recognizing the importance of enabling low-income people to contribute to the neighborhood’s economy.

Finally, Gordon’s proposals for improving public transportation and reducing the need to drive provide another argument on his behalf. Improving the public transit system will not only allow students residing in Ward 2 to decrease their cost of living, it will alleviate some of the parking problems plaguing the sizeable commuter population at the University.

Zerby’s ideas, practical as they are, seem less compatible with University students’ lifestyles. Gordon has built a platform that will help both demographics – permanent residents and University students – and is better suited to represent Ward 2.